Vintage Rides and Pre-57 Trials

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Would you like to try your hand at riding a really old motorcycle, or take part in an demo trial designed especially for traditional off-roaders? The VMCC have arranged opportunities for both – but be quick and get your entry in soon…

If you’ve never ridden a flat-tank or vintage motorcycle then the VMCC’s Training Day has been set up just so you can have a crack at it. This fifth event will be held on Bank Holiday Monday, May 26th 2008, at the twisty sprint circuit at Curborough near Litchfield in Staffordshire.

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1927 BSA 350

The Vintage Training Day gives both VMCC members and non-members the opportunity to experience the type of machine that they might not normally get the chance to ride. You might think twice about taking a dealer’s bike for an extended test ride, especially if you’ve never ridden a girder-forked, hand-change machine before! So the Training Day gives you the opportunity to unravel the intricacies of vintage machinery without any pressure, and with tuition and guidance where needed. Owners of 1920s and 1930s hand-change machines will be on hand to give instruction in the art of riding their P&Js – and in the friendly atmosphere, away from the demands of modern traffic, you’ll soon discover that lever throttles aren’t quite so scary as you thought…

Lesson One: The bike needs to be *off* the stand. Lesson Two: Don't put your sunglasses down the neck of your t-shirt. Just don't.

1925 Indian Chief

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James Hewing, CEO of the VMCC explains the thinking behind this event. ‘The Vintage Training Day is a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to the joys of vintage motorcycling and is very much in keeping with the ethos of the Club. In this way we can help to ensure that the oldest machines are learned about, preserved and most importantly, used, by a new generation of motorcyclists.’

Best bring cycle clips as well...

1928 Douglas EW

Previous Vintage Training Days have been a roaring success, so much so that the VMCC plan to hold at least three regional training days in 2009, in the north, midlands and the south of the UK. But for 2008 there is just the one date, and places are limited so you need to apply for a place ASAP. You also need to hold a full UK motorcycle driving licence and be kitted out with sensible riding gear including helmet, gloves and boots. The entry fee is £15, with an extra £3 charge for day membership of the VMCC if you’re not already a member. Entry forms are available from 01283 540557 or via Entries close on May 16th 2008 – so don’t hang about!


Meanwhile, one of the big attractions of the VMCC’s Festival of 1000 Bikes is the trials demonstration, which takes place alongside the circuit parades and grass track displays at Mallory Park over the weekend of July 12th and 13th 2008.

The Taverners section of the VMCC are organising a classic trial on each day of the weekend and are ideally suited to the task; the Taverners have been running a winter trials series in and around Leicestershire for some 40 years.

Discounts available for monochrome entrants. Probably.

Les Archer airborne on a Manx Norton

Their events are deliberately laid out to suit the ‘Big Old Bikes’ which have fallen out of competitive favour in most classic trials events in recent years. So the Taverners’ trials are usually restricted to Pre-57 solo motorcycles, and are divided into four classes to keep things fair but competitive.

Pre65 Stuff stuff on

Machines should be of the period, although some mechanical upgrades are acceptable – such as concentric carbs, electronic ignitions and non-standard fork internals. You’ll need to look at the full regs and entry form to check the fine print, and will be required to wear a helmet while taking part.

The Taverners anticipate a healthy interest in the trials but entries are necessarily restricted to 50 per day, because of the close proximity of spectators and the space available. ‘To make the trials as interesting as possible to spectators’ say the organisers ‘we have decided that entries will be granted on an oldest bike basis. Hopefully numbers should also permit entries from machines manufactured between 1957 and 1965 and these will be accepted up to the maximum entry.’

Freezing cold water has just filled this chaps left boot. Lovely.

If you are flexible and can ride on either of the two days you can specify which day (or both) you would prefer to enter and the organisers will endeavour to get you in on your preferred day. Successful entries will be entitled to two free passes to the overall event and there might even be an odd prize or two for successful riders.

Volunteers to act as observers are always welcome (please contact the Clerk of the Course Roger Monk on 01509 412662 if you, friends, or family can assist). For full regulations and an entry form to ride in the trial you need to call 01283 540557 or see


VMCC Vintage Training Day

  • Bank Holiday Monday, May 26th 2008
  • Curborough, Staffordshire

    VMCC Classic Trial

  • July 12th and 13th 2008
  • Festival of 1000 Bikes, Mallory Park, Leicestershire

    Further details: 01283 540557 or

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