We’ve all heard “Let’s Go Off Road” but what exactly does that mean… hitting massive 40-foot jumps and getting stuck in a Yorkshire bog?! It can… but it doesn’t have to!
There are three main categories of off-road motorcycle sport but for many of us, getting a licence and taking it seriously is still a few steps away. On the sport side there are three main disciplines: Trials, Motocross and Enduro.

Trials action photo

Trials is the thinking man’s game and here in Yorkshire we are blessed with some of the best terrain and consequently the best trials riders in the UK, some would say in the World! Yorkshire is the home of the legendary Lampkin dynasty including 12 time world champion Dougie Lampkin (who recently took part in a Q&A in our Keighley store) and his cousin John imports the famous trials marque Beta from nearby also. Trials is all about skill, not speed, as riders navigate hills, rivers and rocks whilst trying to keep their ‘feet up’.

Trials 2

A typical trial takes place over 12 to 15 sections (which is a marked out area, using flags and tape). Riders have three laps to navigate around this course during the course of the non-timed day. Every time you touch the floor with your boot (or crash) you lose marks, and the person who loses the least wins the trial. Local trials clubs cater for absolute beginners up to Dougie and his pals! Trial bikes include the Italian Beta marque and the popular Oset brand of electric bikes for kids.

MX Husky jump

Motocross is a physically demanding race on purpose-built machines where a ‘massed start’ sees rows of focused racers take on an undulating course. Local MX tracks cater for all levels and the going can vary from fast with impressive jumps in the summer to wet and muddy for the rest of the year! If you’re going to ride motocross you will need ‘some’ level of fitness and decent safety equipment. Think full-face helmet, goggles, good MX boots, body armour and the works. Here’s some of our vast selection of kit here! Youth MX is very popular with riders catered from autos through 65cc machines and upwards. For many adult riders the biggest debate is 2 v 4… ‘stroke’ that is!

Motocross photo

Some motocross terminology that you might have heard (and their explanations) include: Holeshot (first off the line and into the first corner), a berm (the banked up area of dirt on the outside of a corner), tabletop (a nice flat jump), whoops (a NOT nice series of mini-jumps or waves that experts make look easy on the back wheel) and the most common; ‘arm pump’ (which is the best excuse for an early bath!)


Check out the stunning Husqvarna Motocross range or think second-hand if you need to save the pennies.

Enduro

Enduro riding sits nicely between trials and enduro and attracts riders from both disciplines. Its our favourite sport here at Colin Appleyard and again, we have the perfect terrain for it in our area. An Enduro is ridden on a motocross style bike which has been developed more for longer riding and to be a bit more forgiving. Enduro is against the clock and the clue is in the name, it’s a test of endurance, he/she who rides the longest in the shortest time has a good chance of being at the top of the results table. The size of the course and the amount of laps can vary given the piece of land available and as the event goes on, often the ruts become deeper and riders have to also dig deep into their reserves of energy!

Wayne Braybrook

We are lucky enough to stock Enduro machines from the world’s best specialist brands, namely Husqvarna and Beta.


Our local Enduro expert is Wayne Braybrook who has ridden some of the world’s toughest events and runs the renowned RAW Enduro organisation, which trains riders both new and experienced alongside putting on regular events to test racers. Check out RAW at www.rawenduro.co.uk.

Let’s take it a bit steadier?! On the more recreational side, trail riding or ‘Green Laning’ is a great way to get off the beaten track with your motorcycle and test your skills. Again, we have some fantastic terrain of unpaved roads and there are clubs such as the TRF (Trail Riding Fellowship) that can get you pointed in the right direction.

Green laning

The great thing about green laning is that most adventure styled machines have some sort of off-road ability, the limiting factor just being the tyres. In other words, check the tread type before you set off on a mid-winter bash across the moors!

Tenere

Many riders start off with these sort of informal ride-outs and then progress to the more forgiving enduro events later on. A great little lightweight trail riding machine is the Beta Alp or if you want the ultimate, the Dakar styled Yamaha Tenere 700 certainly packs a punch!

If you have any questions about off-road riding for leisure or sport, just ask our staff at Colin Appleyard Motorcycles, they really have been there and done it, pretty much every weekend!