What is Trials?

Trials can be defined as follows: “A trial is a test of riding skill and balance over a variety of observed natural obstacles with riders incurring penalties for footing or stopping”. This can be riding up a stream, grassy hill climbs, over rock slabs etc. Officials are on hand at observed sections to record the riders’ performance and the scores are aggregated by the Event Secretary to determine the winner.

This is recognised as the most affordable form of motor cycle sport, with the prices of bikes ranging from second hand at £500 to over £5000 for the latest models. The bikes used are specially manufactured for this branch of the sport and are road legal, although most events are completely off-road and therefore do not need to be licensed. You are advised, however, to get your bike insured against theft and keep it secured in a locked garage. Off-road bikes seem to attract some unwelcome visitors!

Engine sizes range from 125 cc to 320 cc, although the optimum is considered to be 250. They have low gearing, responsive two-stroke engines and special soft ‘grippy’ tyres and will ‘go up the side of a house!’ Indeed the World Champion, Britain’s’ Dougie Lampkin, has been reported as having gone up a vertical wall over 3 metres in height! The rider controls the bike whilst standing up, for which reason it has a very low small seat and specially positioned footrests. This of course does not make for comfort when any distance has to be covered on the road.

Undoubtedly the most prestigious event in Scotland is the Edinburgh & District Motor Clubs’ Scottish Six Days Trial that takes place each May. Up until 1976 it used to start from Edinburgh, but these days it is centred in Fort William and regularly has an international entry of top riders. Scottish Auto Cycle Union clubs hold trials most weekends throughout Scotland, culminating in Scottish Championships which are determined after a series of events.

Rider’s ages can vary from Pre Cadets at 4 years to Senior Citizen Adults; each ride in their own class, with the course laid out to suit the skill levels present. For further information contact one of the clubs listed on the clubs page


Awaiting new version

Trials – How do I get Started?

  • Join a club that is close to you or one which organises Trials.
  • Find out about training and if possible attend a Trials School.
  • Purchase your machine, riding suit, helmet, boots etc.
  • Apply for a Competition Licence – this must to be through your Club.
  • Contact Organising Clubs for entry forms.
  • Complete the entry forms correctly and return them to the event secretary.
  • Follow any final instructions sent to you, be on time and enjoy your Trial.

YOUTH AGE GROUPS – as per ACU Handbook

  • A Class born between 01.01.2003 and 31.12.2004
  • B Class born between 01.01.2005 and 31.12.2008
  • C Class born between 01.01.2008 and 31.12.2010
  • D Class born between 01.01.2011 and 31.12.2014
  • Note: To ride a Combustion engined machine the rider must have attained 6 years.
  • E Class Minimum age – 4 years and born after 01.01.2015.

Note: The rider must have attained 4 years at the date of the competition.

General information on classes.

  • Class E Start at 4 years – Electric Bikes up to 2 bhp
    Minimum age for Combustion Engine licence is 6 years.
  • Class D
    Class Medium Wheel 80cc combustion engine, or Electric up to 7 bhp measured at the rear wheel
  • Class C
    Standard Wheel 80cc combustion engine, or Electric up to 7 bhp measured at the rear wheel.
  • Class B
    125cc Mono or 250cc Twinshock** combustion engine, or Electric up to 10 bhp measured at the rear wheel.
  • Class A
    125cc Mono or 250cc Twinshock** combustion engine, or Electric up to 10 bhp measured at the rear wheel.


Riders who reach the age of 12 in 2020 (ie born after 31.12 2007) will have the option of either:

Moving to the B class in the year in which they reach 12 yrs on a machine up to 125cc (and being eligible for B Class points)

NB : The rider must be 12 years of age at the date of competition to ride a machine of 125cc Mono

OR Remaining in the C Class for another year on a machine of up to 80cc and retaining eligibility for C Class points.

Protective Clothing and Equipment

Clothing must cover legs and body and it is recommended that arms should also be covered. Boots of approximately knee length must be worn. Leather, rubber, plastic or safety type Wellington boots only will be allowed.

Helmets, which must be in compliance with the Road Traffic Act, must be worn by riders at all times when riding the machine.

All Youth competitors must have clothing covering arms and wear gloves covering hands and fingers. The wearing of gloves is recommended for all competitors.

Before purchasing any of these items take advice from established riders and club officials.

SACU Trials Calendar 2020 – now available online.

Regulations & Marking Guides

Trials Standing Regs 2020 SACU Trials Marking Guide – February 2012