Video Edit by Scott Smith
Riding trials is an extremely good way to hone your technical riding skills, improve your balance and dial in your focus. It also serves as one of the most fun alternatives to standard dirt biking. If you are traveling to any of the GEICO EnduroCross rounds then it would be a wise choice to pick up a trials bike and race a second class. It’s not just extra seat time (because you literally can’t sit down), but back to the classroom to better your technique and scope out the good lines, since you can just about ride this Ossa anywhere with a point and shoot style.
The TR280i is definitely capable of turning heads with its unique build. The eye-catching framework consists of chrome-moly tubing and various cast aluminum pieces. Up front sits the gas tank where you would normally find the radiators. The pipe looks completely custom under the back fender giving it that one-off look. A gold Ohlins shock, black Marzocchi fork and black wheels are fit for a factory rider. And saving the best for last; this is a fuel-injected 272cc two-stroke! This Ossa is definitely something you need to experience. For more photos and detailed info on the Ossa TR280i check out Jimmy Lewis’ web test at http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/off-road-bikes/141_1108_2011_ossa_tr280i_riding_impression/ or visit www.ossaworld.com.
When it comes to riding trials I could be happy on just about any brand of machine regardless of its technology level and how old it is, but in EnduroCross or anywhere that timing is key, having that extra precise, accurate fuel injected throttle response makes a beginning trials rider like me just that much better with added confidence. I raced the TrialsCross class at the Vegas 2010 round and got last place (though there was a world champion or two in my class). At the Sacramento EnduroCross this year, I hopped on the Ossa and ended up grabbing the win over a more average field of racers. I was able to put together solid laps and stay consistent throughout the race. Approaching any obstacle, I had full confidence in the TR280i as a blip of the throttle and one finger on the clutch is all you need to loft the front wheel up and over any upcoming log, rock or tire. The brakes have great control and plenty of stopping power with a light pull, requiring only one finger for most instances. I was surprised at how easy it was to make a lap on an EX track when, in reality, they look like a torture maze. If you are considering taking to the trails or EnduroCross style courses, investing in a trials bike is a solid way to tackle the learning curve. And if you dig fuel-injected two-strokes, then support the cause!