Author Topic: Changes to class A  (Read 5972 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jason Potts

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Changes to class A
« on: March 11, 2017, 09:02:01 pm »
There's been quite a bit of discussion on this topic in the NOTW.

I find it strange that Bryan Marsh's Triumph isn't eligible for this class.

Anyone fancy chipping in some thoughts?

Offline rick howell

  • Club Members
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 11:01:52 pm »
Hi Jason

As far as I know...

...this came about originally as people like Les Bowler were campaigning older European bikes (his was a 250 BMW from around '59/'60 if I recall correctly) and these ended up in class B where they were hopelessly outclassed by the modern bikes such as Serows - to which the course designers intended to provide a degree of difficulty. For Les it meant almost impossibility. So the change in status of class A was intended to assist riders of older non-British bikes.

It was also a time when some of the larger Triumphs and Joe Stollery's RE were taking part in class A. These bikes have tended to become a) a bit valuable to throw over some rocky track, and b) some riders have moved on to other bikes and classes (both Andy and Dave Craddock for example). Dave Craddock consistently won class A on a 750 Metisse and I think he wouldn't be eligible now with that bike under the latest definition of class A.

Some people also rode class C due to the perceptibly easier time with regard to restarts etc. Class A often has nearly as many restarts and as difficult optional restarts as class B so class C was/is an easier route than class A or B.

With regard to Bryan Marsh's '63/'71 hybrid Triumph I would suggest that whilst to the letter of the rule he is not eligible to ride in class A, in the spirit of class A - ie British and designed prior to 1970 - then he most certainly should be allowed and it would be a very harsh (or ignorant) C-o-C that banished him to class C. What if he used mainly pre 1970 components on his '71 frame? Would he then be eligible? And ditto in reverse, would a 1965 BSA fitted with Renthal bars, Ceriani forks, alloy wheels, fancy shox, sprung footrests, 12v lighting and LED lamps be really in the spirit of class A? It might not but it's still eligible.

So a degree of flexibility has to be allowed.

There is already a working example of this within the cars - class 2 - where cars are pre-1941 except those Fords that are of pre-'41 design in principle but actually built up to 1959.

The same argument came about with Indian Enfields. Essentially the same design as 1950's Royal Enfield's the fact that they were not British excluded them from the original class A. Sensibly they're now included.

In fact my 1970-registered Bantam is strictly ineligible for class A as it wasn't probably built prior to 1970 but sometime during that year. To be honest I also enter it in pre-'65 classes in VMCC events - despite providing the index mark - and no-one bats an eyelid.

One up for sensible pragmatism.

R

Offline Jason Potts

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 04:59:21 pm »
Yeh this is a tricky subject. I think your bantam is definitely pre-1970 material as the frame is pretty much unchanged since the D5 and four speed engines came in with the D10ís, 1967ish?. But pre-65 bantams I thought were all 3 speed so strictly speaking they should only be letting 3 speed bantams in pre-65 trials, shouldnít they??

So, I guess what the big question is:-
Ďwhat do you use to classify a bike other than when it was registeredí???

Year of registration is a very easy way for any club to sort bikes into classes but like you just made clear Rick, it isnít necessarily a fare method. You mention Enfieldís as an example but production runs can also cross over the cut-off year. One manís 69 D14 qualifies for class A but the other guys 1970 D14 has to run in Class B. So, he leaves it at home and uses his Serow instead. (I got nothing against Serows BTW).
 
Iíve probably said this before but the thing I like most about this club is the diversity of machines that take part. Walking round that Garage at the end of the Exeter was just heaven for me. I would hate to see that disappear because competitors felt hard done to or penalised because they canít compete on their classic. And it would have been really nice to see that Metisse in action.

Regards expanding Class A, I donít think moving the cut-off year forward to allow the later 1970ís trail bikes or trail bikes with drum brakes in is the answer either. I think this will put the older 50ís bikes at an even further disadvantage. Iíd hate to lose those guys. How about splitting class A into Classic and Vintage.   
Vintage could include bikes registered pre-65 and any bike which production run started pre-65.
Classics would include anything from 1965 to pre-1980.

Iím not suggestion that the club does this, please feel free to jump in with your own suggestions. Could be a good way of bolstering up Class A whilst still making it interesting for the chaps on the vintage bikes. Would this tempt a few back onto their old bikes do you think?

It would be nice to see more classic bikes out there, its certainly good for spectators. Watch the youtube clips and listen to their comments as a brit-bike goes byÖ.. they regard you as heros.  8)


 

Offline rick howell

  • Club Members
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 08:49:30 pm »
wotcha Jason

I very much fostered the inclusion of "classics" whilst I held the tenure of M/c PR in the MCC. I felt that, quite selfishly, "classics" held a better place in the general public's view and the greater numbers of "interesting" machines would encourage more spectators and possibly that would translate into new entries/members. I think it worked to a degree too. At times we've had 40+ classics in A, C and O in a total of 180 or so bikes. The old website held past entries in an archive and if it is still accessible it would bear that fact out.

Then there's been a few "small classics" take part in the recent past but I think generally the current roughness of the trial (even to a degree, class O) is beyond a rigid '50s 197 James or 150 Bantam even if you can get the lights to work reasonably well. The roughness is down to a number of factors but not least that we have cars and bikes on the same sections. It does work both ways, but in general, the cars are becoming more able to cope with rough sections, without, of course, any balance issues. To overcome the spectre of easy medals the sections have more difficult restarts and deviations and this eventually puts off the "classic" rider who often has very few of the advantages of the modern bike rider - even finding a tyre to fit takes a good deal of searching.

As an example; I had some really vitriolic correspondence from a chap who had previously taken part years ago. I had been extolling the wonderments of the club and the trials on the Bantam forum and had persuaded him to take part again (there was some degree of challenge there as he had never gained a "gold" on the LE on his classic). After a particularly unsuccessful LE he subsequently felt it was wholly unsuitable for him and his classic and that I'd somehow misled him into taking part despite the fact that he was A VERY GOOD RIDER. IT WAS TOO ROUGH. His words.

I suppose there might be some truth in what he said; the sections do vary from year to year, both in restart position and roughness, and location. Some are easy green lanes, some quite technical especially given the variations in roughness from year to year, weather conditions, and being in the dark! I was not able to take part that year so I can't comment on the actual conditions as such but the usual glitterati managed medals so it couldn't have been that bad. Maybe he wasn't quite such a good rider after all.

If a new rider (or returner from years back) unfortunately signs-on the year the weather is wall to wall lashing rain well they might think it harsh and uncomfortable and never come back again. Then again they may get beautiful weather, fantastic conditions and a wonderful ride, smiles all round. But if they think it's hard, and potentially damaging to their lovely p and j they might not want to take part in the next trial or the next season. it's that fickle.

I think the club are trying to redress the problem by trying class R; there's talk of a "small bike" class for the C90s - maybe a sub 100cc class...etc. Maybe the trials need to be shorter in length, of a different format, less punishing, more punishing, without restarts and special sections, use other tests. Who knows?

In the end I think it's a truly particular type of person who comes back to these events, year after year; Exeter, Land's End and Edinburgh; gets wet, cold and demoralised during the 4am depression zone - then cheers up after sunrise and a couple of cleans and having vowed at 4.30am to never do one of these bl**dy things again is cheerfully planning the next event in the bar at the finish.

R


Offline Jason Potts

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 09:20:32 pm »
 hahahahahahahaha, I did feel like a beaten dog at Crealy Park I must admit. didn't give up though. itís quite solitary burrr'ing along inside you own helmet and can get a bit depressing when you are not enjoying yourself too much. taking the helmet off, having a brew and a bit of breky whilst listening to other peopleís tales lifted me. Other peopleís enthusiasm and the realisation that youíre not on your own made the difference for me. it definitely helps having some buddies with you.  8)

Not sure if any of those C90's are under 100cc BTW.  ;)

Offline rick howell

  • Club Members
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 09:36:41 pm »

Not sure if any of those C90's are under 100cc BTW.  ;)

Quite possibly!

Offline Jason Potts

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 07:26:06 am »
Quote
STEPHEN BAILEY:    On Class O & Class A:   Why not go back to the original remit if Class 0, Where it allowed older members,. new members and older machines a taster or soft trial without any medals and just the fun of doing a trial?    As for class A.  Do we really want more regulations?   Leave it as it is before Trials self destruct.   There are many modern machines with major modifications.   Bikes and cars.   Alternative everyone has their own class and always wins a Gold Medal if they finish.   Come on. Where has the doing the sport for fun element gone?

I think having seen the split of bikes in the NOTW, it looks like class B is very popular. in order to spread the split out I think class A will have to change and possibly a new group creating. that's if there is any appetite for spreading out the number of bikes.

Quote
Class        A        B        C
Entrants   15      70       18

Comments anyone?

Offline Paul K

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 380
  • Paul Khambatta
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 10:57:01 am »
Looking at the various factors that influence a bikeís success, or failure, on an MCC trial, Iíd argue that the engine, then weight and wheel size are the most significant factors, not whether the bike is a pre-1970 (class A), or post 1970 (classes B to D).

Suspension is not a factor because the travel available is not necessarily used to itsí full extent.  I canít recall ever bottoming the front, or rear suspension of my Honda XR400, and that has been lowered.  Therefore, you stand just as much chance of cleaning a section with 5 in. of travel as with 10 in. The same argument is true of mono-shock compared to twin-shock, or even a rigid rear (if you're good enough). Therefore, pre or post 1970 makes no difference.

The engine capacity and itsí characteristics are the factors that will influence your ability to clean a section. Take engine capacity first. Engines of 125 cc and less are going to struggle; witness the step-through brigade, having to paddle their way through some of the toughest sections. Thatís nothing to do with their ability; as far as Iím aware, theyíre all good riders  :D . Take engine characteristics next. For engines of equal capacity, a single will tend to have more bottom end torque than a twin, therefore, success favours the single cylinder, especially on restarts. (Iím ignoring twins with a 270 degree crank, which simulates the characteristics of a single, because I suspect all the twins on MCCC events have 360 degree cranks.)  Again, pre or post 1970 makes no difference.

A heavier bike can demand more skill and effort than a lighter bike. Weight tends to increase with the engine capacity (heavier crankshaft, con-rod, cylinder, etc.), though, twins of the same capacity will tend to be heavier than singles. Year of manufacture will have little, or no influence. So once more, pre or post 1970 makes no difference.

A larger-diameter wheel will climb a step, or traverse a hole, more readily than a smaller diameter. Wheel size for the bulk of the entry tends to be either 19 in. or 21 in. at the front; 17 in. or 18 in. at the rear. Step-throughs could be 17 in. at the front and rear. Scooters are usually 12 in. or 13 in. (though, none have entered in my memory). Pre or post 1970 makes no difference.

I think the Clerks of Course for the Exeter and the Lands End recognise some of these arguments.  Class B (bikes up to 450 cc; so they could be regarded as a good power to weight ratio) have more restarts, compared to class C (bikes up to 450 cc; so they could be regarded as a poor power to weight ratio) and class A (pre-1970; they could also be regarded as a poor power to weight ratio).

For the sake of discussion. Iíd suggest that class A could be for any machine with singles and twins up to 200 cc; e.g. BSA Bantams, step-throughs, scooters. Class B could be for bikes with single cylinders up to 600 cc; e.g. most modern Japanese trail bikes, including the Yamaha Serow; Matchless and AJS 350, BSA B44. Class C could be for twins from 200 cc and singles over 600 cc; e.g. CL360, Triumph 500 and 750, Suzuki DR800.

This classification will get rid of all other potential confusion such as year of manufacture of frame/engine, e.g. a 1968 frame with a 1972 engine, or a 1954 bike with big bore after-market cylinders that werenít made till after 1970; a drum brake bike now converted to disc brakes; twin-shock or mono-shock; pre-65, post 65; etc. A bike will no longer be eligible for more than one class.

Hold on a minute, you might cry. That means a Honda XR250 and a Yamaha XT350 are now in the same class as the Yamaha XT600  :o . So what  ::) . The larger capacity bikes power advantage is offset by their increased weight; the XR250 weighs 108 kg (240 lb) whereas the XT600 weighs 163 kg (359 lb); thatís an additional 55 kg . Ok, you say, what about that poor chap on his Honda CL360 now in the same class as the Suzuki DR800  :o . Again, the CL350 with itsí twin cylinder characteristics weighs 178 kg  (392 lb) whereas the DR800 with itsí single cylinder weighs 225 kg (496 lb); thatís an additional 47 kg. Again, the larger capacity bikes advantage of power and engine-characteristic is offset by the increased weight  ::) .

I havenít worked out how this reclassification will affect the redistribution of entries (Iíve spent enough time writing this lot for the moment  ;) ), but assuming there is a desire to reclassify classes and as a summary for discussion:

  • Class A any machine with single, or twin cylinders up to 200 cc. (Essentially low power engines.)
  • Class B any machine with single cylinder up to 600 cc. (Essentially good power to weight.)
  • Class C any machine with twin cylinders over 200 cc and single cylinder over 600 cc. (Essentially harder work in a section.)

And classes D and O, leave them alone  :) .

So, if this re-classification should come about, Iím going into class C on a very lightweight, twin cylinder 500 cc. That would be a Cheney Triumph  :o . Wow, didnít see that one coming  8) .

Offline Jason Potts

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 07:31:59 pm »
Hey Rick, might want to rethink that C15 project. lol

I've never associated a C15 with the phrase (good power to weight) before. sorry Paul.  ;D

Hey, I notice you created a nice little group of about three bikes for yourself there Paul, you should do alright with that 50 horsepower light weight special you are building.  :o

Seriously though Iíve been doing some stats just to see how group B could be evened out. and basically, it canít. there are so many serrows and beta alps etc.

best I could do was to stick them in engine size categories and even that wasn't that successful. I left group A as is and renamed it Group V (veteran). I created a new group called Group L (lightweight) and split the rest as follows for the Edinburgh 2016, Exeter 2017 and this up coming lands end.

so those events could have been split with the following number of bikes in said groups. here goes

Edinburgh 2016:-
Group V (pre-1970) - 11
Group L (0 - 190cc) - 10
Group A (191 - 299cc) - 33
Group B (300 - 499cc) - 18
Group C (500cc +) - 16


Exeter 2017:-
Group V (pre-1970) - 10
Group L (0 - 190cc) - 8
Group A (191 - 299cc) - 28
Group B (300 - 499cc) - 17
Group C (500cc +) - 19


Lands End 2017:-
Group V (pre-1970) - 15
Group L (0 - 190cc) - 7
Group A (191 - 299cc) - 39
Group B (300 - 499cc) - 24
Group C (500cc +) - 18


not sure if this is fare but it smooths it out better than anything else I could come up with.

got to be careful not to lose any of the diversity. this could encourage smaller machines as well as keeping the pre-1970 guys happy.

One thing you could do is run groups V and L along side group O. less aggressive/damaging on the smaller/older bikes etc.

just my thoughts.


Offline Jason Potts

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 07:04:45 pm »
Paul, I know there has been lots of discussion about this topic but has the club ever expressed any interest in shuffling the motorcycle classes?

I must admit I'm with Stephen bailey, happy as things are and just in it for a bit of fun.

I'm not poo pooing your suggestion by the way.

Offline rick howell

  • Club Members
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 09:44:36 pm »
I'm not poo pooing your suggestion by the way.

I think I might be though; having a B25 project, an SP 370 and an XT 600 - they'll all be in the same class. NOOOOOOOOO! >:(


Offline Paul K

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 380
  • Paul Khambatta
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2017, 07:54:49 am »
......... has the club ever expressed any interest in shuffling the motorcycle classes?

I must admit I'm with Stephen bailey, happy as things are and just in it for a bit of fun.

I believe the subject was indirectly approached in NOTW 17.2.16:
STEP-THROUGH BIKES:   Under the unofficial leadership of Chris Poel, there is a growing group of supporters of these machines on our trials.   Should we encourage them more?   Should they have their own class so that their underpowered machines do not have to do the Restarts demanded of their Class B collegues?   Are you up for such a challenge?

Then again in NOTW 11.2.17:
REVISE CLASS A?   Ed Stobbs ruminates:   I have noticed an ever decreasing number of entries in class A.   How about a re-organisation of A & B, whereby all two-wheelers with DRUM brakes go in A and those with DISC brakes in B?   This would therefore include the 'Poel' contingent non-GB Enfields and general machines regarded as 'classics' irrespective of origin and nearly all of which are well within the spirit of the original class A,   I await the comments from interested parties!

That kicked off some debate among some members, but, as far as I'm aware, the executive committee will be driven to discuss the subject if there is sufficient demand from the members. My sympathies are with the 'step-throughs', who deserve some award for their tenacity.

The reasoning to my proposed changes to the bike classes was to separate the different bikes into their ability to clean a section, not necessarily by their physical attributes or appearance. So, yes, I agree, don't change it if their is no demand to.

I think I might be though; having a B25 project, an SP 370 and an XT 600 - they'll all be in the same class. NOOOOOOOOO! >:(
Yep; life's a bitch  ;D

Offline Jason Potts

  • Club Members
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 324
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2017, 09:09:05 pm »
Ed Stobbs  observes low number of entries in group A, but they arnt that different to the number of entries in group C. and that's been the same over the last couple of events. 

Bolstering up group A by moving the small bikes (sub 180cc) and the drum brake bikes out of B sounds like a good idea. I think it could also be worthy of some thought to do the same with group C. This could be achieved by reducing the engine size for this group down to 390cc, thus moving the 400cc machines into this group.

Taking on the above adjustments the Exeter 2017 entries could have been spilt as follows.

group A - 24
group B - 38
group C - 28

In order to keep it more interesting in group A for the older machine entrants, maybe offer an additional award for best pre-65 machine? I think those guys would be very out-classed with the newly included drum brake entrants. Same also for the sub-180cc bikes? This may encourage more step-though's etc.

 
 

Offline Jonathan Laver

  • Club Members
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2017, 09:58:29 pm »
Encouraging a particular group of existing competitors is not the norm for the MCC. That said putting underpowered step throughs upon some of our challenging restarts is not helpful to anyone. I appreciate the consideration and time you guys have put into this train of thought. Changes to the Class structure for the future benefit of the majority is an ideal but not one ďThe CommitteeĒ often comes up with or gets a good proposal for. Put one on the table I will put if forward. The best route though is support from others via NOTW
Jonathan L.

Offline Tim Kingham

  • Club Members
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 89
Re: Changes to class A
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2017, 07:49:19 pm »
Well that does it! my Vincent Rapide was built out of bits in 1974 so it will have to stay in the garage :-(  and watch those Triumph guys in my 30odd years of everything from a Bultaco to a Beta-alp via a Honda Transalp nothing beats a500cc Triumph twin going up a MCC  hill. I must get that TriGrumph finished.