Tuesday 8 January 2019

World Domination; Not as easy as you'd think!

You’d think it would be easy wouldn’t you? I mean World Domination can’t be that hard? Especially as I’m limiting myself to the world of Classic Trials. I did decide that traditional Bond Villain style, total World Domination involving stolen nuclear submarines, laser firing satellites or deadly killer viruses might actually be quite tricky to pull off, so I decided to be selective….

So I get my entry in for the Clee Hill Trial on 20th January, acknowledgement email received and my name appeared on the entry list online, all well and good! Still only eight of us in my class, so that’s only seven people to beat (or at the very least I’m assured of eighth place if I manage to wobble all the way round) and as it seems I have been appointed official guide for the five other Hertfordshire TRF members who have entered, on the basis I actually know how to read a road book! I’m sure if necessary I could lose them somewhere in the wilds of Shropshire!

Then the bombshell, It seems my tyres are not allowed!

Some background is required; when KTM designed the Freeride, which is after all an Enduro/Trial Bike hybrid, they worked in conjunction with Maxxis tyres to produce a tyre specifically for the bike, the Trialmaxx. Now to me I just assumed this was a trials tyre, they certainly look like trials tyres and as I haven’t owned a bike with trials tyres since 1989, why would I think any different?

Back then It was a Yamaha XT250 I owned that was shod with Taiwanese made Cheng Shin Trials Tyres, which despite the dodgy reputation of Chinese tyres back then (has that changed?) were actually really good tyres for trail riding and of course dirt cheap. And the funniest thing is Cheng Shin Tyres (CST) are still producing tyres today in Taiwan under the brand name of…..

Yes you guessed it…. Maxxis!

Anyway it turns out the Maxxis Trialmaxx is not “just a trials tyre” and in fact is also an enduro/trials hybrid. Mainly down to the fact that the tread blocks are spaced further apart than a “proper trials tyre” the specifications for which are laid down in the ACU regulations and this gives it a performance advantage, especially when muddy. IThe Maxxis has more prominent side blocks, that would offer better grip in mud. I had sniffed out a rumour that whilst this was a potential problem, everyone seemed to think it would be OK and most events allowed them to be used.

And then on the 3rd January I spot that the new Motorcycle Coordinator for the Association of Classic Trials Clubs  (ACTC) has clarified the regulations and absolutely, definitely declared the Trialmaxx as non-compliant. 

The advice being that anyone who presents with these tyres (or other non compliant tyre like an enduro or motocross tyre) at scrutineering (machine safety check) should be moved into “Class X” which basically means you are allowed to ride the event but don’t get scored and therefore don’t appear in the results… not exactly in line with the World domination plan.

It seems that the weapon of choice for classic trials or LDTs is the Pirelli MT43, itself not a traditional trials tyre, which to be honest are far too soft for long distance events involving lots of road work, the Pirelli has a harder rubber compound but importantly the block spacing and tread depth all still comply with the ACU regulations.

But before admitting defeat and shelling out for new tyres, I contacted the Clerk of the Course for the Clee Hill Trial to clarify things, as the supplementary regulations seemed to imply some differences from ACTC regulations. It turns out I could turn up with the Trialmaxx’s and as a beginner I would most probably be allowed to ride but if my fellow competitors objected I would be moved into Class X. Not very satisfactory to turn up on the day before knowing my fate, so I decided to bite the bullet and change tyres.

I had also read that you only need a rear trials tyre so I asked this question too? The result is I have been allowed to stick with the front Trialmaxx as a compromise if I fit a “proper” trials tyre on the rear, so that has a least saved me £42, the cost of a front MT43.

So a Pirelli MT43 has been duly ordered; watch this space, World Domination is back on track....

So how is the Myasthenia coping with all this stress? Funnily enough apart from the ever present fatigue, which in itself has improved since my angioplasty, other symptoms seem to be pretty much under control at present. I just wish the same could be said for the side effects I get from the drugs... no fun at all!

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