Milton Buzzard MCC
Milton Buzzard MCC

What type of bike to get

This page is very much in progress. There are many items which still need verifying and [are highlighted] as such.



- 2 stroke of 4 stroke?: [this info needs verifying]

- 2-stroke:

- simpler, lighter and cheaper to look after because less moving parts)

- Can be a bit more "peaky" in terms of power delivery e.g. nothing, nothing, whoops, all the demons at once! Trials bikes are tuned differently from motocross bikes in that 2 stroke motocross bikes tend to have the distinctive bulgy exhaust pipes/resonance chambers and are tuned to make a LOT of power in a very narrow rev range, but with nothing much happening outside that. Conversely trials bikes are tuned for a "flatter" power delivery so you maybe get less peak bhp, but you get ALL OF THEM *immediately*, which is how they can accelerate like they do from a standing start, straight into leaping on/off things. It's a different kind of animal and can take a bit of getting used to, but can also be immensely fun :) Trial bikes won't generally have as much power in the higher rev range since they're not intended for sustained high rpm. Short, sharp bursts of power is what they're intended for.

- 4 stroke:

- more refined, smoother power delivery, less peaky, but more moving parts which means more stuff to go wrong from being repeadedly banged against tree stumps and rocks, dropped and slid down hillsides. They may also be heavier. Also tuned for a flatter power band (e.g. vs a 4-stroke motorcross bike) but may give more manageable power down low.


- Modern or vintage?: [this info needs verifying]

- vintage bikes (e.g. fantic, triumph) can be very capable machines and can be fantastically cool and very pretty to look at, but getting spares might prove expensive/difficult and maintenance procedures might be less well documented [this info needs verifying]

- what else?


- Kick or electric start:

- electric start: needs a battery (additional weight, cost and stuff to maintain) but super convenient, especially if you have injuries, are older or have mobility issues

- kick start: lighter, simpler but requires a degree of physical exertion not everyone can/wants to do.


- Engine CC:

- More is not always better especially as new rider - You might be thinking "go big and I'll grow into it" but that doesn't always work out as intended. 250+cc bikes can have quite a LOT of power and it can be overwhelming/counterproductive as a new rider. The fear of accidentally unleashing all the demons and launching yourself onto the A5 when you're just trying to master tight turns can actually be offputting and much of this is about confidence so too much power can actually make things more difficult, especially with slow control.


If you're someone who is ok with (or even likes to) change bikes periodically then perhaps start with something smaller like an 80 or 125cc (depending on your physical size/weight) and work up to something bigger at a later date. If you're a big dude then fair enough, maybe you need a little more cc but still maybe don't go for the biggest 330cc monster you can find as it can easily work against you.


However if you're someone who gets emotionally attached to your bikes and doesn't like to sell/change them, then there's some validity to getting something bigger to "grow into" but perhaps don't go bigger than 250cc and look into options like reducing the compression ratio to moderate the power output to something a bit more manageable [check what these are actually called], and/or get a "slow" throttle if one is available for your bike. A smaller front sprocket may also help tame the beast. Don't worry, there will still be way more power than you can make use of as a beginner. As someone who gets very attached to their bikes and hence bought a 280cc 2-stroke thinking I'd "grow into it", it's very peaky and is *way* too much power for me. 2 years in it still terrifies me, and so I use a throttle stop. Big cc wasn't my smartest move, not particularly recommended, though on the's the closest i've come to teleporting.



- Different makes:

- Beta, Gasgas, Sherco, TRS, Montesa [need input on this]


- Can't I just use my motocross bike?

- Unfortunately not. Part of the terms of our lease is that the bikes ridden need to be trials bikes with a low front mudguard, so motocross bikes wouldn't comply.




Thrills and spills:

Please note: You can and absolutely WILL fall off. You and the bike will no doubt end up in spills and sliding down rocks and hills together in an awkward jumble of flesh and steel on numerous occasions, and you know what, that's totally fine, it happens to every one of us, regardless of skill level. Fortunately trials riding generally happens at very low speeds (2-3mph) so whilst bumps and bruises are common it's quite rare for anyone to get seriously injured, especially at beginner levels. Since you're not riding alone, there's also normally someone right there to help you out and make sure you're ok too.


The bikes are generally quite flexible and are surprisingly tolerant of being dropped. Because of this mostly the bikes come out unscathed too so taking a tumble is generally not a big deal. You just dust yourself off, take a few mins to catch your breath and get back on the horse - unlike with motocross where one wrong landing and you're rebuilding the entire front end and/or spending 6 weeks in traction. Brake and clutch levers tend to be the most common casualties but they're cheap and easily replaced trackside, so it's probably a good idea to carry one of each in your spares box.


Confidence to try things comes with knowing you won't get seriously hurt so there's no shame in armouring up as long as it doesn't hinder your movement. Gear up accordingly and you'll be fine :-)


Some of the best riders in the club fall off a LOT, because they're constantly pushing the boundaries of what they can do. If you aren't falling off now and then are you even trying?



Our location:

Mount Farm Trials Park

Milton Keynes


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