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Ok, that just shouldn't be able to be done...
November 26, 2009 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Trials riding is a sport where someone takes a specialized motorcycle and make it do things that shouldn't be possible.

Stuff like precision balancing on a beam, climbing vertical walls, and jumping gaps from a stop.

And they do all this without ever putting their feet down.
posted by quin (38 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's old school and cool.
posted by caddis at 6:27 PM on November 26, 2009


Previously: Bike parkour.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:35 PM on November 26, 2009


Trials HD is a neat XBLA game.

And there have been a few good bike trials posts before--or, if you're checking out YouTube, Danny Macaskill and Ryan Leech are two good names to look for.
posted by box at 6:46 PM on November 26, 2009


First guy... great! Those other idiots riding bare-armed and with no leg armour at all? All I can say is that those probably aren't tattoos covering their skin. Doesn't matter how good or how careful a rider you are, people. That's what "accident" means, and "protection" doesn't just mean latexing your whatzit.
posted by Mike D at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2009


My first bike was a Yamaha TY80 Trials. I learnt a hell of a lot about bike control riding that machine.
posted by Duke999R at 6:58 PM on November 26, 2009


I found this inexplicably funny and LOLed profusely. Great stuff.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:15 PM on November 26, 2009


I don't know if it's more or less impressive when you don't have a motor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z19zFlPah-o
posted by thebabelfish at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


Here's something more recent for the Danny Macaskill fans.
posted by box at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2009


My weird uncle who's here for thanksgiving loved that. He thanks you.
He thinks he's dictating a comment to me, but I stopped listening to him.
I wonder if anyone from high school is in town.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 7:33 PM on November 26, 2009 [14 favorites]


When I was a kid growing up in the UK I used to watch 'Kick Start' with my younger brother and sister on Saturday morning children's TV while our parents had a 'lie-in'. I remember it being insanely popular among my peers seeing as it was such a niche sport.

Ask any late 20 to 30something britisher about Kick Start and you will inevitably be greeted with a wave of nostalgia and a discordant rendition of the very catchy theme tune.
posted by JustAsItSounds at 7:57 PM on November 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't know if it's more or less impressive...

Must... rate... other people's... hobbies.
posted by !Jim at 8:43 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I saw an indoor trials event from europe on tv that was totally amazing. They built waterfalls and these IMPOSSIBLE looking obstacles. I've searched youtube in vain but I would love to see it again.
posted by vronsky at 9:26 PM on November 26, 2009


It probably takes more skill to do it on a regular bicycle, but it's a bit more exciting with the motor for the viewer because you get to hear the engine rev as they get ready to jump.

pud pud pud pud GRR GRRRRRR
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:34 PM on November 26, 2009


It seems to me the bike is lighter and less unwieldy, allowing a much greater variety of scenarios and maneuvers to be attempted. Maybe I'm just getting that impression from the much greater range of tricks and terrain in the Danny MacAskill bicycle video--does anyone know a comparably demonstrative video for the moto trials?

I can't imagine the level strength and balance being very much higher in either of those guys. They both have to be pretty equally skilled, even if moto guys' skills are focused onto a narrower repertoire. That's a powerful motor, and you'd have to control it PRECISELY, taking into account the the weight of the bike and of yourself, the distribution of said weight, your balance, momentum, distance, height, etc, etc, etc.
posted by theDTs at 10:20 PM on November 26, 2009


It probably takes more skill to do it on a regular bicycle,

On the contrary. It's lighter, and if you use a fixed gear bike, you've got so much more control over the back tire it's child's play by comparison.
posted by rodgerd at 11:42 PM on November 26, 2009


(Different use of a trials bike)
posted by rodgerd at 11:55 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oops - trials bike is 4:20 in.
posted by rodgerd at 11:56 PM on November 26, 2009


as a lifelong diehard cyclist, and a long time bmx-er (no longer however), i think this is cool, but waaaaay cooler on a bicycle. just sayin'.
posted by rainperimeter at 12:20 AM on November 27, 2009


What! No flashgame?
posted by quoquo at 1:18 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


They do this at the motorcycle show every January in NYC (at the Javits convention center). A couple years ago they even had the cage thing... It's pretty great.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:38 AM on November 27, 2009


> ... yet another damn car ad. Try doing that in a VW.
posted by scruss at 3:20 AM on November 27, 2009


I once rode up a tree on a snowmobile. I admit I hadn't seen the tree. The person who owned the snowmobile wasn't very happy with me, but he didn't know I was pioneering a whole sport.
posted by Major Tom at 3:52 AM on November 27, 2009


Doop doop doop, dobe dobe do do do be-do...

Ask any late 20 to 30something britisher about Kick Start and you will inevitably be greeted with a wave of nostalgia and a discordant rendition of the very catchy theme tune.
posted by JustAsItSounds


Oh arse...
posted by twine42 at 4:00 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Productive Youtube search.

Watch the tyres on these bikes, note the low pressures, around 4-6 psi. This and the tyre design is what gives these bikes their incredible grip.
posted by Duke999R at 4:00 AM on November 27, 2009


First guy... great! Those other idiots riding bare-armed and with no leg armour at all? All I can say is that those probably aren't tattoos covering their skin. Doesn't matter how good or how careful a rider you are, people. That's what "accident" means, and "protection" doesn't just mean latexing your whatzit.

Chicks dig scars amputated limbs!
posted by Pollomacho at 4:19 AM on November 27, 2009


On the contrary. It's lighter, and if you use a fixed gear bike, you've got so much more
control over the back tire it's child's play by comparison.


Um, what?

I've been watching (and making half-hearted attempts at riding) bike trials for close to a decade and I've never heard of anyone riding trials on a fixed gear. The thought of it doesn't even make sense given how crucial foot placement is.
posted by fore at 6:01 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


The usage has actually changed so that the later activity, bicycle trials, is now more likely to be known just as “trials.” What this post is talking about is usually called mototrials. Ultimately it all derives from Spain, incidentally.
posted by joeclark at 6:31 AM on November 27, 2009


Trials is one motorcycle sport I've just never gotten. Not that it doesn't require a lot of skill, obviously, but it's just so, so, unlike road racing or motocross.

Or maybe I'm just jealous.
posted by tommasz at 6:43 AM on November 27, 2009


> It seems to me the bike is lighter and less unwieldy, allowing a much greater variety of scenarios and maneuvers to be attempted.

It's the ratio of mass between the rider and the vehicle that makes the difference. In the Chaves videos, you can see him positioning the motorbike with little bounces and skootches that would be take considerably less effort on a bicycle, and the aerials at the end of the Vesterinen & Morris video look pretty weak compared to bicycle trials or even BMX stunts.

On the other hand, there's a significantly lower center of gravity for a rider on a trials motorbike than a rider on a bicycle. Compare the stock-still balancing Chaves can do when he's preparing for an obstacle run with the butt-wiggling Macaskill needs to keep a line. And a trials motorbike can do wheelies at what looks like a nearly 90 degree angle, something I'd never managed to do on a bicycle when I was a kid (ouch).
posted by ardgedee at 7:08 AM on November 27, 2009


Trials riding is awesome fun to watch. Back in the day, Speed Channel (before FOX bought them out, changed their name to Speed and became NASCAR's bitch) actually showed a lot of trials events. It's really impossible to watch it and not just grin from ear-to-ear.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:37 AM on November 27, 2009


If you want to learn to do this, the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, TN can fix you up with a rental bike and instruction from champion riders.
posted by workerant at 8:43 AM on November 27, 2009


Trials is one motorcycle sport I've just never gotten. Not that it doesn't require a lot of skill, obviously, but it's just so, so, unlike road racing or motocross.

It is. I learned it sitting in front of UK TV where it was big in the early 80s (or at least on every weekend). Watching people bounce their motorbikes up waterfalls with pauses on the way made an impression.
posted by rodgerd at 10:24 AM on November 27, 2009


Addictive bike trial game on which I spent waaaayyyyyyy too much time while in college.
posted by racingjs at 11:16 AM on November 27, 2009


Kickstart, a regular part of the British 1980s TV schedule.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kickstart , a regular part of the British 1980s TV schedule.

I remember us re-enacting Kick Start on my mate's scooter... that was fun.

Classic clip from a million blooper shows...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:22 PM on November 27, 2009


That's the one, Artw. Interesting to see the old bikes, which are much closer to standard trail bikes than the modern specialised trials units.
posted by rodgerd at 12:43 AM on November 28, 2009


British TV in the 80s was kind of obsessed with obstacle courses, what with It's a Knockout and the like.
posted by Artw at 7:42 AM on November 28, 2009


Also: Krypton factor. Mastermind... with obstacle courses.
posted by rodgerd at 10:03 AM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


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