TRIALS BIKE DAMAGE WOES! I probably wouldn’t bother writing this long post except that I am semi-laid up due to a cold or flu thing (not Covid … RAT negative). The issue getting me down is the amount of damage and wear I keep doing to my trials bike… to the point that I feel like quitting because there must be something wrong with me to inflict such carnage! It isn’t sustainable! I guess the purpose of this post is to ask for advice, and how do people avoid doing so much damage? What’s wrong with me?? What should I do differently?? By the way for those who don’t know me I’m 61 yrs old, used to ride enduro when young, did no riding for nearly 30 yrs, got back into dirt bikes 7 yrs ago and got in with Barry Morris’s group and their “technical” riding. Had a hard time of it – lots of crashing and minor injuries etc. Retired and moved to a property 2.5 yrs ago, and since then have taken trials more seriously, hugely helped and enthused by Neil’s online coaching. I am constantly scratching, busting and wearing out my bike – I think much more so than other guys. In 18 months I’ve taken my near new TRS One R 300 from mint, showroom condition to a beaten up mess I’d be embarrassed to sell. The sticking point right at the moment is that I have repeatedly bent my muffler and had to straighten its mounts, but now the mounts have torn in three places and I will have to find someone who is pretty good at fiddly aluminium welding to fix it. At nearly $700 you don’t want to have to buy a replacement muffler! Everyone says that trials is a relatively inexpensive motorsport but for me lately it seems pretty expensive! In recent history I have had to replace my CDI, I broke my airbox dropping the bike on a pointy rock when trying to ride up a steep gully slab. I’ve stripped out both rear bashplate bolts and had to bodge up oversized replacements. My linkage is really worn and I am replacing it. I seem to replace throttle bodies often. Shock servicing costs hundreds. Front and rear fender cracked, new sticker kit already getting very scratched. I replaced my carbon fork, swing arm and header pipe guards because they were getting so smashed. My radiator sensor has just died. Having taken off the exhaust, to me the top end looks really good but at 240 hours consensus is it’s time to replace the piston and rings so that will no doubt be a few hundred $$ and to add salt to the wound it cost $265 to replace my rear Michelin X11 tyre!! That’s nuts!! Fortunately I have Apico Flex levers … they’ve saved me hundreds of $ in broken levers! To be fair my property, where I do most of my practice and riding, is infested with sharp edged pointy slippery rocks! It’s very unforgiving. I suspect that when I am struggling at something and get out of shape, rather than bailing early, I tend to keep trying until it’s gone too far. I drop my bike much more often than the other guys. I accuse myself of having a balance problem – and/or maybe it could be the arthritis in my hands, wrists, elbows … subconsciously not wanting to hold the bike and cause pain – I dunno, just a theory. Also I tend to try stuff above my ability, or outside my comfort zone. I always want to “have a crack” at hard things when others might sit it out and watch – the guys tell me that I’m a bit like the Eveready bunny, keeping on trying again and again, always ready to keep riding and do the next thing. I think it’s because I feel that the harder you try and the more you do, the faster you learn. And also having other guys to ride with really energizes me and I want to make the most of my time with them (I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to practise alone). I took some solace listening to Ryan Young’s Trials Australia podcast when he talked about his early years and emphasised that he “destroyed so many bikes” – that made me feel a little better, but I’m not rewarded by such progression! Anyway, that’s all. If anyone’s been bothered to read all of this long whinge, any advice (or sympathy haha!) would be appreciated. My own analysis is that I’m naturally rather rough and clumsy, plus now my age makes me stiffer and awkward and slower to learn … but there’s still a young man inside that enjoys riding and pushing things hard (a dangerous combination). I doubt that I’d want to keep riding in a more conservative way. I just have to decide whether it’s justifiable. Thanks for reading!
Posted by Andrew von Berky at 2022-05-25 01:55:38 UTC