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Trials Observation... Noob

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:00 pm
by SteveRed
Hi all!

Well I did make it out in the rain the other day to Arcadia (Peebles Rd) with two of my young kids and another couple of friends to see some of you guys in action. I must say it was probably a bit wet and slippery even for the best of you. All grist for the mill I suspect.

However thank you for the invite and for Keith and partner for taking time to explain some of the intricacies of the sport. I just am not sure where I should start!?

A question though! I noticed some riders on two stroke and some on four stroke. Is it the same as Enduro where the 4stroke are heavier and have more usable power delivery, the 2stroke are lighter and a bit friskier? What is the general recommendation for a noob? 2 or 4 stroke? It was suggested never to buy a second hand bike from an expert or A grade rider as the bike might be thrashed!


Bikes & such

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:48 am
by Smiddy
Hey Steve,
Great to see the wet weather hasn't perturbed your interest too much! Needless to say, it doesn't happen too often; many Victorian riders have forgotten how to ride wet events (myself included) and it's similar news everywhere else, so when it happens it definitely keeps us on our toes!
Bike wise, the four strokes these days, although still newly reintroduced, are certainly gaining popularity. As with enduro, they do require more maintenance generally, are about 3-4kg heavier, but have a notably smoother power delivery. I rode A-Grade on the Sherco 4T for about 6 months and really enjoyed it when I had the chance to ride it; It had less ability when attempting large steps but, despite having a balding back tyre, could gain traction where the 2T couldn't. A lot of fun on the trail too. :D
Generally speaking, a smaller-capacity 2-stroke is a good bet for anyone beginning, and in some ways even more so for an ex-enduro rider. These have a smoother power band, and will get you to learn and use technique rather than the throttle; this being the most frequent problem for the guys that change over.
Having said that, it'll probably bore you on the trail, as the peak output of the smaller bore is drastically reduced.
There is generally a misconception about A-Grader's bikes in that the bikes are usually buggered within a year. This is sometimes the case if they're struggling in their grade (usually results in cosmetic damage), but most year-old A-Grade bikes' engines are beautifully "worked-in" and run better than a brand new one.
The manufacturers generally build engines that are designed to be revved out to get up large steps each section or so. You'll often hear a C-Grade rider go past with that slightly boggy 2-Stroke from a year's worth of respectivelly idling, while an A-Grader will zip past with a much poppier-sounding motor.
The best year-old bike I've ever ridden was John Rees' '05 290 Sherco. Cosmetically I'd seen better days, but the motor felt tight, popped consistently and felt very dependable. I'm not pushing an agenda here to sell on my bike or anything; I'd recommend anyone ride compatitive bikes and see for themselves.
However, for yourself, I'd suggest a 250cc 2T of any of the brands. They're all very good, all can be tailored to have the delivery smoothed, are all good enough to be ridden in Clubman to A, and are still pretty damn good on the trail. Particularly a one-year-old or newer Expert-level bike (270 Beta, 290 Sherco, 300 GasGas etc.) might be a mistake, as particularly Enduro riders tend to over-run obstacles and turns on them, causing wastage of energy and gaining unwanted points. Any 2YO or older larger-capacity bike will usually have lost most of its initial low-end dab-inducing zip, and often ride more like their 250cc compatriots. After all, the best riders do it with fewer revs anyway!

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:18 am
by SteveRed
Thanks Smiddy... I really appreciate your reply post and the time you put into explaining things for me. Now I'm on the hunt for the bike and then I need to set up some obstacles around my property to play with... :D