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A Trial is an event in which the skill and regularity of the riders form the basis of the results.  Sections are included within the course, where the skill of the rider negotiating them is observed and penalties given. In addition, a time limit is set for part of, or for the whole course. The course may consist of cross-country terrain (minor roads, country lanes and woodland tracks, etc).


• Riders must be a paid member of a recognised Trials club. Entries may be divided into four classes, i.e. Masters, Expert, Intermediate and Clubman.  

• A rider may only compete at National events in the class that the rider normally rides in at Club and Regional event level, unless prior written permission is granted by the Clerk of the Course, who will get written consent from all participating Club Chairman.



The verification of the machine will take place on the site of the meeting. On request of the Technical Steward (Scrutineer), the rider must present themselves to the technical validation. There is no restriction on the make or type of motorcycle entered except that:

a) At all times during the event the rider will be responsible for keeping his machine inconformity to the rules.

b) An effective silencer complying with the General Competition Rules, in respect to noise levels, is to be fitted.

c) The width of handlebars is: not less than 600mm and not more than 850mm.

d) All handlebar levers (clutch, brake, etc.) must be in principle ball ended (diameter of this ball to be at least 16mm). These ends must be permanently fixed and form and integral part of the lever.

e) Exposed handlebar ends must be plugged with a solid material or rubber covered.

f) Throttle control must be self closing when not held by hand.

g) Footrests may be of a folding type but in this case must be fitted with a device which automatically returns them to the normal position.

h) All motorcycles must have at least 2 efficient brakes (one on each wheel) operated independently.

i) Only standard trials tyres normally available from commercial and retail sources are permitted. The overall width of the tyre when fitted must not exceed 115mm.

j) Competition number must be clearly displayed and must not be less that 70mm in height.  Organisers of the first National event of the year are to allocate numbers for all riders. Masters numbers to be determined by the order placing at the end of the previous year.

k) All riders shall be obliged to wear any riding bib supplied by the event organiser.

l) All motorcycles are to be fitted with a fully functional kill switch.

m) Should a motorcycle become mechanically or otherwise unserviceable during a trial, swapping of  the motorcycle during a trial is allowed, whether own or other rider’s machine. This is subject to the replacement bike passing scrutiny, and the Course Marshall approving the change.  The rider is responsible to transfer his riding number board on to the replacement machine.



• During practicing and competition the rider must wear protective clothing of cloth or leather and knee-length boots.  Wearing of gloves, leg and elbow guards, though strongly recommend, are optional.   

• It is compulsory for all participants taking part in practice and competition to wear a protective helmet. The helmet must be properly fastened, be of a good fit, and be in good condition.  

• Only motorcycle crash helmets or Trials helmets of approved design can be worn. The helmet must have a chin strap type ‘retention mechanism’.



• The course of a National Championship shall consist of not less than 12 sections, which must be ridden with an appropriate number of laps to make the total number of sections not less than 48.

• The course for Regional and Club events shall consist of not less than 8 sections, which must be ridden an appropriate number of lap to make the total number of sections not less than 40.

 • The course shall be set on any type of cross-country terrain (minor roads, country lanes, and woodland tracks etc. may be included).

• The route should be in one direction only. If, in exceptional circumstances, two-way traffic is unavoidable, special safety measures must be taken, e.g. by separating the track or positioning of Observers.



• To be classified as a finisher the rider’s machine must have travelled the whole distance of the course under its own power or the exertion of its rider unless the organisers have authorised other assistance or authorised deviation.

• The position of the start and finish of the course should be clearly defined in the supplementary regulations, failing this, to be when the organiser stipulates the event starting time and finishes when the rider signs off.


• All riders must sign on at registration prior to the start.

• The start time and total scheduled time for the event shall be included in the Supplementary Regulations and/or advised to the riders at the rider’s briefing. The schedule time for an event must include the overall time limit and a suitable penalty time.

• In a case where the course of the event is considered dangerous or particularly difficult, the Clerk of the Course may increase the maximum allowed time by 60 minutes. In such a case the Clerk of the Course must decide to extend the overall time before 50% of the event allocated time has passed. The Clerk of the Course must inform all the riders of the alteration.

• All riders will have the same start time as that of the event. The rider’s finishing time is that time at which is when the rider signs off.


Unauthorised practicing on the course and on the sections prior (for 2 weeks) or during the event is forbidden under penalty of disqualification.


• The number of sections shall be stated in the Supplementary Regulations and/or advices to the riders at rider’s briefing.

• Each section must be clearly numbered in consecutive order and the rider must attempt the sections in numerical order. The event organiser can specify unique starting sections for each rider class, this must to be clearly communicated in the Supplementary Regulations and/or at rider’s briefing.

• Each section shall have signs clearly identifying the location of both the “Section Start” and “Section End”. The outer boundaries on each side, the sections shall be marked using hazard barrier tape, except where a natural boundary exists.

• Each section shall consist of a series of gates, not less than 1.2 meters wide. Each gate will consist of markers red on the right and blue on the left, the number of gates per section can vary at the discretion of the trial setter.  In the event of a lower standard line being set, e.g. for expert, intermediate and clubman these gates can be widened by yellow, green and white markers respectively and shall be specified in the Supplementary Regulations. The same colour coding shall be used throughout the trial.

• A machine is considered as being in a section when the front wheel spindle has passed the “Section Start” sign and until when the front wheel spindle passes the “Section End” sign.

• A rider may only enter a section when called upon to do so by the Observer.

• Out of bound area within a section must be clearly marked with tape bunting which is securely fastened. Where appropriate tape boundaries must be between 100mm and 300mm above ground level.

• Should a section become dangerous, it may be withdrawn at the discretion of the Clerk of the Course.



• For each minute, or part there of, that the rider exceeds the overall event time a penalty of 1 point shall apply.

• A rider who exceeds the maximum penalty time of an event shall be disqualified.


a) 1 Fault: 1 point

b) 2 Faults: 2 points

c) 3 or more Faults: 3 points

d) Failure: 5 points

e) Missing a section: 10 points

f) Not attempting a section: 10 points



• The machine is moving backwards with the rider footing.

• The machine touches the ground with the front or rear wheel outside of a boundary.

• The rider or machine breaks, removes, knocks down or riders over a marker of boundary tape with one of his wheels before the front wheel spindle passes a “Section End” sign.

• The rider dismounts from the machine and he has both feet on the ground on the same side of the machine.

• The rider does not have both hands on the handlebar when he foots.

• The rider receives outside assistance.

• The rider or his representative changes the condition of a section.

• The rider or his representative enters a section without the invitation of the Observer.

• Failure to enter a section once invited by the Observer

• The engine of the machine stops whilst the rider is leaning or any part of the machine, with the exception of the tyres, touches the ground without forward motion.

• The handlebar of the motorcycle touches the ground.

• The motorcycle does a complete loop, crossing its own tracks with both wheels.

• The motorcycle traverses any other class markers in the wrong direction.

All failures must be signalled by the Observer.

Only the greatest penalty, as defined above, shall be counted in a Section. Additional point may be added to the section score for:

• The rider or his representative disputes the Observer’s decision: + 5 points

• The rider refuses to leave a section after a failure: +5 points

 • Not attempting the sections in numerical order: +20 points


• If there is any question concerning penalties, the rider will always be given the benefit of the doubt.

• Where a rider questions an Observer’s ruling then it is rider’s is responsibility to ensure that the disagreement is noted on the Observer’s score sheet. The rider may not dispute the score with the Observer. Any disagreement will be dealt with by the Clerk of the Course at the end of the event.

• Any penalty awarded by the Observer which is subsequently agreed by the Clerk of the Course shall be deemed a statement of fact.



A rider may claim a baulk if his passage is impeded by an outside source, provide that the rider stops immediately and declares a baulk to the Observer. The rider must proceed to the start of the section and re-ride it. Any marks incurred in the section prior to the baulk will be ignored.



A rider will be excluded for any of the following:

a) Riding in a manner that will endanger the safety of officials, competitors and/or spectators.

b) Riding a motorcycle at any point at an event venue without a helmet.

c) Practicing any section before an event.

d) Abusive conduct of any sort towards an official, rider or spectator.

e) Use of a banned substance (regardless of sanctions specified in the Anti-Doping Code).

f) Failure to sign the finishing control sheet.



• Organisers will establish class winners for each class.

• The results are decided on by the total number of marks lost, the winner being the rider who looses the least number of marks.  

• In the case of a tie the following sequential assessments will be applied until the tie is broken:

• greatest number of cleans;

• the least number of five;

• the greatest number of one’s (1);

• the greatest number of two’s (2);

• the greatest number of three’s (3);

• the number of clean sections before the first fault;

• the best first lap.

• Failing this a tie will be declared and the point scored accordingly.

• Results shall be posted as soon as possible after the event and shall remain provisional for a period of one hour after which time they will be declared as final.



The aim of the Championship is to declare a South African Observed Trials National Champion in the following classes:

• Masters

• Experts

• Intermediate

• Clubman



Points for the South African Observed Trials Championship will be scored for each competitor with all National Events counting towards the Championship.

Ties will be resolved as per Event Results above.

Championship point scoring per class is as follows:

• 1st 20 Points

• 2nd 17 Points

• 3rd 15 Points

• 4th 13 Points

• 5th 11 Points

• 6th 10 Points

• 7th 9 Points

• 8th 8 Points

• 9th 7 Points

• 10th 6 Points

• 11th 5 Points

• 12th 4 Points

• 13th 3 Points

• 14th 2 Points

• 15th 1 Point