Getting Started

Getting Started

If you’ve never ridden in trials or motocross and possibly have never even been to such an event, then our first suggestion is that you check out the calendar in this website and take yourself along to visit one of these competitions.

Don’t watch an indoor trial or Supercross on the telly and think “I couldn’t do that” – well neither can we, and “real” trials and motocross meetings are nothing like what you see featured on the ‘box.

First of all ask questions of the club officials – we have a link on this site for you to contact various club officials – and they’ll tell you all you need to know and probably a lot more. If you think you have the capabilities to take part – and only rudimentary off-road ability is needed, then it’s quite simple to get yourself licensed and fixed up with the kit to take part.

However, if you think you need some practice and experience before entering an event, we suggest you locate a venue where you can legally try out your chosen sport or even better, have a training session at one of the many trials and motocross schools that are held up and down the country. Some of those can be located through the Links page.

Please remember that before taking part in a competition, you must have either a Trials Registration Card or a Motocross Riders Licence, both of which can be obtained through any of the Northern Centre clubs and the Auto Cycle Union, the governing body of UK motorcycle sport. They are obtained on-line for a payment of a small fee.

The Bike

Choosing a machine is a minefield and at the end of the day it is all down to personal choice. Adults can ride any machine they wish and currently there are eight main trials machine manufacturers, Beta, Sherco, Vertigo, Gas Gas, Montesa, Scorpa, TRS  and Oset for youth riders, but there are many older machines no longer made and these can be just as suitable. Motocross machines are available from all four Japanese manufacturers, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki as well as European companies KTM , Gas Gas and Husqvarna

Youth riders in both trials and motocross are limited to different capacity machines depending upon the age of the rider and full details are listed in the ACU Handbook which is available on line.

What Bike Can I Ride?

The capacity of the machine and the different classes vary depending upon the age of the rider.

The full details can be found by clicking on,/
Trials Standing Regulations – TSR 1 Page 6
And for motocross
Motocross Standing Regulations/
Section 2

The above download as a pdf and in addition, all the regulations and information about the sport can be found within the handbook.


The only officially required clothing for trials is a helmet and knee length leather boots, but the practical implications from a comfort and safety point of view are competition clothing and gloves all of which fit tighter than normal day wear and therefore are less likely to catch on sticks and rocks and give better protection.

For motocross the minimum requirements are helmet, goggles, leather boots, gloves, chest and back protection by way of separate body armour or built in soft shell protection.

Taking Part

You’ve got the bike, you’ve got the kit, you’ve got the licence and you’ve chosen your first event be it a trial or a motocross, so what happens next?

Your entry to the event has to be made in advance. For trials all entries are made on-line through the ACU ( on line entering system which is very easy and where payment to the event is taken via debit or credit card. You simply scroll through the listing of Upcoming Trials, find the event in which you are interested and go from there. Generally the listing will show before entries are open and there will always be a closing date, usually a day or so before the event. The event regulations will be listed with detail of what you can expect i.e. is it on road or all off-road; how many laps there will be, how many sections, start time, venue etc

Then you simply turn up about an hour before the scheduled start time, register your attendance with the secretary and collect your riding number, line up for the pre-event briefing, then it’s off you go.

If it’s your first event do what you can and if you feel that you are out of your depth and perhaps want to ride only some of the sections, or perhaps a fewer number of laps, then do just that. Ultimately you will get to complete a trial and nobody minds if you find it all a bit testing. We’ve all been there and this friendly sport will never make you feel out of place.

However, if you’ve managed to ride all the sections and completed every lap, then great. That’s a significant achievement and you can give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

With regard to motocross, there’s no set means of entering the event; various clubs operate in different ways. Some insist on pre-entering on-line, others take your entry verbally or by e-mail or by text or by voicemail and you pay on the day. So to give an accurate description is difficult. It’s best to contact the club organising the event in which you wish to ride and follow their requirements and class structures.


Some clubs and local retail organisations offer a coaching/training facility where ACU approved and licenced instructors teach the basics of the sport, both trials and motocross. Some may have access to machines that beginners can use and these try out days can be most useful before you consider whether to take up the sport and before investing money in both machines and equipment.

Again, the clubs/retail organisations that can offer this facility are shown elsewhere in the advertisments.