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Eligible Or Ineligible For The Scottish Pre 65


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Hi wallo,

You asked for thoughts - and, as the last surviving member of the team of three that created the first ever trial SPECIFICALLY for British classic trials machines, which attracted no less than 52 entries as an open to centre event and was won by Arthur Lampkin who left his works Spanish bike in Silsden and brought out his rigid BSA Gold Star, OOH 760 and thoroughly enjoyed the ride - I feel that I have at least a grasp of the precise facts as to just WHY we did it.

The truth was we knew full well that the influx of, in those days, Spanish trials machines, meant that organisers were having to rethink their ideas of setting sections, turns were tightened, sharp climbs up stream banks became steeper - very quickly those of us who couldn't afford a new bike found we were getting a 'five' in almost every section. In some cases even walking round the section the turns were so tight that our old British bikes couldn't even get round them - and don't forget all this at a time when the ruling was 'if the front wheel ceases forward motion - five points'.

Suddenly we no longer had a sport that we could take part in - so we either took up mountaineering, golf or whatever - or we created a sport where we could still use our British bikes. The result was the creation of the British bike trial, which, in my column in TMX 'Wylde's Classic Bikes' I coined the phrase 'pre-65' - which was quickly adopted by classic clubs springing up in almost every centre - and, lo and behold, we had our sport back.

But all that was way back then in 1972 and the world has rotated a few times since and life has moved on. Way back working lads like myself had a motorbike as everyday transport, which doubled up as a trials bike in the winter months and possibly even as a scrambler on summer weekends, but we always rode the bike to the trials or scrambles - we couldn't afford a car or van. But when in 2014 did you see anybody arrive at a trial on the bike he was going to use in the sections...............

Now to thoughts on your bike and the thorny old problem of eligibility.

In my view the nub of the problem is an attitude. I would class your bike in one of my classic trials when I was the creator and series coordinator of the British Bike championship, which later became the Sammy Miller series, but all under my stewardship for the first ten years, and I would class it as a 'Special' - nowadays that seems to be considered as a slur - back in the day it was truly a mark of respect - 'cos when for example Sammy Miller turned up on his copy of his Ariel GOV 132 I promptly put him in the 'Special' class which he won, like always, and people respected him for his engineering and development expertise.

So winning the 'Specials' class was a true mark of respect.

I myself bought Peter Gaunt's desmodromic Ducati 360cc - because I respected Peter's undoubted genius - not because I wanted to cheat - because I was only going to ride it against the other specials and try to beat them.

Those riders who could not afford to buy a fancy special, or a new bike could still ride their British bike and try to win the 'pre-65' class - or if it was a C15T or Tiger Cub the 'pre-70 unit' class - and we all in our own ways had a good day of sport amongst friends and the sport flourished.

But as to how one achieves the mind change that will get people to accept that 'specials' can have just as influential a role as 'genuine' pre-65 machines - I only wish I knew, because it would remove at a stroke so much of the pointless rancour that is so evident these days.

I shall continue to report the sport accurately 'as it was' - because I was there and I know how and why we created the various eligibility rules as they developed - and I shall also report as accurately as I know how the way that it is - and I can do that because I am not driven by the profit motivation of sponsorship monies - I do it simply for the sport. If you don't believe me have a look at my magazine - totally free of advertising revenue - and therefore totally free of advertiser's influence.....

How many are aware that the magazines that you buy at the newsagents could usually be handed out free of charge, and each one with a five pound note inside, and they would still make a handsome profit for the publisher..................

What do you think???????????

Edited by laird387
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You're not going to get a definitive answer on a forum as there is only one way you will know and that is to send pictures to the secretary of the event and ask them. You'll get all sorts of opinion on a forum but only one counts.

It shouldn't be eligible as the frame isn't a copy of a Pre65 BSA frame (and as far as I'm aware the Mills frame isn't eligible) But as we know, bikes that clearly don't meet entry criteria and shouldn't be accepted, sometimes are - maybe it depends on the rider....

If you're thinking of entering with it I'd send the email first. If you just send in an entry, if it is rejected on the grounds that it isn't eligible, by the time you find out it may be too late to enter on something that is

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Hi Guy's.

Hi Ken,

You know it is a NO mate.

Because of the hypocrisy that is the Scottish Two Day Trial.

Most Machines in that One trial should be in a "Specials" class.

But they have there rules, that still dictates what a SO Called Pre65 Trials machine should be like.

And these rules have created the unaffordable Specials that dominate the scene today.

Why do you think that we have only a smattering of Big bikes that are still competing in trials, Because the sections are designed for the 10K machine.

And not the one out of the shed.

But you know you have rattled my perch. or I would not be writing this.

Regards Charlie.

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So is that a yes or a no?

Sorry wallo,

I have no idea what factor it is that drives the Scottish 'so-called' Pre-65 eligibility rules.

I formulated the original 'pre-65' eligibility rules that were accepted and used by the A-CU and the AMCA (when they created the BMCA specifically for classic sport) and I sat on both A-CU and BMCA committees for several years - but none of those deliberations had any effect on the Pre-65 Scottish - so I can't tell you what the answer is as to whether it would be eligible. Send them an email with full details and pictures and let them decide, it is, when all is said and done THEIR trial............

I can only tell you that if I were still running the series, YES, it would be totally eligible in the 'Specials' class - but NO, it would not be eligible in the 'Pre-70 unit' class - and no unit construction model would even be considered for the 'pre-65' class - but what do I know, I only ran a series with an average of 450 riders taking part in a twelve event series in every part of England and Wales for over ten years - and close on half the entries were always on British Pre-unit machines, split 50/50 between rigids and springers - oh, and they all rode the same route - and we NEVER had a tie to resolve.......so, like I said, what do I know about it......

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purely out of curiosity, why not? Unit singles are genuine pre65

Hi woody,

Totally agreed- but they were also shorter and lighter than the equivalent pre-units, so on the basis of fair competition, since they all rode the same route, the pre-units were in one class, the units in their own - but you could still compare the marks - 'cos they were on the same routes - but everyone was satisfied that it was fair.

If that is not the case - why have the pre-units all but disappeared?



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those fine drayton bantams are eligible and yet only the swing arm pivot point is original the rest is newly fabricated in the style of but not like a bantam onther than they are twinshock and have two wheels..

you fine c15 would be welcome at Yorks classic and the NBBR yet i fearthe frame will not pass muster on the scottish play.. sorry trial.

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you fine c15 would be welcome at Yorks classic and the NBBR yet i fearthe frame will not pass muster on the scottish play.. sorry trial.

Carbs must be Amal, except if you've a cub, then it's ok to have a Dellorto !!

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