Motorcycle: Sports Two Wheels - Trials, Enduros And Desert Racing
Date: Sunday, October 31 @ 17:48:47 UTC
Topic: Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Motor Cycle
Trials, Enduros And Desert Racing
Trials bikes' light weight and knobbly, low-pressure tyres allow them to navigate terrain that looks impossible for a mountain goat, let alone a motorcycle. These range from sheer rock faces and deep gullies in conventional trials, to artificial hazards such as huge pipes or a series of tables in the increasingly popular indoor events. Riders often stop completely for several seconds and bounce their machines sideways, all without scoring penalty points by putting a foot on the ground or falling.
Modern courses test mainly the skill and balance of the riders within a time limit, but when the sport began after the turn of the century it was the bikes' reliability that was on trial. Among the most famous events is the Scottish Six Days Trial, which dates from 1910 and attracts a large number of riders ranging from club riders to top professionals, although it is not a world championship event. Another famous trial, the Scott, takes place on the Yorkshire Moors and began as a closed event for workers at the nearby Scott factory.
The most famous trials rider in the 1950s and 60s was Sammy Miller, the Irishman who won over 1000 events, including five Scottish Six Days, on bikes including his famous Ariel with its registration GOV132. In the mid-60s Miller rode for the Spanish firm Bultaco and helped develop the two-stroke 250cc Sherpa that led the move away from four-stroke singles, known as thumpers. Spain has other leading marques in Gas-Gas and Montesa and has produced many outstanding riders, including multiple world champion Jordt-Tarres. Rivals include Honda, and the'Italian firms Aprilia and Beta. Enduro competition lies somewhere between motocross and trials, being essentially an off-road race against the clock for street-legal machines with lights. No points are lost for putting a foot down in sections; instead, riders must make sure to arrive at a series of checkpoints within strict time limits. The most prestigious event is the International Six Day Enduro, a punishing marathon fought out by teams from all over the world:
The other main form of off-road competition is desert racing, of which the best-known event is the legendary Paris-Dakar Rally. Bikes are generally huge, twin-cylinder four-strokes with long-travel suspension, extra fuel in rear pannier tanks and sophisticated computerized navigation equipment. The Paris-Dakar crosses the Sahara Desert and covers thousands of miles in three weeks — barely one rider in three makes it all the way. Other leading desert races include the Pharaohs in Egypt, and the Baja in Mexico.
Several manufacturers produce desert-replica roadbikes, such as Yamaha's Super Tenere and Honda's Africa Twin, which are particularly popular in Continental Europe.
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