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Old 11-15-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
thegraydog OP
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How Many?

Part of the no-stop discussion is about manufacturers on the ropes. I have been around trials five years now, and before that we helped check a National at Holbrook, 2006 maybe? I asked Pat how many trials bikes get sold in America, and he said, yer probably looking at them...

A GG website blurb says they made 3000 trials bikes in 2005. Anybody tuned in who knows the numbers for 7 (?) mfrs this year?
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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I am guessing that the 3000 number is the worldwide distribution number and not the US delivery number.

I have heard that My 2012 Sherco 290 is one of two in the state of Arizona.

It would be interesting to know what that break down is. Add in the distribution as well; total US delivery and how many of what model. I have a feeling that for a specific year/make/model combo here in the states you are probably looking at low triple digit numbers, maybe even some double digit numbers. Just my guess anyway.

Total US sales of all makes and models (of a given model year) I couldn't even guess. But I agree that it would be an interesting number to see.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:53 AM   #3
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These were numbers I heard a few years ago and have no idea if they were accurate then or now.

GasGas 250/yr
Sherco half of that
And all the rest less than a 100 combined.

So that makes less than 500 new trials bikes in the US per year.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2whlrcr View Post
These were numbers I heard a few years ago and have no idea if they were accurate then or now.

GasGas 250/yr
Sherco half of that
And all the rest less than a 100 combined.

So that makes less than 500 new trials bikes in the US per year.
I would have never guessed the #'s were so low(if that's accurate).
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:20 PM   #5
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Lewisport or RYP might know. Carlton at Hardrock mentioned a world wide sales number for GG last year. Don't recall exactly what it was but it was around 3k.


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Old 11-22-2012, 06:58 AM   #6
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I think that the trials bike sales# problems stem from several areas . First, the sport is just too purist in nature and is bound to be a niche occupied by the very fit young rider. Few existing riders can/will try this as there is a lot of existing competition from other forms of riding.
Second, the bike used is very specialized and expensive. It can only be used for trials work and is thus only useful in areas where there is trials terrain and a rider network. Compare this to the opportunities for purchasing and racing an MX bike for instance.I think a lot of potential age group users are turned off by the low speeds also....especially all the stopping and looking around now allowed.
Third, just try to find a trials bike shop to even look at one! You have to be an "insider" to see a real bike here and most people do not know where to go to see an event.Who is buying bikes right now? The fastest growing segment of sales is older guys buying dualsport/ADV bikes. They still have the income but see trials as a too difficult alternative in most instances. It does not surprise me at all that the trials segment has few sales. The BIG 4 gave it up in the 70s for a reason... insufficient interest.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:22 AM   #7
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Buls4ever,
Trials clubs in your area must have a very different makeup than here in the west. Here the clubs are predominately older riders, many of which are old racers. In our club the median age is probably close to 50, this is not a good thing, we need younger riders.
What I see is younger riders that want to buy Trials bikes but not neccasarily ride trials competitions. There are probably more Trials bikes used for trail riding than for Trials competition.
You make it sound like the events you have experience with have no easy or novice lines. Here we have beginner lines that can be ridden on most any kind of bike or by very young children on small bikes.
Are you currently a member of a Trials club? I'd like to hear about the conditions and classes in your club events.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:05 PM   #8
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Buls4ever,
Trials clubs in your area must have a very different makeup than here in the west. Here the clubs are predominately older riders, many of which are old racers. In our club the median age is probably close to 50, this is not a good thing, we need younger riders.
What I see is younger riders that want to buy Trials bikes but not neccasarily ride trials competitions. There are probably more Trials bikes used for trail riding than for Trials competition.
You make it sound like the events you have experience with have no easy or novice lines. Here we have beginner lines that can be ridden on most any kind of bike or by very young children on small bikes.
Are you currently a member of a Trials club? I'd like to hear about the conditions and classes in your club events.
So everyone in the state of MI rides in an org called the MOTA. There are very few riders older than late 30s. The whole thing is geared for the guy in great shape with high difficulty ratios because there is virtually no suitable terrain. There are only a handful of Sportsman or SR riders. Actually not many total riders in the state at all.

Riding in the beginner class is looked down upon for adults because that is the area for the youth riders on 80s mostly. It is really too easy. The novice line though is just crazy with huge logs and super tight turns. In essence there is no class for an adult beginner other than the CRASH HARD line. This is what people see first. If you have a vintage bike you are just sunk.

My take on the whole trials scene here is that it is generational as heck. Grandpa , son in 30s and grandson and 3 generations of about 6 families dominate the whole thing. They are good guys but real purists. The trail system on the other hand has lots of opportunities for open riding on a trail bike. No one here rides a trials bike for trails as they are whooped out sand single track and open 2 track that are better run on an enduro type bike with a big range. We have no need for a rock-picking line type of bike. I have a vintage and very nice KT250 Kaw that has just sat in my garage for 2 yrs now that I don't use at all. That is what I see from here.

There are 6 MX races per wknd state-wide though. You can walk right in and buy a crosser anywhere and be ready to race by the next Sunday close to home! This is MX and enduro country. Riders here do not want to commit to the discipline of trials after they have seen it once IMO. A lot different than where you are probably.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by buls4evr View Post
So everyone in the state of MI rides in an org called the MOTA. There are very few riders older than late 30s. The whole thing is geared for the guy in great shape with high difficulty ratios because there is virtually no suitable terrain. There are only a handful of Sportsman or SR riders. Actually not many total riders in the state at all.

Riding in the beginner class is looked down upon for adults because that is the area for the youth riders on 80s mostly. It is really too easy. The novice line though is just crazy with huge logs and super tight turns. In essence there is no class for an adult beginner other than the CRASH HARD line. This is what people see first. If you have a vintage bike you are just sunk.

My take on the whole trials scene here is that it is generational as heck. Grandpa , son in 30s and grandson and 3 generations of about 6 families dominate the whole thing. They are good guys but real purists. The trail system on the other hand has lots of opportunities for open riding on a trail bike. No one here rides a trials bike for trails as they are whooped out sand single track and open 2 track that are better run on an enduro type bike with a big range. We have no need for a rock-picking line type of bike. I have a vintage and very nice KT250 Kaw that has just sat in my garage for 2 yrs now that I don't use at all. That is what I see from here.

There are 6 MX races per wknd state-wide though. You can walk right in and buy a crosser anywhere and be ready to race by the next Sunday close to home! This is MX and enduro country. Riders here do not want to commit to the discipline of trials after they have seen it once IMO. A lot different than where you are probably.
Thats too bad. Vintage bikes usually dominate our Novice class. The riders who enter the Novice class on new 280s and 300s frequently struggle though.
I figured that without mountains not many people would be trail riding Trials bikes.
Remember that change usually comes from within.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buls4evr View Post
So everyone in the state of MI rides in an org called the MOTA. There are very few riders older than late 30s. The whole thing is geared for the guy in great shape with high difficulty ratios because there is virtually no suitable terrain. There are only a handful of Sportsman or SR riders. Actually not many total riders in the state at all.

Riding in the beginner class is looked down upon for adults because that is the area for the youth riders on 80s mostly. It is really too easy. The novice line though is just crazy with huge logs and super tight turns. In essence there is no class for an adult beginner other than the CRASH HARD line. This is what people see first. If you have a vintage bike you are just sunk.

My take on the whole trials scene here is that it is generational as heck. Grandpa , son in 30s and grandson and 3 generations of about 6 families dominate the whole thing. They are good guys but real purists. The trail system on the other hand has lots of opportunities for open riding on a trail bike. No one here rides a trials bike for trails as they are whooped out sand single track and open 2 track that are better run on an enduro type bike with a big range. We have no need for a rock-picking line type of bike. I have a vintage and very nice KT250 Kaw that has just sat in my garage for 2 yrs now that I don't use at all. That is what I see from here.

There are 6 MX races per wknd state-wide though. You can walk right in and buy a crosser anywhere and be ready to race by the next Sunday close to home! This is MX and enduro country. Riders here do not want to commit to the discipline of trials after they have seen it once IMO. A lot different than where you are probably.
This is disappointing to hear,I am older (55) and was looking to enter the trials scene here in Michigan.
I am a fairly competent street rider and have ridden dirt bikes on and off for years although none in the last 15 or so.
I am sick and bored of street riding and some of the Trials people I met at an informal event seemed pleasant enough to look into checking it out further.
I have even gone as far as to inquire about a bike although as yours,it was an older vintage model.Something that if I liked the competition well enough I could probably sell and upgrade without being out much.From everything I have heard your fairly spot-on with your description of the scene but having never been to an actual sanctioned event I didn't know about the novice line being that difficult.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:25 PM   #11
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I wouldn't give up on MI trials until you've been to an event and checked it out yourself. Plus depending upon where you live, WI and N. IL trials are not this way. Novice is easy and Intermediate is usually fine for people with dirt bike experience, but no trials experience.

And if your a natural, we have vintage riders competing in our Advanced sections and winning over the modern bike riders. So it's more about who's riding vs what they are riding (just like everything else).
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:59 PM   #12
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I wouldn't give up on MI trials until you've been to an event and checked it out yourself. Plus depending upon where you live, WI and N. IL trials are not this way. Novice is easy and Intermediate is usually fine for people with dirt bike experience, but no trials experience.

And if your a natural, we have vintage riders competing in our Advanced sections and winning over the modern bike riders. So it's more about who's riding vs what they are riding (just like everything else).
Thanks,I wouldn't give up on anything I wanted to do that easy and yes I plan on attending their first event next year.I was just a little concerned about riding a class thats challenging but not well beyond my skill and fitness level.
I'm Detroit area so Wis./N.Ill. is a bit of a stretch but nice of you to suggest it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gham View Post
This is disappointing to hear,I am older (55) and was looking to enter the trials scene here in Michigan.
I am a fairly competent street rider and have ridden dirt bikes on and off for years although none in the last 15 or so.
I am sick and bored of street riding and some of the Trials people I met at an informal event seemed pleasant enough to look into checking it out further.
I have even gone as far as to inquire about a bike although as yours,it was an older vintage model.Something that if I liked the competition well enough I could probably sell and upgrade without being out much.From everything I have heard your fairly spot-on with your description of the scene but having never been to an actual sanctioned event I didn't know about the novice line being that difficult.
Oh and after you buy one, and don't like trials, they are impossible to sell. They want the latest and greatest instead. So yes, you can travel 2 to 5 states away to ride but most people would not. ITSA has great events....In Tennessee or MO. The original question was what is it that keeps people out of the sport? Excessive travel to compete on a vintage bike is really one of those things . MOTA thinks vintage bikes are neat but does not foster them at all and they really don't want you beating their little boys and girls and wives in the beginner class.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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I thought original question was how many trials bikes are sold in the US?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #15
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My two cents. Trials bikes in the USA has always gone in spurts. Unfortunately always too low of numbers. 75-76 was good. 82-83. (SWM, Fantics) 1985 was cool with disc brakes and mono. 91-92. 95-96 were good years. `98 the 315 was killer. 2001 all bikes jumped ahead. 2005-2006 were good. Pretty much down hill from there, due to price and small numbers!
Just too many models, FOR SUCH A LIMITED sport!
If I was a betting man, I would say 1995 was the best year!
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