RMTA is an Equal Opportunity Non-Profit Organization
ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS ASSOCIATION
What is Observed Trials?
Trials is the only form of motorcycle competition that emphasizes control and
balance rather than speed. A trials “event” consist of a loop trail with 10 - 15
marked “sections” in which each competitor is “observed” as they ride the section.
A section consists of natural terrain and obstacles, appropriate for each skill level,
that the rider attempts to negotiate without taking their feet off the pegs - a “dab”.
The rider with the fewest points, or dabs, is declared the winner of their class
for that event. Riders can accumulate points toward an overall season ranking in
The event Trials Masters set sections for skill levels from Novice to Championship.
Novice sections focus on basics like throttle control, turns and small obstacles.
As a rider’s skill increases they can move up to the next class if they wish. As
the rider moves up through the classes, or skill levels, the difficulty of the sections
increases with the Championship class being the most difficult. Riders of RMTA’s
top three class are capable of participating in the NATC US National series and the
annual Trials de Nations, a world level event.
At the local level, events are usually divided with one set of classes competing
while riders from the second set of classes observe and score the first set of riders.
In the afternoon, everyone reverses roles - those who rode in the morning now observe
for those riding in the afternoon. Each rider is dependent upon another for a successful
event. Many times there are also family members who do not compete but will help
with the event sign up, scoring and sometimes observing. During a typical event riders
will complete three loops, riding each section three times, within a predetermined
Events are held on BLM and US Forest Service land under special use permits, as
well as private property. A trials motorcycle, helmet, boots and appropriate riding
gear is all that is needed to compete. New riders frequently purchase older used
bikes and once they have progressed in skill will look at purchasing a new(er) trials
motorcycle. Over the years trials motorcycles have become very specialized and most
now weigh less than 150 lbs. Many riders have stated that even though they have ridden
bikes for years, they really learned how to ride once they started riding trials.
RMTA was founded over 30 years ago to organize and promote trials in Colorado,
and to this day offers one of the most active schedules of all US clubs. (Visit our
RMTA History page to learn more about RMTA’s founders). Riders range in age from
4 yrs to over 70 yrs. At each RMTA event there is a special trial for junior riders
that is run concurrently with the regular classes. Membership in RMTA is not required
to compete in an event, however only members accumulate points toward a class ranking.
Both individual and family memberships are available.
RMTA is also one of very few clubs in the US that hosts NATC US National Series
on an fairly regular basis. This gives our members the opportunity to be involved
in National events and watch some of the best riders in the US compete.
Since 1970, RMTA has also held the annual two day UTE Cup - an event known for
altitude changes from 6,000 to 12,000 feet and boasting a 20 mile loop trail. The
UTE Cup is among the most well known and attended non-national event in the US. It’s
a true test of man and machine.
All or part of
this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the
U.S. Bureau of Land Management.