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Have I bought the wrong bike?


Hughie
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I had a Messenger chat with him… it’s funny, we’re from the same small town (Winslow) but I don't know him. His Dad, Julian, had a shop there when we were kids in the 80’s selling trials bikes. I don’t think he does lessons locally to here though, I think he does them in Surrey, Hookwood I guess? The conversation fizzled out and I didn’t get anything booked, he was a bit vague on the detail but I remember it was £200. Not sure if that’s one to one or not, he didn’t say.

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Just jumping in with (probably) no constructive help!

Loving that you’ve got Scoots - I’m on the lookout for another (had a Rally 200, a properly tuned AF Lambo and a Luna in previous decades/centuries). The Rally’s are going for about £8k now which is nuts (mine was £180 in 1980…).

I wouldn’t ditch the current bike but try and get to a practice ground that you can get more of a feel for it. 

The TY175 is awesome and loads softer (and a good investment right now) - you won’t lose money if you buy one now and spares are easy.

Do private message as needs - fairly local and have new/old bikes.

nb. I bought a TY175 from Julian Wigg Motorcycles in 1981 - it was my main mode of transport for a year. Brilliant shop back in the day!

 

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4 minutes ago, rr62 said:

Just jumping in with (probably) no constructive help!

Loving that you’ve got Scoots - I’m on the lookout for another (had a Rally 200, a properly tuned AF Lambo and a Luna in previous decades/centuries). The Rally’s are going for about £8k now which is nuts (mine was £180 in 1980…).

I wouldn’t ditch the current bike but try and get to a practice ground that you can get more of a feel for it. 

The TY175 is awesome and loads softer (and a good investment right now) - you won’t lose money if you buy one now and spares are easy.

Do private message as needs - fairly local and have new/old bikes.

nb. I bought a TY175 from Julian Wigg Motorcycles in 1981 - it was my main mode of transport for a year. Brilliant shop back in the day!

 

Tell me about the price of scooters! My first was a Vespa 50 Special in 1984 which was £320. It makes me shudder when I think of the scooters we cut down, chopped and god knows what else in the 80’s. My first Lambretta was an SX150, albeit incomplete, which cost me £70! Currently got a ‘61 Li 150 S2 which I’ve put a GT186 kit on and rebuilt the engine to suit. Goes alright for an old Italian shopping bike! There’s still quite a scene round here (Aylesbury/Oxford).

I would have been living spitting distance  from Wiggs shop in 1981, me and my mates (I was 13 then) spent many hours drooling over the bikes and making a nuisance of ourselves. They used to put up with us though! I remember we found the front door had been left unlocked one night when they’d all gone home - being good boys we told Julian the next day, someone got in trouble for that I think!

Anyway, I digress. I’d love another old TY if one appeared at the right time/right price. What did you mean ‘Do private message as needs - fairly local and have new/old bikes.’?   Sorry, didn’t understand. And I definitely need to get to a practice area. I couldnt make it to the North Berks practice day on Saturday in the end, mind you it was bloody freezing so it might have been hard work!

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Hughie,

You have been given some sound advice so far. If you are not happy with the bike then I would advise to try and test out other bikes to see if you can find one you are happy with.

However, trials is totally different to road biking. No offense but there is little to no technique, other than the very basic principals, like gear changing etc that you can take from road riding and apply to trials.

Many road riders turn their hand to trials only to find it totally alien and very difficult, as Guy Martin found out!

Trials is a fine art and takes years of practice and experience to master. The issues you have described maybe partly down to the bike, things can be altered to help over come this to some degree. But I suspect that the majority of the problems you are experiencing are down to a lack of proper trials riding technique. 

My advice then would be to, No1 go get some tuition, No2 go and practice with other trials riders of varying abilities, No3 do the mods required to tame the bike as much as possible, No4 try out different bikes.

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Hughie, I have to agree with the intotrials, it’s basically you not the bike (sorry to be blunt) but please don’t be disheartened, you’re still a real newbie at this so stick with it. There are many riders from other motorcycling disciplines who come into trials thinking it’s easy, (hey it’s only standing up riding slowly yeah ? 😂🤣, but as you’re finding out, it isn’t. I’ve been at it on & off for many years, still only plodding but very much enjoying ! There is so much technique to learn/master and you need some tips & guidance from others to get you on the right path to start with so that you too can enjoy. That video in a previous post was an excellent example to demonstrate that a wheelie in a trials section is so much different from a ‘big handful’ on a road bike. Another good thing to practice at home if you’ve got space is lay a ladder/pole or similar on the ground (anchored somehow so it can’t slide sideways) & then cris-cross over it at the lowest speed you can, from a position as near to parallel as possible. A figure of eight if it’s long enough, so over three times in one ‘lap’. So keep revs minimum, (setting throttle so it idles is good tip to start with) so bike will just crawl without throttle input from your right hand, then use one finger clutch to control speed. You’ll soon get the hang of body position & movement required to lift the front that little bit while steering where you want to go and controlling speed. And you’ll realise you have some muscles in places you didn’t know about ! Take on as much advice as you can, you’ve obviously done a couple of trials so know what it’s about, but persevere, it’ll be worth it. As others have said, it’s called trials for a reason. One other point I don’t think anyone else has mentioned is handlebar position, have you tried rolling them forwards a bit to put more weight over the front ? This might help your natural stance on the bike to be better balanced front/rear.

Hope you stick with it, what you learn in trials will sure help in other riding.

Enjoy.

 

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Hughie, another thing to consider is your body position. If you are used to riding a road bike, it is possible that you are crouching down with your bum hovering above the back mudguard. This will weight the back of the bike and when you tweak the throttle it will pull at your arms and throw your weight further back. If you are not doing so already, try to make a conscious effort to stand tall and centrally on the bike.

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Thanks very much for all the time spent replying to me. It’s all great info and gives me lots to address.

As I’m doing this on my own, although I am finding everyone really friendly at meetings I don’t have any one to ask for sage advice directly which is what makes this forum so helpful to me and confidence inspiring. There’s only so much ‘turn up and get on with it’ you can do without some direction.

I appreciate all your comments and will go over them again at the weekend. Oh yes, I did rotate the bars forward a bit and it did help at the last trial. That is until I binned it half way up a slope and twisted the forks! But that’s another story…. (Fixed now!)

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One tip, which really helped me early on, was that I asked my local club for a bit of help getting started and they asked an experienced (and willing) member to "babysit" me - they watched me in the sections and gave lots of advice, and I got to see how they rode too :)

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Hi Hughie, I meant to have a chat with you at the Wycombe trial recently but didn't see you. Just to chip in with what others have said, I don't think the bike is the problem, in fact you have a pretty much ideal bike to start on, it's just all about practice, particularly throttle control, all novice sections can be ridden with no or little clutch, just on the engine, but you need to learn to be really smooth and gentle with it. A slow action throttle and flywheel weight will definitely help but what will help more than anything is practice! Just simple figure of eight turns and up and down small banks just using the throttle, you'll get there mate!!!

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Thanks Rich…. I was there, it was a nicely laid out area. I was disappointed with my score but more because I didn’t think it through and got 5’s where I could have got 2’s or 3’s probably. Also, on one section that I know I cleaned all fours times I was awarded four 5’s! I can only guess I mistakenly didn’t follow the course correctly but nothing was said - I was really annoyed with myself about that one! I think I could have taken 40 points plus off by paying more attention - note to self for next time!

My biggest issue, and hence me blaming the bike, is letting it get away from me when making turns on slopes, both up and down bit mostly up. I somehow fail to get the bike in the right position and then tend to over shoot the turn and the bike goes flying. I’m clearly not putting my weight in the right place and gripping the throttle too hard. I’ve fitted a slow throttle but it’s still easy to over twist it, I’ve managed to get hold of a stronger slide spring for the carb which I’m going to fit and see if that helps me.

Someone I know has kindly given me permission to use his land for practicing so all good for the flat stuff but unfortunately there are no banks, its flat as a pancake.

Look forward to meeting you sometime, onwards and upwards 👍

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Regarding turning on hills, the biggest thing for me was learning to lean the bike rather than myself, and how the bike will naturally pull in counterintuitive directions sometimes ... I cracked that by going out on my mountain bike and using a bit of smooth railway embankment to practice on

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