Ian Kerr reports from a much loved four-stroke-only trial, the roots of which go back to a Territorial Army motorcycling club in the 1950s.
In the 1950s, the Territorial Army (London) Motorcycling Club was formed and started running trials, effectively following on from the war. This mouthful of a name soon became abbreviated down to TALMAG, which continues to this day.
Obviously with their military connections, many of their events were run on military training ground surrounding London. As things progressed, some of the committee became disenchanted with the proliferation of the two-stroke trials machine and decided to make their own protest by making one of their events a four-stroke only event.
So the Talmag Trophy Trial was born, aimed at getting riders to rescue those AJS, Matchless, Norton, BSA and Royal Enfield singles from the garden shed and give them another outing. This was over 40 years ago, long before the interest in Pre-65 events was at the level it is now, so it was very much a pioneering move by the club.
The idea was to remove the tight nadgery sections that prevented even the best-sorted thumper from cleaning a section and reintroduce the wide open sections with long climbs to enable the big singles to have their head.
After a brief flirtation with military ground at Weavers Down, the trial finally came to rest at Hungry Hill, a place with terrain ideally suited to the big bangers! The wide open steep hill itself, for instance, soon became a favourite with spectators and riders alike. It still provides a daunting climb in any of its various guises and is included every year, despite other sections having a rest from time to time.
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