How to Choose a Trials Bike – Part 1
If you are considering taking up trial bike riding and are looking for your first bike what do you need to know? A trial bike is a completely different machine than a standard motorbike and there are certain things that it must do that a normal road bike does not have to.
There is a wide range of trial bikes to choose from, but since trial riding is mostly about rider skill, do not get stressed out about making a mistake with your choice. What you really should be looking for is mono-shock bike as this is the most popular.
The reason behind it is that twin-shock bikes can only really be used for certain sections in trial competition. Whereas a mono-shock bike is a bit of a jack of all trades, and can be used for almost any trial riding. Experienced riders normally opt for mono-shock as this is the most versatile.
A big choice to make for off road biking is enduro or trial. Both disciplines are quite different and the enduro bike is normally heavier than a trial one. Popular enduro bikes are Ossa Explorer, Sherco X-ride and KTM Freeride.
While it is true that these bikes are heavier than purpose-built trial bikes they are excellent for Intro Class and Clubman class trial levels. The biggest advantage of enduro bikes is that they can be ridden on the roads, so if your budget is tight one bike can get you to the trial event and compete. Of the three bikes that we have mentioned, only the Ossa Explorer is a true trial bike, featuring extra fuel tanks, lights and seat on a basic frame. The Ossa Explorer also has a good turning circle which is definitely needed for most trial riding.
Four or Two Stroke?
The choice whether you opt for a four or two stroke bike is quite interesting as some riders prefer four stroke and some two stroke. And exactly the same choice is available as far as trial bikes are concerned. A four stoke bike is much quieter than a two stroke one, but it does not have the same immediate power which in proper trial riding can be a disadvantage. But there is a lot less messing about with oil as with a two stroke bike.
The drawbacks of a four stroke bike is generally they are normally more expensive and are heavier. Plus, if there needs to be any engine repairs they are a lot more difficult to do than on a two stroke. However, some of the best trial riders in the world opt for a four stroke bike to ride in competition.
Another trial bike option has hit the streets and that is electric trial bikes. Normally these bikes are restricted to the kids market, but adult electric trial bikes are developing and improving all the time with better battery life and lighter batteries.
The benefit of electric bikes are the fast almost instant clutches, but more development needs to be done before they are a serious consideration. In part two of how to choose a trial bike we look at what size you should opt for and what to look for when buying one.