Motorcycling in New Zealand does not have many traditions, however the Pioneer Motorcycle clubs annual Kaikoura Trial would have to rate as New Zealand motorcycling best and longest running tradition at 62 consecutive years.


The first Pioneer Kaikoura Trial was held on April 3rd and 4th 1915 and was won by H Foubister on a Rudge in the solo class and by Frank Thomas in the sidecar class. Apparently riders were affected by the same hazards in 1915 as in 2008. Alcohol and weather has a lot to answer for. The Kaikoura Trial carried on annually until the Second World War when all motorcycle competitions were stopped for the war effort. Since 1946 the event has evolved from a trial where competitors rode their machines on the road [often with a pillion pussy on the back] to an event where all machines are transported and competitors stay warm and dry.




2008 was a small field of only 55 riders including 3 side chair entrants and several classics. It was pleasing to see another great turn out from the North Island. Day one was at Oaro on the fantastic Trewin family farm. A warm dry day and reasonably dry sections apart from two in a real bog hole creek were a great way to start the weekend. Four laps of ten sections were completed then off to the Kaikoura night life.


Day two and three were on the farm of Barry Schroder on Mt Fyffe which is an absolute paradise for any Trials rider. This is a large farm covered in rocky and muddy gullies which are all bush covered, rocks, logs, bogs and very wet grassy slopes. Commuting around the farm was made difficult by some fairly heavy rain on the Saturday night and Sunday.


For two days we crashed and bashed around some awesome sections ate a good lunch provided by Sandra and Katrina and had a great time except for the effort of finding section ten. Warwick Merrimen had a fantastic ride just heading off a strong challenge from Shane Brons to win the Kaikoura cup. Paul Jackson and Glen Smith won the sidecar cup again


Really it was just another fantastic Kaikoura Three day Trial. I am already looking forward to next year.

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