The Seven Trials Machines that 

Changed Classic Trials History...


The seven trials bikes that changed the course of Classic Motorcycle trials history up to the first of the Mono bikes the Yamaha Majesty that had its first win in a trial on the 24th of July 1983 in Derbyshire.


Lets start the story with what I feel set the trend to most trials bikes being of the swing-arm suspension type by the late fifties.



A Very young John Brittain aboard the Royal Enfield.


The culprit for this was not the McCandless brothers developing their system for BSA but Royal Enfield as their first series trials bike had swinging arm suspension fitted when a very young John Brittian  took over the works ride from his Father.

A lot of professional trials riders of the fifties were reluctant to change from their rigid rear-ended machines right up to the middle of the decade.

But by the first months of the sixties every trials bike ridden to win were fitted with this suspension system. And by this time the leaders in suspension units Girling and Armstrong had taken a serious look. To the way these units performed at a better rate.

So Royal Enfield becomes the first of my Seven. For the suspended machine.


Second on my list has to go to the humble Triumph Cub, why I hear you



1963 TR20 Triumph Trials Cub.

Well although there were a lot of factory two stroke machines of small stature in the fifties, It was to my mind the Triumph Cub that started with the first win by a factory rider on one of these small four-stroke machines that persuaded the major manufacturers of large four-stroke machines, to realise that a smaller lighter machine was probably the way to now go.. And Even BSA developed the first C15 machine in the trials field and the production road bike came afterwards.

So the Number two the Triumph Cub…


Third up has to be the guy who tried to buck the trend, of lighter weight bikes of a smaller capacity, by just making one of the works heavyweight big capacity machines lighter.

Sammy Miller of coarse …And the Ariel GOV132



Sam with one of the GOV132'S At the Museum...


And it was this trend in later years of, as we now know it, the Pre-65 years. To open the floodgates to what can now be achieved with modern machinery and techniques to achieve outstanding master pieces of engineering technology.

And all started it is said by this man Sammy Miller, although other factory bikes had also been through the lightning treadmill.


So moving on to number four and I take some responsibility in this



The Bultaco now restored in the miller Museum...


It is that man Sammy Miller again. For when in 1964 he was persuaded to develop a trials machine for Bultaco and then start to ride the machine and win, within a couple of seasons the Spanish armada had truly taken over and replaced not only every bigger capacity machine but most of the lightweight bikes still available to buy too.


Number five has to be a machine that was designed and mostly built by another perfectionist and star rider in the scene at the time.



The Mick Andrews inspired Yamaha "Majesty"...

The bike was the machine developed for Yamaha by Mick Andrews ( And "John Shirt")...That later became the Majesty and then with full factory support from Yamaha the very first Mono, shock suspension trial bike.


Six and we are moving on a pace now to the so-called Pre65 period when the modern bikes had tended to reinvent trials riding in a more modern fashioned.



Armac Cub the new  Pre65... machine...

And older riders with cash to burn wanted to go back to their routes, or to the machines they had watched while growing up as a child. And thought they would now enjoy a retro machine to ride. But starting with an old clapped out sixties bike was not the route taken, and if you had the money you could buy almost everything to build a brand new bike but with this nineteen sixties feel but with a machine quite capable of winning a trial no matter how difficult if you also had the skill. The machine jumped on was the McDonald Triumph Cub, with everything new bar for the Triumph name.

Number Seven has to be the machine that has taken mostly over the Mc Cub


mantle over the past few seasons.




And that is back to a small-engined two stroke. That was shelved all those years ago by an ailing British motorcycle industry, but then revived by one man the late Jim Pickering. Yes we are talking about the so named “Drayton BSA Bantam”…

I could go on but that is the seven, that I see important in my eyes.

If you think different please let me know.


You Know it will continue....

 So More later a always...