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Sammy Miller Series 2017 - Proposed Changes

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Well, sport has to be fair, it is that simple.  

 

Deryk's highly successful series may, for one of many reasons, have been successful because it was designed to be fair and, from what I understand, the regulations were enforced rigourously.  And the bikes back then were nowhere near as modified as those today which can be 40kg+ lighter than their original counterpart just in comparing 4stroke to 4stroke.  

 

So, the original regulations put all modified bikes into a single class, 'Specials' which would still be an option, but perhaps a better way for the future would be to add a marker (sub-class) given that there are more modifieds now across all classes.  Thus riders of modified bikes can compete fairly, and so can riders of originals.  If the SM series decline has proved anything, it is possibly that no sport can prosper if it is not fair.

 

 

Yes.

 

That is an issue but perhaps it has to be faced.  Hopefully it will be fairly easy to pick out a modified bike.  If it is the original frame, it is very likely to be either an original or prestige.  And someone that has gone to the trouble of replacing the frame is very likely to have gone much further anyway making those bikes easier to spot.  Originals, as described, would retain the original frame, engine, hubs, brakes, ignition, tank, seat and so on.  How many modified bikes do you see with a modified frame but without modified ignition, tank or seat?

 

All the best, TTSpud

I think its desparately unfair that Dougie Lampkin is a way better rider than I could ever dream of being,so what do I do - DEAL with it,get on and ride,pitch myself against other riders I know of similar or slightly better ability.I rode for years with very little success,but I still rode,and for the most part really enjoyed it.Still do it now,as do most other riders I know,there are more battles going on than any score sheet can show.Rider ability is what wins,not the bike.

If I went to a trial and was turned away because my AJS is currently running an electronic mag and Rickman hubs, I can tell you what would happen - I just wouldn't go back,I'd ride elsewhere. The WHOLE key to this ,and always has been is in the marking of the sections,nothing more,nothing less. Using the classes I outlined anyone with a British bike of any standard can turn up,ride and enjoy themselves. Go to the Somerton Classic British 2 Day at Priddy if you want to see a shining example of how it is still being done. They get riders from all over and its more popular each year. No arguments,just an excellent weekend of trials with bikes from 1929 to the latest trick 2016 Bantam. 

All the Miller rounds in the last few years I have ridden,apart from one were marked out largely in an appropriate way.So the clubs clearly know what is needed, its just a simple set of easy to organise classes that are needed to sort it out.

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Might it be the trials that are wrong not the bikes, if traditional sections are used where all types of bike can be ridden then the advantage gained from modification is reduced.

So what if a few finish with little or no marks lost.

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What Jon says .. You decide in your head who you're competing against, whether it's a skilled rider on a rigid, or a novice on a billet Bantam, you don't need a raft of classes and sub-classes or things get complicated. Well plotted sections with an easy and hard route, and maybe a mix of those if you want an Inters class.

Sidecar,Rigid. pre-unit, Unit and maybe Twinshocks for anything post 70?

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In my opinion the whole original bike argument is totally flawed, just riding in the current era means we all use soft 'sticky' tires, the grip levels compared to the 1960's means sections can and are plotted on a totally different level.

As soon as you start saying that modern shocks, tires, handlebars, levers, twist grips, rubbers, let's face it the list is endless, you will not have an original bike.

All clubs face the dilemma on the day of finding enough help to man the sections, sign on the riders and ensure the event is safe without the ridiculous task of checking machine eligibility and then to possibly have the task of advising Mr Trials competitor who has driven for 4 or 5 hours to participate that even though he/she has ridden in that class all season you have decided that the thingy on his whatsit is the wrong side of 1965

I have ridden the Talmag the last few years and one of their stipulations is no electronic ignition, that's one trial a year that mentions it, never heard of anyone being turned away but have seen plenty of new style BTH mags there !

We all know the situation with regard to modifications has gone too far so let's all ride as 'specials' and leave the original enthusiasts to count rivets.

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Please, can we put to rest this issue of 'cheating' and 'cheat bikes'. Times have moved on whether you like it or not. It's now the norm for Pre65 bikes to be of the modified variety and has been for years. Pre65 is just the class label - is it really that important that it needs to be constantly nit-picked?

 

They aren't cheat bikes for god sake, they are only cheats if they are hiding modifications that give an advantage. Tehy were cheat bikes when they first appeared nearly 30 years ago yes, when no-one knew what some top riders were having done to their bikes, but now, none of the mods are hidden or unknown as they all have them, they are the norm and these are the bikes that people choose to ride. This talk of eligibility and rules is just distracting the topic from the real issue which is 'what is wrong with the Miller series' - and it has nothing to do with eligibility. If you really think clubs can provide 'experts' to examine each and every machine for 'rule' flouting then you're in fantasy land. None of the competitors are bothered about who has what components fitted to their bikes. I've just come back from the manx classic - approx 200 Pre65 bikes and 60 twinshocks. No scrutineering and no complaints from anyone about this or that being fitted to any bike. Everyone happy.

 

I've ridden Northern British Bike championship rounds - over 100 entries, no scrutineering, no complaints from anyone about machine eligibility. What's the problem?

 

Sections in the Miller series are NOT unsuitable and I get fed up reading comments that they are from people who never ride in it. Look at the results from this year and class winners on the easier route, including rigids have been in single figures. How can that be too hard or unsuitable? I also hear it said that the sections are now geared towards twinshocks which is again not true, it's rubbish and also a joke as the modified Pre65 bikes are far better than any 70s twinshock. My 1972 standard Sherpa against a modern James or Bantam or Cub? Which do you think is more competitive... It's true that on the harder route one or two of the events can have had some tight (too tight) sections but some of us have pointed out constructively to the organisers that those type of sections aren't necessary or desired

 

Having ridden both Miller and Northern British bike rounds for several years, I can say from experience that on some occasions the British Bike rounds have been harder than Miller rounds, yet they regularly attract 100 plus entries of British bikes. So why don't a reasonable percentage of those riders compete in some or all of the Miller rounds as well, as in most events the section severity is of a similar standard. Perhaps because they believe some of the claptrap written on the net that the Miller series is now suitable only for twinshocks.

 

I submitted my suggestions as to how I thought the Miller series should progress and it included twinshocks. I think it would be a great shame if it excluded them from the series in the future. Twinshocks have always been the poor relations when it comes to national series. Pre65 already has several dedicated events - Northern British Bike championship, BMCA series in the Midlands, Pre65 Scottish (4 speed Bultacos excepted....) Manx Classic (yes it has a small number of twinshocks but it is still a mainly Pre65 event and which uses twinshocks as section scrubbers) There may also be a Pre65 only series in the southwest, I can't remember.

 

What have twinshocks got in terms of a national series? Nothing. The KIA is not a twinshock championship, it also has classes for Pre65 (yet another series they can take part in...) and air-cooled monos. It's also not road based so if twinshocks lose the Miller series they have no road based events to compete in.

 

Personally I don't see much wrong with the Miller series and don't understand why it is losing numbers when the Northern Brit Bike series enjoys big entries using sections of a similar standard. I think a couple of revisions to the class structure would be all that was needed to get some interest back.

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Hi,

 

I promise this is my final word on the subject.

 

The trials that are successful are those that realise that 5% of the entry will be brilliant riders who could take a farmyard gate, fit casters and a tiny Chinese motor and still ride most sections. Another 10% will very rarely, if ever, clean a section, no matter how competent the machine they ride is.  That leaves the rest of the entry, basically competent riders who are there hoping to enjoy themselves, ride a few sections clean, struggle in some of the others, fail dismally occasionally - BUT able to compare their ride with someone else who they feel normally would beat them........

 

How did I run a series for thirteen years that had for over ten of those years more than 450 riders who rode in three of the twelve annual rounds or more?

 

I, personally, checked the severity of the sections that were being set..........my rules of thumb were/are relatively simple, recognise the virtual universal skill rules I set above - and match the sections to it. That means 5% of the sections needing very exact skills to get a clean, 10% of the sections that almost certainly could be cleaned by every rider entered - then set the rest somewhere in between, but always mindful that it should be possible for everyone to get through them, even if paddling along all the way....

 

I always recognised that people sitting on their bikes in the crowd waiting to start would be nervous, apprehensive about what they were going to find in the trial ahead, so every trial that I was ever involved with had the first section set intended for most of the entry to be able to clean - that cleared the nervous tension for everyone and they continued into the rest of the trial full of confidence whatever they were riding.........set a really difficult first section and listen to the moans and grumbles for the rest of the day.........

 

The way to get rid of the cheats, whether you can spot the trick bikes or not?  Keep your sections on the easy side, let the cheats finish the day with all of them on a clean ride, I promise you I have done that and it works, they didn't come back 'cos they had no way to demonstrate their 'superiority' - but the vast majority of riders really enjoyed themselves and came back time and again.

 

But whatever you do - ENJOY YOURSELVES

Edited by laird387
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The Talmag is like the Banbury Run, where bikes come out the woodwork specifically for that event. Why not organise a similar event and advertise it as being to Talmag rules, and wait for the entries to come flooding in ?

Having all these new groups and sub-groups so that you can ride this ex-works bike you've inherited seems like a lot of hassle, when by your own admittance you rarely ride anyway? What next, if someone turns up who's ten years younger than you , will you make him ride a different subset so that it's all 'fair '?

You've said on here before that your bike has alloy rims, so does that put you in 'Britshocks Modified A4' or whatever, or don't rims count ?

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HI Woody,

 

 

Yes, dealing with this issue is important.  Because people still want to ride original bikes fairly, like it or not. Plus of course, the pre65/SM series has been decimated of original bikes, and now all bikes.

 

 

You're again taking the issue away from what is responsible for the decreasing entries in the Miller series, which is what the topic is supposed to be about

 

It has nothing to do with eligibility rules. The Northern series, the Manx, these both run to the same criteria as the Miller series. they both have a huge range of machines taking part including rigids. No--one moans about the mix of modified and near original bikes, or the lack of scrutineering and they return year after year

 

This topic has been done to death, if you want to start a series for standard bikes and put modified bikes in a modified class then that's fine, go ahead and start one up. That is not what the Miller series is now about and if it goes back to excluding twinshocks I think it will be a great shame

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I do not think there is a problem with twin shocks in the S.M. series, as has been said many times above a lightly modified pre 65 ( yes you read correct, modified, after all it's only a frame and forks with an engine, the rest is basically cosmetic ) has no disadvantage and often is better.

Even the class system does not need major changes, I believe just a simple correction of the section allocation to give a larger spread of difficulty to match the riders ability and bike. (Effectively 3 routes rather than the current 2 as per last weekends SWCTA )

It's all down to the 'Clerk of course' , make it too hard and the big bikes suffer make it too easy and why travel for 5 hours for a wobble round.

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HI CollyOlly,

 

 

That is another idea, put all of the modifieds in with the twinshocks, then the machinery is fair and so the sport is fair, you can then keep the twinshocks, as you say, keep the originals and keep the modifieds.  I think at one of the last events I saw (was it a KIA one, cant remember), a very heavily modified Ariel easily won the twinshock course anyway (on second thought, perhaps you are then going to upset the original twinshock riders!).

 

All the best, TTSpud

 

That's right yes, it would be really fair to put a 1970 standard Bultaco Montesa or Ossa up against a modified Cub / James / Bantam

 

But that obviously isn't an issue as you have no interest in twinshocks

 

I have nothing against a class for standard machines but what you keep failing to acknowledge is that there is going to be a real problem scrutineering the bikes and deciding which is in the correct class. The last two Northern rounds have had around 120 entries. If a club can even find someone with the knowledge that is willing to do the job, when exactly are they supposed to do it? Before the trial? If it took just 2 minutes on average to do one bike that's four hours that someone has to spend checking bikes. Add on time for dispute and discussion and that's how long?

 

Event organisers have their hands full dealing with all of the other issues involved in running a road trial and getting the event underway without having the extra burden of dealing with that. Will the ACU provide a dedicated examiner to travel to each event?

 

You're citing a problem that doesn't exist as the reason for the Miller series 'failing'. I've pointed out two other series run to the same criteria where eligibility clearly isn't an issue as neither of them have riders moaning about the fact that they both have standard and modified machines running together and no scrutineering. Where are these riders you mention?

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Bloody hell guys !

 

The only thing I hope I have definitely achieved is that it is very apparent that there are different views

 

If you look back at my very first email - I asked if someone could co-ordinate the views on various classes  and give us a list or starting point.  You will note I put " good luck with that " ,  I was not being sarcastic ( well perhaps I was a bit)   but many years of experience  has shown how difficult it is

 

One think I hope some of you may understand ( some never will  as their knowledge of ho it all works is deficient to say least)  is that an ACU C/tee of 8 have always struggled to sort all this,  just as many of you are obvious now doing

 

The posts arrive at no conclusion  - and I suggest it was unfair at outset of those to slag us off, when it is now obvious that there will never be agreement- we just have to try things , and that does not always work, hence the attempt to review

 

A few other points - I get mightily peed off with the constant reference to te ACU should do this or that.  Some of you may believe it is some huge corporate body or something - it is not,  it is  guys  , trying to do their best across board.     Any of you can apply to join and do your bit just as the 8 do

 

We do not get paid ,  we give up a days work to attend meetings and spend many many hours a week trawling through emails and problems and disputes and most importantly trying to ensure that the sport carries on with all the outside pressure it faces  - so no more slagging off please , constructive comments, fine, constructive criticism fine ,  but remember  the ACU is us - all of us. Anyone in a Club/ Centre, rider or organiser.    The clue is in the last letter Union  ( all of us) 

 

Now a few points to get back to real world - some have made very good comments on some of these

 

The organisers have a whole load of things to do as anyone who has organised knows. I have already covered this.  

 

They are very unlikely to be able to set up some sort of MOT facility and check all the eligibility that some would like a la Classic TT - it just ain't going to happen

 

Equally ,  there is very little chance of the machine examiner being to accurately establish what is   62, 63, 64 , 65 and so on - these bods are not not out there.  They are at home writing about it

 

So, of course there can be some eligibility factors . In past Twinshocks, drum brakes, carb, for diameter have ben used in past. But they will be limited UNLESS AN EXPERT  OE EXPERT  CAN BE FOUND TO GO AROUND ALL ROUNDS _ AND CHECK

 

This is exactly what is SUPPOSED to happen at thus years  Vintage ISDE in Spain . There is a strict criteria format and in principle there will be " Expert checkers" and if machines are not eligible, it is back in van and head for border ( we will see if that works?) 

 

As far as we are concerned I am far from sure that in then real world riders actually want that , but even if they do how can it be achieved ?

 

Next, a few have probably hit nail on head and stated that if sections are correct, and suitable for classes whatever they may be, the problem is reduced. Absolutely spot on

 

BUT - Organisers vary and always will.  No-one sets out to cock it up,  but is does occasionally happen

 

What do we do then - sack them ?   Not possible they are volunteers in first place doing it for love of sport 

 

Not give them a round again - possible, but that results in extremely reduced events and please remember that always always,   for everyone who thinks a round that someone things was too hard, too tight, too long, too short,  there will be others thinking it too easy, not tight enough, too short  etc

 

It is not an exact science

 

From what I have seen and read in surveys ( and they were a bit like I  have just said - alternate views mostly) 

 

Some want a return to the British Bike era - ie original concept and leave modern twinshocks go elsewhere 

 

Some want to retain Twinshocks and have classes for them

 

Some one all mixed in and allow course sections to sort out

 

Some want harder sections for better riders

 

Some want strict machine eligibility rules

 

Some want little or no eligibilty rules - "ride what you brung" 

 

Some want classes divided up according to age of riders rather than machines

 

Some want all Off road

 

Some want all On road

 

Many want a mixture

 

So it goes on  - thanks for efforts  ( I do mean that )       C/tee will now try to  start with an fresh piece of paper and come up with something BUT we will still need organisers

 

 

I have a return trip to Bradford now to try to discuss next years World Trial with FIM representatives - should be easy after this  !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Try and be pragmatic about that standard HT5. If someone was 20 and riding one of those in say 1960 they are now 76 years old. Most will be older. Do you still think they could manage one of those or is a nice lightweight modernised bike going to keep them in the sport longer.

 

Anyone riding one of those at the outset of the classic scene, before the modernising started, is now also going to be the same age, so the same applies. They can retire from the sport or ride a modernised lightweight bike

 

Younger riders, or very few of them, are not going to be interested in riding something like that. They want to ride more interesting and challenging sections, not up a green lane with a few bumps or up and down a few grassy banks. How are you going to get 100 plus entries of riders riding that type of bike?

 

You also continue to avoid the question of why the Northern series and Manx classic attract massive entries with a mix of bikes with no scrutineering to separate standard or modernised bikes. By your reasoning, these two series should have failed also

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I believe I have the answer to the 'Original and unmodified' bikes competing on a level playing field in a national championship such as the Sammy Miller series.

All it needs is an enthusiastic co-ordinator who is prepared to set up the process and run it.

The system would run as follows

1/. Advertise a new series for original bikes to be run alongside the existing competition

2/. Any competitor wishing to compete in this series forwards their details to the co-ordinator using a standard application form as per pre 65 Scottish, this will cover all necessary aspects of the machine including a documenting set of photos

3/ A list of registered riders and machines would be circulated to all interested parties ( little chance of fiddle bikes being used if there is a group of interested competitors involved in the monitoring )

4/ After each event the results will be forwarded to the Originals Co-ordinator who will then pick out the registered riders and prepare their results sheet and keep the championship table up-dated

The above gives no extra work to the trials organisers, no scrutinering is required as it is done in advance and if modifications are seen and reported the rider can be removed from the series.

Obviously this is a simplification of the necessary work involved but it does I believe solve all of this groups problems, just got to get it started !

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As someone that knows very little about this topic and at huge risk of showing my ignorance is there any merit in reasoning that the road riding element is partly reponsible for the low numbers. From my understanding the Talmag is an off road event and if they aim is to attract younger riders i suspect not so many have road licences and also many potential bikes that could be riden are staying in sheds as they are not road registered.

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I have no problem with good natured debate, but there's something about the general tone of your posts that makes me nauseous. For that reason I shall refrain from posting on any more of these 'state of pre 65' threads

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