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Pre 65 Future & Pre 65 Rules


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These are some rules for Pre65 which came out part way through this discussion after adjusting for comments so far received (will continue to adjust if more comments come in), put here so that they are easy to find.  The actual start of the debate comment is below.


= Pre 65 Rules =

11/9/2021 v1


The following rules are designed to enable organisers to cater for the two predominant types of motorcycle currently being entered into competitive modern Pre-65 trials events; that being original bikes and modified bikes, with the minimum of organisational overhead.  Existing riders of modified bikes will see no difference in their entry.  Riders of original bikes will need to make sure that their motorcycles comply in order to be classified as riding an original bike.

The rules use the concept of a sub-class which is represented by O for ORIGINAL and M for MODIFIED.  For example, a rider on an original bike entered into class A has a sub-class O.


-- Motorcycle Eligibility


Motorcycles must be manufactured on or before December 31st 1964 for Pre-unit classes.

Motorcycles must be manufactured on or before December 31st 1969 for Unit classes.

Motorcycles must be manufactured by a British based manufacturer, though exceptions to British made bikes are at the discretion of the Club.


-- Example Classes & Prefixes --


Class designation and inclusion are at the Club’s discretion, though these are typical examples using 2 routes (Standard, Easy), classes assigned to routes:


[A] 4-stroke Sprung Pre-unit < 300cc (Standard route)         [F] 4-stroke Sprung or Rigid with Sidecar Pre-unit (Easy route)

[D] 4-stroke Rigid Pre-unit < 300cc (Standard route)           [G] 2-stroke Sprung Unit (Standard route)

[C] 4-stroke Sprung Pre-unit > 300cc (Standard route)        [H] 2-stroke Rigid Unit (Standard route)

[D] 4-stroke Rigid Pre-unit > 300cc (Standard route)            [J] 2-stroke Sprung or Rigid Sidecar Unit (Easy route) 

[E] 4-stroke Girder Fork Pre-unit (Standard route)               [K] 2-stroke or 4-stroke Clubman (Easy route)

-- Routes --


The number of routes and designation of which route each class will ride is at the discretion of the Club.  The choice of class is at the discretion of the rider.  The sub-class designation does not affect in any way the choice of routes or classes.  Including a timed section is at the discretion of the Club.


-- Classes & Entry --

Riders enter the main class (for example between A -> K) as well as identifying their motorcycle sub-class as being Original or Modified on entry.  Riders that omit to enter a sub-class are entered as Modified by default.  Original motorcycles will ideally need to be checked for compliance on the day of the trial, Modified motorcycles will not.  If the scrutineer has doubt as to the compliance of a bike entered as an Original, it can be re-classified as M on the day.  For events without the capability for scrutineering compliance, make that known on entry and either allow riders to self-certify their bikes or enter all bikes as Unknown sub-class, at the Club's discretion.


-- Original Component --

The use of the term 'original component', with regard to motorcycle component compliance within these rules, is to mean a component as fitted to an eligible make/model of motorcycle on leaving the factory as well as exact reproduction components manufactured to the same design which includes geometry, dimensions and materials. 

-- Age Reward --

At the discretion of the club, an age reward can be applied to the results.  Riders aged over 50 on the day of the event, will have 1 mark removed from their score, riders over 60 will have 5 marks removed from their score and riders over 70 will have 10 marks removed from their score.  After applying an age reward, if the resulting total is negative, negative scores are acceptable within the results. 

-- Results

The results should be displayed with the addition of the sub-class.  For example:

            Class A

                        1st       John Wilks      (M)      2

                        2nd       Jane Boyce      (O)       7

                        3rd        James Brown   (M)      34…..


====== ORIGINAL SUB-CLASS =======


Motorcycles built with original components from a mix of eligible motorcycles can be entered within the Original sub-class.

The following MUST BE original components:




Petrol Tank




Ignition System



Exhaust System




Allowable modifications to ‘original components’:


Footrest and pedal placement may be moved on the frame

Footrests may be replaced with any compliant alternative

Exhaust system may be re-routed but must remain the original material

Carburettor can be replaced by Amal Mark 1 concentric carburettor

Mudguard stays can be modified

Any chain tensioner can be modified or added

Petrol tanks can be re-manufactured in alloy to the exact same design & dimensions as the original part

Any gear ratios


Other conditions not listed above:


Tubeless tyres are acceptable but must include an inner-tube

Footrests must be sprung

Levers must be ball-ended


====== MODIFIED SUB-CLASS =======


Overall compliance to be at the discretion of the Club in all events within the following guidance.

As a general guide, motorcycles are allowed to modify all components with the emphasis on keeping the look of the machine close to the machine that it is being entered as.

The performance of a modified machine will be significantly increased from the original specification and as such provides a significant advantage over original machinery.  

Motorcycles will need to have twin rear shocks, sprung footrests, ball ended levers.  Disc brakes are not permitted.


Hello All,

First, let's try to limit the nastiness on this, it always seems to get very nasty, it is not necessary.  Logic and reasoning is what is needed, not nastiness.

As we all know, the horse has truly bolted on this one in terms of the 'Pre65' bikes not actually being Pre65 at all.  But, this from BsaOtter (I hope you don't mind continuing this debate here) is where we are whether we like it or not:

"Purely as a matter of interest; I read some of your thoughts on the question of what makes a pre-65 machine. Being new to trials I am at a loss to understand the whole debate. Please can you tell me why the classification doesn't follow the guidelines of normal, or 'road', registration for built up machines?

For example; if you wish to register a 'built up machine' at the DVLA you will need a V765 and ultimately the machine will, if application is successful, be age-related-dated, to the newest major component. Straightforward.

So your 1964 Bantam with a 2020 frame gets a 2020 reg and therefore cannot be classed as pre 65. Likewise with the wheels and forks. Why is it more complex than that?"


"John. It is not more complex, and as you say if the frame is say 2020, yes that bike is indeed twelve months old and should be classed as that year of motorcycle.

Then to go and label it if for instance for sale as a Pre 65 bike to my mind is wrong, because has you say the bike or most components are NEW.

And to say it is built in a similar to a bike that was built by any countries motorcycle trade before 1965 is also very wrong, unless it is an exact “replica” of a machine built with the same materials and components from that age.

Even so, this machine is new and should receive a new registration.

If machines are using an old registration from a bike previously wearing that number, this is wrong in most cases, has you say most components are usually new, so this machine should also be registered again with the appropriate year of manufacture.

I just think the people using the term Pre65 for a modern classically styled trials machine should take a close look at what they are actually stating, and if they also looked closely at what they were referring to as Pre 65 machines, and did a bit more research into how and when the majority of machines were built, they should realise that the term is very wrong, and Classic styled machine is a better description, and if made in Britain and using the old two shock suspension on the rear of the machine, “Britshock” is a much better description for this type of machine. And should get a much more favoured response."


It is clear now that many of the bikes being ridden now are not Pre65 at all and very unfair to be allowed to compete against real Pre65 bikes (which a few are still being ridden albeit pushed to lower and lower routes until the rider leaves them at home), then what does the sport do?  Does it separate out the Pre65 bikes from the non-Pre65 bikes, and allow pre65 bikes to compete against like-for-like bikes again (the original Specials rule, Deryk)?  Or does it just continue down this road as "'classic styled bikes' that are modern but look a bit like an old bike might", and forget the old bikes, let them rust in sheds and museums, and continue the decline in the sport?

I know I said this 5 years ago or whatever it was, but I would still like to see sub-class added to the existing classes which would give the sport the space to allow riders to choose a route that suits them, would allow Pre65 bikes to both compete and to compete on any route, it would allow trials organisers not to have to add new routes, and it would allow results that respect the differences in machinery.  It is likely too late for any of this, but perhaps better late than never.  GLA.

Edited by ttspud
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Well we have a full basket off worms don't we..and what about the scrutineer at the club trial?? sorry I haven't seen one in the last 30years!?? yes armac's otters millers etc not to mention electronics and suzuki gearboxes and yamasakiuki pistons and reed valves. I've ridden the tricked up ones [belonging to friends] and they are total cheat bikes, if its got all these mods its a modern twinshock and that's the end of it. From now on you have to produce the original GREEN log book at signing on and undergo a severe scrooting before commencing trial ;-] Its so sad when you look at the pre65 scottish and all these cheaters are lined up like wolves, what hope has the TRUE rider got???? Oh and I've just caused the non existent scrutineer to take up crown green bowls..Now lets hear from some more true riders. I'VE JUST GONE TO GET MY RUNNING SHOES ON  ;-]


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Back in the early 80's I used to ride a true Pre 65 Cub. No fancy Dan bits, It had a trials box, std shocks inc poor ground clearance, Heavy weight Std Triumph forks, Very poor brakes, 199cc Squre Barrel and head And an Amal Carb. Oh and it had points so no electricery ignition sytems. It was great fun it was the rider who got the best out of his bike that did well. I also rode a Rigid D1 Bantam, Not a lot to fiddle with there it was FUN. Rode in overalls and steel toed wellingtons.

Does any one else think the present situation with "Pre 65 " bikes is more like my Dick is bigger than yours and I have loads of cash to make a Fiddle bike. I learned to ride on a variety of bikes when I was around 12 to 13 years old. One of the bikes was a 500T Norton now that was a monster of a bike. Again I think that back in the Day it was the rider who got the best out of the bikes that were available at the time. I agree that the bike should only be "Modified" with parts that were genuinley available in period at the Time.

I know that things move on but how long before some one goes Fuel Injection and Electric Start on a Pre 65 bike ??? 🛠️


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Hey old geezer rools..I was very poor [violins in background] but managed to get a bog std cub T20T went well and in the early 70's rode it in the club trials against them super bulto's and monts, but thoroughly enjoyed it all and especially the friends I made along the way,we were out practising one day and my mate? threw it off the top off a cliff snapping the frame..at the next club meeting another friend had just put a whitlock frame on his mont, and offered me his original frame for £20 quid, well sounded good so the TRITESA  appeared not long after and extended the cubs life and looked trick..I was in a VMCC trial the other day and I asked a friend in the Que how much his trick tlr tubeless back wheel was! hell it was dearer than my ty175 cost in total. My favourite bike is still my scrapheap special, made from anything I could scrounge  and cost not a lot, but worked really well xl185 engine and miller ty frame ossa tank and lotsa welding. Great fun to build. can't believe people spend 6 grand++ I could have lotsa holidays with that money.! people are just too serious these days???


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Never been interested in Pre65 trials, because 90% of people involved seem to love moaning about what other people are doing and taking everything too seriously.


I do think it would be better if the bikes at least looked like an old bike - tank shape , seat, frame , colours etc.    instead of looking like a modern bike with an old engine fitted,   but thats just my opinion as an outsider and its now too late to expect the riders who have spent  £thousands to change their machines


I ride a tatty Ossa in non serious trials , where many people have better machines than me, but I just enjoy my own riding and dont moan about what other people have got. 

If someone is rich and wants to spend £1000+ on a pair of forks , then good luck to them. 

there is  a place for everyone , most trials have an easy route that any original bike could get round ,  you dont have to keep up with the Jones , enjoy doing your own thing.


I do think its a fallacy that there are thousands of Original Bikes in sheds with owners who are just waiting for events catering for Original Bikes , there may be a few but the majority of these bikes are either Family Heirlooms , or they are being hoarded as an investment



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So in the 5 years or so since you last raised this topic what have you done? Again you're calling for class changes, rule changes etc to existing trials which are well supported and don't need them. Why? In those 5 years you could have drawn up a set of rules and regulations for a genuine Pre65 British Bike series within the guidelines you mention and in which you can exclude all of the modernised bikes by having a dedicated scrutineer at each event. You could have lobbied clubs in your region or wider afield to find any willing to help you stage events for a pilot series, got your ideas out to riders, clubs, organiusers using facebook which is now the prime media for promoting events and see what level of support you would have. Run a pilot event to your spec and see what level of support you get. Why insist everyone else change whatever format they have when that format works and riders are happy with it. If you want trials for original bikes only you have had a long time to get something up and running

With regard to actual events, I was at yesterday's NBBC round at which there was a variety of bikes in different states of modification from stanfard big banger rigids and pre-units to the latest modified Bantams, Cubs etc. A section I was helping observe on after my own bike had a mechanical, had a tricky exit but saw cleans on the easy route from a couple of rigids and pre-units whilst many riders on modernised lightweights lost marks - yet you say the two don't mix...

I think before you comment about how rules need changing you should attend some of these events and ask the riders themselves - from the feedback, everyone had an enoyable day at yesterday's NBBC round

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@Woody. It is not about excluding anyone, and it is the original bikes that have effectively been excluded or relegated over the past few decades as the cheat bikes made them less competitive and that made riding them less attractive.  Some won't mind, but many do.  No, I will not be setting up trials or events just for original bikes.  If there is no desire to see the original bikes competing within normal classic/pre65 events on a fair basis, so be it, I will just continue on as always.  I think it is a sad state of affairs, and I do see a huge decline in original bikes being entered, especially the big pre-units, your NBBC round is no different, 30 riders, a handful of big bikes with probably none being original.  Would the addition of a sub-class change that, maybe, maybe not, but it would not hurt to try.  Yes, I have spoken to some clubs about this and yes, it may well be that things move in that direction at some point because the gap between the most modified and the least is getting bigger each year.  The original idea of Pre65 was to allow people to have fun on and compete on these old bikes, without spending the earth on modern equipment.  This is as good a forum as any, the opinions that you read above cover much of it, especially the acknowledgement by many that there is a lot of cheating going on as well as denial by others that there is any cheating going on!!

@Old Geezer,  @TrialMan,  Very very funny!!! Could not agree more.

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Of course it's about excluding if you maintain that you can't cater for both. If you're not willing to do something about a problem that you perceive, why keep dragging the subject up?

Cheating implies that someone is hiding or not disclosing something and stating that something is what it isn't. Pre65 is just a class name. There is no cheating going on, everyone knows what the bikes are and no-one is hiding anything or cheating so I don't know where you get your ideas from.

30 riders at the NBBC...  were you there to count them? If you were I hope your job doesn't entail working with figures....  Try around 70 for the last few rounds and around 120 for the first.Not bad seeing as some people still haven't started back due to covid worries

Yes there were big bikes in original spec which are those I referred to as having cleaned a section that some riders on modified lightweights didn't.

Pre65 orginated in the 70s which gave riders who were no longer competitive on current bikes the oportunity to drag old British bikes out of sheds and have some fun - nothing to do with cost. These riders would have been around their 30s then so most would be well into their 70s now. How many do you think are still capable of riding those big, heavy standard bikes. That is also a huge factor in what you see as a decline in big bikes being entered. Few riders from subsequent eras have any interest in riding those bikes. Older riders have been able to continue ridng into their 70s and even 80s purely because of the modernised lightweight Cubs and Bantams. Without them they would have hung up their boots long ago and it's likely there would be virtually no British bike events without them - what do you think the average age at one of these events is? Try going to some events. speaking with some of them and get their views on the viability of them riding an original spec British bike

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Here's a thought, Which lasts longer, Spending the day enjoying riding a trial, or finding out you've won. I find that if I've won it feels good for a few moments, but if I've had a good ride it lasts days and makes me want to ride some more.

As old bikes are few and it would be good to have the sport/class survive, accurate replicas should be allowed. They Must use the same technology as the genuine bikes. 

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@Woody.  "Of course it's about excluding if you maintain that you can't cater for both.". Where do you get this idea?  The point of a sub-class is simply so that riders can see who is riding a modified bike and who is riding an original bike.  These days, as others have said, there are so few original bikes so maybe then it would be best to simply have the the default sub-class as modified (which means the riders do not need to do anything) and original bikes would need to be checked/proven in some way or scrutineered as an original.  Your NBBC trials, fair enough if there are 70 or 120 bikes, great, how many were truly original with original frame, engine, forks, hubs, electrics, carburetor, tank, seat, clutch?  Is it 1, 2, 5, 10, great, and not many to check, they are disappearing but there are some left, as mine.  Other events, as you will know, do have a much larger number of original bikes but they are disappearing also.  It is only those that would need to be noted as being original and checked in some way.  The event goes on as it always does, same routes, same bikes, no-one is excluded except original bikes are noted and in the results you can see which bikes are original and which are modified.  And then you can see who you are really competing against if you are riding an original, making it a more attractive sport, keeping the originals in the sport.  For me, yes, cost is a factor for something that I only ride once or twice a year, great if cost is not though for others.  The other factor, for me, is simply keeping the original bikes going and out there for others to enjoy, which I think is also important.  What exactly do you fear about including a sub-class and trying to protect or encourage original bikes in the sport?  

Edited by ttspud
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On 9/6/2021 at 8:20 AM, b40rt said:

Set up a series , write the rules / restrictions. If there is sufficient interest it will be a success.

Well said :thumbup:

It’s easy to moan and ridicule what others do, not so easy to get stuck in and help!




Edited by suzuki250
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@Spud   you only ride once or twice a year yet you're advocating all trials include a class for standard bikes and provide a scrutineer to check that they aren't fitted with ineligbile parts... So you've no actual experience of other trials throughout the country, the views oif riders who compete in those trials or whether they perceive a problem or not.  If you only ride that little where do yo get the idea there is a problem that people don't want to ride standard bikes because there is no class for them - who are you speaking to?  As I mentioned, it's more an issue of age as I've seen first hand riders over the last 10 years or so move to modified lightweights in order to keep riding. It's as simple as that. One of our local clubs has recently begun to enforce a rule that hubs and yokes can't be anything other than British. All this has done is reduce their entry as riders with bikes that don't comply no longer ride there...

As for scrutineering for a standard class, who do you think wants that job? Who is even has the knowledge now to assess a bike from the 50s or early 60s? Those people are now in their 80s. Clubs have enough on their plate organising trials, especially road trials where numerous people have to be contacted for permission to use land, not only for sections but for access and rights of way as well. Then there is the setting out of sections at multiple venues, clearing undergrowth from land only used once a year, marking the route, removal of markers after the event, results, paperwork. The number of people willing to do this is diminishing but of those that still do, their age is increasing, not many are coming through to take over. An additional issue of whether a bike has the right magneto or fork internals is not something they are going to embrace - especially when there is no perceived problem from riders actually participating in their events

You're trying to fix something that isn't broken

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On 9/5/2021 at 9:54 PM, ttspud said:


And to say it is built in a similar to a bike that was built by any countries motorcycle trade before 1965 is also very wrong, unless it is an exact “replica” of a machine built with the same materials and components from that age.


What tyres do you use?

was they made before 1965, or are you using modern grippy tyres?


Edited by suzuki250
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5 hours ago, ttspud said:

For me, yes, cost is a factor for something that I only ride once or twice a year, great if cost is not though for others.  The other factor, for me, is simply keeping the original bikes going and out there for others to enjoy, which I think is also important.  What exactly do you fear about including a sub-class and trying to protect or encourage original bikes in the sport?

well if you only ride once or twice a year really  whats your problem ? but your expecting  clubs to run sub class & carry out scrutineering for a class YOUR not going to support through out the year, For you keeping original bikes going and for others to enjoy well whos the others ? do you real think other riders (on cheat bikes ) care what older bikes were ?As for getting original bikes into the sport  well whats stopping them now,  Theres nothing or anybody  stopping you from ridding your pre 65 at trials now apart from yourself 

Edited by on it
i had some wrong info on
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