Based in Christchurch the Pioneer Motorcycle club is one of New Zealand’s largest “Trials only” motorcycle clubs. The club holds events once a month throughout the year at properties all over Banks Peninsula and north Canterbury. The club also hosts the annual Kaikoura 3 day event which has been run uninterrupted every Queens Birthday weekend since 1946. This makes it one of the longest running multi-day events in the world. Events cater to all ranges of ability from beginner to Expert riders. For more information contact us via our Contacts page or come along to one of our events posted on the Events calendar page.
What is Trials?
Motorcycle trials, also termed observed trials, is a non-speed event on specialized motorcycles. The sport is most popular in the UK and Spain, though there are participants around the globe.Trial motorcycles are distinctive in that they are extremely lightweight, lack seating (they’re designed to be ridden standing up) and have suspension travel that is short, relative to a motocross or enduro motorcycle.The event is split into sections where a competitor rides through an obstacle course while attempting to avoid touching the ground with the feet. The obstacles in the course may be of natural or constructed elements. In all sections, regardless of content, the designated route is carefully contrived to test the skill of the rider. In many local observed trials events, the sections are divided into separate courses to accommodate the different skill level of riders, who compete in skill-rated classes.In every section, the competitor is scored by an observer (hence the sport’s name) who counts how many times the competitor touches the ground with the foot (or any other part of the body). Each time a competitor touches the ground with a foot (commonly called “dabs” ), the penalty is one point.The possible scores in each section consist of 0, 1, 2, 3, or 5. If a competitor makes his or her way through the section without touching the ground with a foot, a score of 0 (called “cleaning the section”) is earned. If he or she touches the ground only once, the score of 1 is earned. If he or she touches down twice, the score of 2 is earned. If he or she touches the ground three times or more, the score of 3 is earned, as long as the section is completed without stalling the motor, dismounting, going out of bounds or going backward. If the competitor fails to complete the section a score of 5 is earned. The winner is the competitor with the least points at the end of the event. Some events are also timed with penalty points assessed to late riders.
There is a world indoor and outdoor championship, as well as indoor and outdoor national team “world cups” (Trial des Nations). British competitor Dougie Lampkin is notable for winning seven world outdoor titles in the 1990s and 2000s. Previous observed trials greats include Northern Ireland’s Sammy Miller (1960s), Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen (1970s), Spain’s Jordi Tarres (1980s and ’90s).
In addition to the world championship events, there are other major events, such as the Scottish Six-Day Trial (SSDT) and the Scott Trial.Major current manufacturers of trials bikes are Gas Gas, Beta, Sherco, Montessa Honda, and Scorpa. In the past there have been many manufacturers, from countries such as Spain, Japan, Britain and Italy
The Pioneer Motorcycle Club is one of several motorcycle clubs in the Canterbury area and has evolved into a club which now specialises in the running of Observed Trials throughout the Canterbury Area.We are Affiliated to Motorcycling New Zealand, who regulate all motorcycle competition events as the ruling body also providing some funding, training and also work with overseas bodies to provide competition and assistance to riders wishing to compete in international events. As part of the riders registration fee they provide riders insurance and club third party insurance.Our club originally started out in 1907 as part of the Pioneer sports club and was officially the Pioneer Cycle Club then with advent of motor cycles and cars became the Pioneer Motor club and later the Pioneer Motorcycle club. This group was part of a much larger club of many sports groups housed in a building on the cnr of Gloucester and Oxford terrace where the Canterbury Public Library now stands. When the Public Library was built the proceeds from the sale of the original Pioneer sports club building were donated toward the building of Pioneer Stadium and today only three of original clubs still exist these being the Pioneer Badminton club, Canty Mountaineering Club and Pioneer M cycle club. Our group holds meeting on the first Thursday in each month at Pioneer Stadium. Our club has been involved in all types of motorcycle events from beach racing to Enduro’s to road trials. The current sport of trials developed from the English version of sporting road trials which were road events held in the 1930’s – 1950’s which were road time trials with special difficult sections thrown in which incurred penalties. These sporting trials then developed into Trials were the rider rode his machine to an event and rode a series of courses which were marked by observers the object being to lose the least number of points for footing stopping or failing to complete the course. These events continued well into the 1960’s until specialist machines started appearing and motorcycles were then trailered to specific sites to compete. These events have evolved to the current day format with bikes being purpose built for the sport with bikes devoloping from the early 150 KG 3 hp machines up to current day machines which can develop up to 35 hp and weigh as little as 55kg..
The sport does not require a great deal of financial input and an older entry level motorcycle can be obtained for as little as $1500 – 2000 and the sport now naturally develops on from Pushbike trials which is the natural training ground for younger riders coming into the sport with even some of our regular riders using the pushbike trials as additional training. The sport now requires a reasonable level of fitness and on an international level riders may train on bikes and in related fitness programmes for 4 – 6 hours a day. Trials being a slower skill based sport results in far less injuries to competitors and is suitable for riders from age 7 to over 70 and Pioneer has grades that will suit all skill levels. We also run other social events during the year and are occasionally involved with public displays.
PIONEER MOTORCYCLE CLUB Inc.
Trophies and Cups
The Bonnington Cup
History – Presented in 1917 by Cecil Bonnington for the Most Points in Competition. This is The Pioneer Motorcycle Club’s premier trophy.
Purpose – Awarded to the rider gaining the most points in all events the club run. Open to all grades and classes.
(1) All observed trials events the Pioneer Motorcycle Club runs shall be considered as long as they cater for all grades and classes.
(2) Points are awarded as set out in paragraph 23-6-7 of the New Zealand Auto-Cycle Union General Competition Rule Book. I.e.: 25 for 1st, 22 for 2nd, 20 for 3rd etc.
(3) The trophy shall be awarded jointly if 2 or more riders score the same total of points.
The Laurenson Cup
History – Presented by Angus Laurenson in 1946 for the Winner of the “Championship” Section for Sporting Trial.
Purpose – Winner of the Experts Grade Pioneer Trials Championship.
(1)To qualify for this cup the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of a minimum of 4 one day observed trials compatible with rules 23-6 and 23-8 of the NZACU General Competition Rule Book.
The PMC Intermediate Cup
History- Bought by the Pioneer Motorcycle Club in 1992 for use as the Intermediate Grade Championship Trophy.
Purpose – Winner of the Intermediate Grade, Pioneer Trials Championship.
(1) To quality for this cup the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of minimum of 4 one day observed trials compatible with rule 23-6 and 23-8 of the NZACU General Competition Rule Book.
The PMC Clubman Cup
History – Bought by the Pioneer Motorcycle Club in 1993 for use as the Clubman Grade Championship Trophy.
Purpose – Winner of the Clubman Grade, Pioneer Trials Championship
(1)To qualify for this trophy the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of at least 4 one day observed trials events compatible with rules 23-6 and 238 of the NZACU General Rule Book
The Presidents Cup
History – Presented in 1992 by Don Clarkson for the Winner of the Presidents Class of the Pioneer Trials Championship.
Purpose – Winner Presidents Class, Pioneer Trials Championship
(1) To qualify for this trophy the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of at least 4 one day observed trials events compatible with rules 23-6 and 23-8 of the NZACU General Competition Rule Book.
(2) To ride in the Presidents Class a rider must be 40 years of age or over.
The Mitchell Cup
History – Originally presented in 1940 by H. Mitchell for the Competitor Gaining the Most Points in Gymkhana Events this cup has been used as the Novice Grade Championship Trophy for many years.
Purpose – Best result by a Novice Rider in the Pioneer Trials Championship
(1) A novice rider is one who is in their first three years of trials riding, and riding the B line in the Clubman sections.
(2) To qualify for this cup the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of a minimum of 4 one day observed trials compatible with rules 23-6 and 23-8 of the NZACU General Rule Book.
The Peter Bennett Cup
History – Presented in 1950 by P. Bennett for the Best Performance in Trials by a First Year Competitor.
Purpose – Best Performance in the Pioneer Trials Championship by a First Year Competitor.
(1) Only awarded to riders in their first year of trials competition.
(2) The rider must be competing in a grade or class which uses the B line of Clubman sections.
(3) To qualify for this trophy the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of a least 4 one day observed trials compatible with rules 23-6 and 23-8 of the NZACU General Rule Book.
The Blandford Cup
History – Presented by Mr and Mrs Blandford in 1951 for the Aggregate Points Winner Under 19 years of age in Trials and “Safe Rider” Competition.
Purpose – Most Points by a rider under 19, Pioneer Trials Championship
(1) To qualify for this cup the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of minimum of 4 observed trials compatible with rules 23-6 and 23-8 of the NZACU General Rule Book.
The France Cup
History – Presented in 1947 by Mr & Mrs LA France for the Competitor Under 21 years of age gaining the most points by Gymkhana events. It has been used for the Best Junior Rider.
Purpose – Most Points by a Junior, Pioneer Motorcycle Club
(1) A Junior rider shall be as defined in paragraphs 28-3-5 to 28-3-11 of the NZACU General Competition Rule Book.
(2) To qualify for this cup the Pioneer Trials Championship must consist of minimum of 4 observed trials compatible with rules 23-6 and 23-8 of the NZACU General Rule Book.
The BSA Shield
History – Presented by Skeates & White Limited in 1950 for the Best Performance on a 125cc machine in trials.
Purpose – Best Performance on a 125cc Machine in the Pioneer Trials Championship.
(1) The rider must complete at least 80% of the Championship rounds on a 125cc machine.
The Whyte Cup
History – Presented by Mr & Mrs Whyte in 1947 for the Woman gaining the most points in Gymkhana events it has come to be known as “The Ladies Cup”
Purpose – Woman gaining the most points in trials.
The Hallie Cup
History – Presented by Roy and Sandra Hallie in 1994 for the Winner of the Twin Shock class at the Club Championship.
Purpose – Winner of Twin Shock class.