Bikers go on trials

There was non-stop motorbike riding at Mount Sima on Sunday. In fact, not stopping was part of the competition.

There was non-stop motorbike riding at Mount Sima on Sunday. In fact, not stopping was part of the competition.

The third annual Moto Trials Day tested riders’ ability to keep feet off the ground and stay on course at the event hosted by the Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association (YCCMA).

“Motorcycle trials, also known as observed trials, is a non-speed event on specialized motorcycles. The sport is most popular in the United Kingdom and Spain, though there are participants around the globe,” said YCCMA president Mike Beaman in a news release.

“The event is split into sections where a competitor rides through an obstacle course while attempting to avoid touching the ground with the feet. The obstacles in the course may be of natural (logs, rocks, etc.) or constructed elements. In all sections, regardless of content, the designated route is carefully contrived to test the skill of the rider.”

Trials bikes are lightweight, highly maneuverable and are sort of a hybrid of mountain bikes and off-road motorbikes. They don’t have a seat and are ridden in a standing position.

Whitehorse’s Hans Gatt took first in the A Class by scoring the fewest points for ground touches or “dabs.”

“I rode trials 30 years ago back in Austria just for motocross training, so I know a little bit about it but I’m definitely far away from being an expert,” said Gatt.

“We just try to get the trials sport going here because it’s a lot of fun and it’s not nearly as dangerous as riding a dirt bike. It’s quiet, it’s environmentally friendly, so I think it would be a good thing if more people would get interested in it.”

Sam Schirmer took second and Julian Revel third in A. Cole Beaman placed first in the B Class, ahead of Dustin Robitaille in second.

“Motorcycle trials are often utilized by competitors in other motorcycle sports – such as motocross or enduro – as a way to cross-train, as trials requires fine throttle, balance, and machine control,” said Beaman, who estimates there to be about 10 trials bikes in the territory.

“Steve Thomas is really the expert out of here. He used to do a lot of trials when he lived down on Vancouver Island, but he felt it wasn’t fair for him to compete in the event, so he didn’t compete. Otherwise there’s no way I would have won,” added Gatt, a four-time Yukon Quest sled dog race champ.

The YCCMA will next host a harescramble cross-country race Aug. 28 at the Schirmer Family Ranch off the South Klondike Highway.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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