Trials—where the seemingly impossible is apparently very much possible, just not for me. When I got invited to the Beta Evo Fun Day at MotoVentures, I was thrilled. Being a two-wheel fanatic, I couldn't wait to hop on a trials bike and give it a shot. To my knowledge, up until the day we rode the Betas, I had experienced every form of motorcycle riding except trials, and I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to change that.

Beta USA
Beta USA offers a handful of two-stroke trials bikes ranging in gas-powered engine sizes from 80cc to as high as 300cc, and a 300cc four-stroke.Courtesy of Beta

Trials is a discipline where riders are judged on their ability to keep their feet on the pegs in several “sections” in a competition that usually lasts for about five to six hours. Most trials events have between 10 and 15 of these sections, and the riders usually do either two or three loops. It’s usually three loops of 10 or 12 sections, or two loops of 15 sections. Trials has nothing to do with speed. It’s a form of competition that can be likened to golf in that the person with the lowest score at the end of the day wins. In the case of trials, that means the rider who makes the least amount of mistakes such as putting their foot down (also known as dabbing), going out of the boundaries, missing a gate, or crashing.

beta trials
It’s not until you realize how much power and torque is packed into these small, lightweight machines that you realize how different they are from a dirt bike.Courtesy of Beta

Beta USA offers a handful of two-stroke trials bikes ranging in gas-powered engine sizes from 80cc to as high as 300cc, and a 300cc four-stroke. They also offer youth electric trials bikes in 16 or 20-inch wheel sizes for youngsters. Upon arriving at MotoVentures, we were given the option to either ride an Evo 250 or Evo 300, both of which were two-strokes. We opted for the 250 seeing as that's the bike Beta recommends for new trials riders like myself.

beta trials
My dad, who is the staff photographer for Dirt Rider, got to ride with me as Beta kindly provided photographers for us, alleviating him of his photo shooting duties for the dayCourtesy of Beta

As an added bonus, my dad, who is the staff photographer for Dirt Rider, got to ride with me as Beta was kind enough to provide photographers for us, which alleviated him of his photo shooting duties for the day. He had ridden a trials bike only a couple of times several years ago, so it was cool to be able to share the experience with him as we were both very new to it.

grippy Dunlop D803GP trials
Running as little as 5 pounds of pressure in both the front and rear ultra-soft and grippy Dunlop D803GP trials tires, traction never seemed to be an issue.Courtesy of Beta

At first glance, a trials bike doesn’t seem intimidating. It’s not until you realize how much power and torque is packed into these small, lightweight machines that you comprehend how different they are from a dirt bike. The incredible torque and lightweight chassis makes it easier to balance and gives the rider the ability to rest, refocus, and reanalyze what’s in front of him. With as little as 5 pounds of pressure in both the front and rear ultra-soft and grippy Dunlop D803GP trials tires, traction never seemed to be an issue. On the contrary, being a moto guy, this was one of the harder things to adapt to. A big loop-out off a rock began to seem inevitable.

beta trials
During the five sections we rode for one loop, I quickly came to realize how different trials riding is when you’re in a section and actually competing.Courtesy of Beta

After riding around and rolling over a few rocks, I was able to adapt to what seemed to be 100 percent traction at all times on each type of terrain we rode. Then I was bashing into rocks and using every inch of the skid plate, until watching Beta USA’s pro-level trials rider and AMA EnduroCross racer Ty Cullins do unfathomable things with less throttle than I used to smash my way over a 2-foot rock made me realize how calculated a trials rider must be. Taking advice from three experienced riders who were kind enough to give me some pointers, the recurring words I heard were, “Less throttle and less clutch.” This was something I had trouble grasping.

beta trials
The gates that determine which class goes where come quickly and the outer ribbons that designate the boundaries are much tighter than they looked when we walked the sections.Courtesy of Beta

During the five sections we rode for one loop, I quickly came to realize how much different trials riding is when you’re in a section and actually competing. The gates that determine which class goes where come quickly and the outer ribbons that designate the boundaries are much tighter than they looked when we walked the sections. There was nothing too dangerous in the sections we rode, but they sure were technical. By the end of the loop, I had noticeably improved and was happier with the way I was riding than when we first began.

AMA EnduroCross racer Ty Cullins
It wasn’t until watching Beta USA’s pro-level trials rider and AMA EnduroCross racer Ty Cullins do unfathomable things with less throttle than I used to smash my way over a 2-foot rock that I realized how calculated a trials rider must be.Courtesy of Beta

At the end of the day, I had a ton of fun and learned a lot of things I can apply when riding any other motorcycle disciplines. One of the things I learned is that the phrase “When in doubt, gas it out” does not apply to trials. If you get a little too throttle happy while riding trials, you’ll likely find yourself pretzeled so far between a rock and a hard place, it will probably take a crane to pull you out. Trials is a completely different discipline that requires precision, finesse, technique, and control. Without them, you’ll be on your head faster than you can say, “Beta!” Like acrobats hopping from one rock to another, trials riders display an amazing set of skills and technique unfamiliar to any other form of motorcycle riding. I had a blast getting my first taste of it on the Betas. It’s definitely not easy and like nothing I’ve experienced on any other motorcycle, and I can’t wait to get back on one again.

beta trials
At the end of the day, I had a ton of fun riding the Beta trials bikes and can’t wait to get back on one again.Courtesy of Beta