Trial machines a-z

Trial Machines – A-Z

This is a TRIALS GURU section devoted to trial machines in alphabetical order.

With the co-operation of the Yoomee Archive, which holds a substantial collection of original sales literature dating back to 1965, we are able to showcase trials machines of yesteryear. Maybe you owned or still own one of the featured bikes? Let us know.

This is not intended to be a total glossary or definitive model guide of all machines from every manufacturer, but we hope to cover the popular and not so popular machines as much as we possibly can.

Please note that Bultaco and Honda have their own sections as do the heavyweight AJS & Matchless machines of before 1965.

(All photographs are copyright of photographer and are used on Trials Guru with their permission).


AJS: 37A-T – United Kingdom

Produced by AJS at Andover in Hampshire from 1968-1970, the ’37A-T’ was not sold in large numbers, reputed to be only 98 units, management having concentrated on the motocross effort with the Y4;Y5 and later 410 Stormer machines. The AJS used the 37A iron barrelled Villiers 246cc two-stroke motor for this model.

Noteable riders: Malcolm Davis; Tony Davis; Ray Sayer; Norman Edgar; Derek Edgar.

Full article on the AJS 37A-T HERE

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ALFER: – Spain

In business from 1982 to 2011, Alfer was a Spanish manufacturer of enduro and trials machines, based in Sant Cugat del Vallès and founded by Francesc Almirall and Ramon Fernández. Hence the name ALFER (ALmirall/FERnandez).

Noteable riders: Lluis Gallach

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ALPHA: – France

From 1981, the Alpha was produced by Jacques Coll in Saint Esteve, near Perpignon, Southern France, under the name Alpha Motors S.A. The engines used were originally Honda TL200 and XL 125. They were upgraded taking capacity up significantly. The air inlet was located under the petrol tank near the head stock. Single shock rear suspension. Models produced were named the 240 and 210T. The first model appeared in 1981 which was a twinshock, with a modified XLS 125 engine, in 200 or 250cc versions. After 1983 the Alpha appeared as a monoshock with same engine in 250cc. They never used the Honda TLR 200 engine.

In 1989 Coll produced a 252 ‘Micra’ trial machine which was air-cooled, single shock and a 239cc six-speed engine of their own manufacture.

Noteable riders: Thierry Girard

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ALTA-SUZUKI: – United Kingdom

Built in Swansea, Wales by Alta Motorcycles, it utilised the 118cc Suzuki TC-120 engine from the ‘Trail Cat’ trail model. The motor had three gears, but utilised a hi-low range combination, giving effectively six-speeds. Changing from high to low was achieved by clicking a lever just above the gearbox, which could be done with the heel of the rider’s boot. It featured a primary kick start. Bore and stroke was 54 x 55mm. Wheelbase was 51.5 inches. Rear wheel featured a rubber ‘cush-drive’ unit.

Carburation was handled by a 20mm Mikuni instrument. Claimed output was 13 BHP at 7,300 RPM. Oil injection lubrication holding 2 pints of lube and a 2 gallon glassfibre tank seat unit finished the package off. It was reported at the time that the steering was not ‘neutral’ with the chassis rising and falling on lock to lock turning of the handlebars.

Notable riders: Alan Lampkin; Martin Lampkin; John Hemingway.

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APRILIA: – Italy

Founded in 1945 in Noale, Italy by Alberto Beggio and is still manufacturing. The company went in to trials machine manufacturing in the 1981 with their TR320/340 model, using Hiro engines and a 50cc version with Minarelli. The most popular being the later TX240/300 twinshock and TX311, TXR312 monoshocks, followed by the more aggressive ‘Climber’ series models all using the Austrian Rotax power-plant which commenced in 1989.

Noteable riders: Jack Galloway; Gerald Richardson; Diego Bosis (1987-1990); Tommi Ahvala; Phillipe Berlatier

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ARMSTRONG/CCM: – United Kingdom

Armstrong Motorcycles bought out the CCM brand, founded by Alan Clews (Clews Competition Motorcycles) in 1971 and also fielded a road-race team as well as producing the CMT trials machines, ridden by Steve Saunders in the early 1980s. Using proprietory Hiro, introduced in 1981 and latterly Rotax engines. In Canada they were rebranded as Can-Am, the machines built under licence by Armstrong-CCM (for CCM see under C) along with enduro machines which used the Austrian Rotax engines. The Italian made Grimeca wheel hubs and Marzocchi front suspension featured throughout the ranges.

Noteable riders: Nick Jefferies; Steve Saunders; Gerald Richardson; John Lampkin.

Armstrong/CCM in use:

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Work In Progress, more A-Z coming very soon!

The Premier Trial Website – Recording the History of the Sport 'Established 2014'

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