MCC Exeter Trial, Jan 7/8, 2011

Report: Ben Falconer


One of Britain's oldest trials started in the Western Centre, on January 7, as it has for many years. The Exeter Trial first ran in 1910, and organisers the Motor Cycling Club cater for cars, bikes, three-wheelers and sidecar outfits.

The event had three starts - Cirencester, Popham, and Plusha, and competitors all met up at the Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford before attempting up to 15 observed sections and 2 special tests. Though the sections are relatively straightforward, once you factor in riding sections in the dark, navigating a 200 mile route, staying awake during the night, carrying out running repairs, and remembering which sections require a re-start, they are a quite different proposition! One dab means the chance of a gold award is gone.


It finished on January 8 in Torquay, with Western Centre riders in the results - Steven Smith from Stroud (Cotton Cobra 500) won a bronze, John Truscott from Slimbridge (AJS 18C, 500) missed out on an award, as did Matthew Little from Southam on his Mondial 125, and Ian Thompson from Malvern (Beta Alp 200) scored a perfect ride to win a coveted gold award. Motorcycle winner was Chris Poel, well-known to Western Centre riders of Long Distance Trials. He cleaned every section and recorded blistering special test times aboard a Honda XR250.

More info and results are on the MCC Website