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How To Get Our Sport To Grow


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If people think they need money to make the thing grow I strongly suggest not going after the riders. Very few independent people have the funds that large corporations have. If you squeeze the rider to hard they will just stay at home. It is typically just about as fun improving your riding at home as it is riding where there are people to tease you when you fall (especially if there is only a beer on the line).

I strongly suggest you work very closely with your local clubs and volunteer base so you don't just come in and p*** people off. Do a lot of research before doing anything else and if you are going to do it GO BIG - what ever you think you need multiply it by 4. Everything costs more than you think it does.

As an example I decided one year that I would test the waters as far as getting funding for trail development, I put a proposal together asking the local Government for $5k to clear some trail with mostly volunteer effort and that any remaining funds would go to the local dirt bike organization. I was shot down and told I didn't know what I was doing. The next year I became president of the local dirt bike organization and submitted proposals to multiple sponsors and agencies totalling over $200k for trail building and additional funds for supporting the organization itself. We were successful in receiving all the funding and in building 4 riding parks across the Province. I am no longer president but the local organization continues to grow and the riding areas continue to receive funding every year for on-going maintenance. The local dirt bike organization has also continued to grow and currently has over 700 members.

Moral of the story is - If you can figure out who the right players are and where the money is (and if you are a little lucky) just about anything is possible.

First step is figuring out EXACTLY what it is you want to do and then figure out how to fund it. If you need $2M you need to have a much different approach than if you need $2K... unless you can clearly articulate exactly how much you need and exactly what you plan to do with it (it doesn't matter how much you are looking for it) will be near impossible to get it. Very few people will pay any significant amount of money into an organization if they do not clearly understand how the funds are going to provide a benefit (or healthy return) for their investment.

Just my 2 cents.

As a side note it is easy enough to get the red bull girls to show up with the big archway and free drinks (even here in Nova Scotia)... but they seem to get bored easily so watch what you ask for :D

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Oh it’s good to see Keenan back stirring up the pot again. He sure did get some action going here.


First it is good this subject is brought up now and again to bring in any new ideas or just revisit some old ones.


The payback to the top finishers is nothing new. Although I would like to see how you would make an entry fee total of $2500 ($1250 per day) pay the top rider $3000. Simplifying the payback even more would be to not charge at all. I have been putting on some FreeTrials for Dirt Bikes on the Open ride day before some Harescrambles. We use the JITT format   ( http://www.neott.com/jitt.htm )  Set-up sections based on the skills of the riders that show up.

I do feel that most riders want a Trophy. This can be one of the biggest expense to putting on an event. This also has a long term effect in helping to promote your event. Top riders may just prefer cash but the newbies sure like something to show for their accomplishments.


I would like to see Pat enter a FMX competition and not do a single back flip and yet do things the FMX riders can’t do or show his skills in a Skate park.  A exhibition ride at the LA SX track on the Water fall would be great too.

A combination of Free Style and Trials would be FreeTryal.


So Keenan when is the opening of  Winter’s Wonderland Off road Park?  You could call it “Trials Central USA” due to its great location in Central USA. I already have people taking about putting on a HS their and we could do some Mountain Bike events too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Event t-shirts are a great idea, but i usually only see those around events. I think more mainstream media coverage would help out.

I think the indoor FIM x-trial would be such a great event at the xgames. Most North Americans don't have a clue what trials really is. But they all know the xgames. 

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  • 2 months later...

T-Shirts may be cheaper than trophy's for prizes and might do more to advertise the sport as you can wear it instead of putting it in the old trophy case :).

That's what my local club started and everyone loves it. I wear mine to other Motorcycle events like Dual Sports and such. Great advertising. We are teaching the younger kids how Trials riding helps all other forms of off road riding and they get hooked.

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Just a general note about t-shirts to people doling them out: get the best materials. If I buy a t-shirt and it turns out to be a horrible coarse material, it's never going to get worn no matter what's printed on it. Spend the extra money and get a lot more return for it in terms of hours worn (i.e. advertising).

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T-Shirts may be cheaper than trophy's for prizes and might do more to advertise the sport as you can wear it instead of putting it in the old trophy case :).


I'd be way more into t-shirts as prizes rather than trophies (in local club events... Nationals is different story obviously)   :marky:

Edited by heffergm
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I just recently became interested in Trials and have spent the past couple of weeks trying to learn everything I can about the sport (e.g. costs, which model to buy, used vs new, technique, places to ride, available training, videos, dealers, etc. etc.).


Generally the experience has been much more painful than it should be, and less than confidence inspiring, for one overall reason:


Trials oriented websites are generally awful. Dead links galore, ugly/amateurish/outdated design, jargon that often goes unexplained, outdated information (e.g. 2015 model links that go to 2013 PDFs, when I really wanted 2016 info), etc.


I know there are legitimate reasons for this and a few exceptional sites, but as a whole it gives the impression of stagnation. 


Also it makes it really hard to confidently get up to speed on the sport. You get tiny bits and pieces of information from all over the place, IF you're persistent enough to work at it that hard. Web surfers are notoriously quick to abandon a site that isn't delivering what they are looking for. I believe studies show that users give a site about 1.5 seconds, on average, to decide if they are on a useful site before they hit the back button to try somewhere else.


Put it this way: if something caused a surge of interest in Trials (e.g. a video that goes viral or a spectacular scene in a new movie), I don't think the web presence of the sport as a whole would be very inviting.


I've also been researching snow bikes (kind of like a snowmobile kit for a motorcycle), which is also for a very tiny market. In stark contrast, check out how good the website is for Yeti, who just launched their site a few weeks ago:



Now that's a fresh, informative, well designed site. It makes the product and sport itself seem fresh, vibrant, and engaging.


What am I going to do about it? Assuming I actually pull the trigger and buy something soon (though the first snow just fell), I intend to offer my local club my web design knowledge to help spruce up that site. It'll be a start.

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If a web site is going to sway your decision on buying or not buying ANY motorcycle do yourself and us a favor and don't buy one. :suicide:


@cbutler - your post is a piece of art.


Dismissive, yet off-topic. Belittling with a hint of condescension. Clearly written by a luddite, yet by one savvy enough to post to an internet forum. Observant enough to follow a thread, while simultaneously offering evidence of narrow-minded indifference towards modern sources of information. You use the very mechanism you denounce to denounce the mechanism you use! Brilliant!


The deft sense of irony! You smacked down a person newly interested in the sport who is trying to engage with the community and posted about how the internet face of the sport is less than ideal, using an internet forum thread about how to grow the sport to newly interested people just like me. Kudos to you if you actually planned that out so perfectly.


And then - to cap it off with an emoticon of graphic violence!


Sir, I am in awe.


And all in just one sentence with 27 words?! Very dense of you. (bah-dum-tshhhh)

Edited by kvothe
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If a web site is going to sway your decision on buying or not buying ANY motorcycle do yourself and us a favor and don't buy one.

Wow really? I can't think of a better way to kill our sport than to communicate like this in the face of interested riders... Please consider the impact on others reading this thread before responding in this manner.

Edited by jonnyc21
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One way may be for experience riders to give video presentations and show a bike at schools, youth clubs, country shows etc.

Even having done that there are major barriers to entering the sport for a lot of people:

Where to keep the bike

How to get it to events

Where to practice

Cost - particularly lack of low cost medium / small introductory machine

Need to have some mechanical knowledge to avoid ongoing and cumulative dealer bills

Lack of opportunity to try the sport without spending on a bike - easy to hire karts for practice sessions for example


Competition from lots of other "minimum investment" sports that youngsters try at formative ages eg. Cycling, Shooting, Snow sports, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, surf & sail boarding.


Edit - many years ago not far from Nord View "trials riders" were invited to put on a display at a local community event that would attract several thousand spectators. A number of riders built a course, bit like kickstart and did wheelies and bunny hops. Crowd found it fascinating. A local trials dealer was invited to put up advertising and bring a few bikes for interested parties to look at and maybe have a go. He declined. A few years later he was moaning about lack of sales and closed down.

Edited by dadof2
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By the way, the Beta USA site just got updated and is MUCH better. Time for Sherco USA's site to step it up now...


Yes, the barriers to entry and sheer lack of exposure make it hard for the sport to grow.


I wonder if tapping into the MX crowd would be the most effective way forward. Pre-show demos etc to an already motorcycle oriented crowd. Not only the riders themselves, looking to improve their skills in a different way, but their families and spectators. Many of whom may find the slower/safer pace of trials a welcome introduction to a different side of a world they are already involved with indirectly.

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