Competition Rules

The object in an Observed Trial is to ride various sections of difficult natural terrain in the woods, without putting your foot down (dabbing) to maintain balance. These terrain challenges include combinations of tight turns through the trees, jumping fallen logs, riding through rocky sections, short hill climbs, etc. The object is not speed, but rather control of your motorcycle on challenging terrain. The events are always held on private land. The sport is perhaps best known in Europe, but there are plenty of devoted followers in North America!

In a trial scored under the Moreland Gate System which we are using, riders are free to choose their own path through each section. There will be several obstacles (gates) to choose from in each section. The rider gains one bonus point for each gate completed, but must ride the entire section without dabbing. If the rider dabs even once, all score is lost for that single ride. High score wins.

The gate system is ideal for riders of all abilities, because they can pick only the obstacles that are appropriate for their own skill level.


General Information:

NYACT events have four bike classes:

        Prehistoric- 1971 and older.
        Historic- 1972 through 1977.
        Classic- 1978 through 1987, twin shock and drum brake.
        Modern- 1991 and older, monoshock and/or disc brake.

All machines must be production trials bikes, or other bikes that have been modified for trials
use. If you are contemplating a heavily-modified bike, it would be wise to consult with the
NYACT Administrator before construction. Modified bikes must be approved by the
Administrator before first use with us, and will be assigned to the bike class deemed
appropriate. Period modifications are allowed, meaning there should be no major components
newer than the newest year for that class. However, modern shocks, carbs and tires are
acceptable. All tires must have trials tread (no knobbies). All bikes must have full-size wheels,
generally 21” front and 18” rear. To preserve a vintage experience, all bikes must be air-

The signup period is from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, with a mandatory rider’s meeting at
10:45 AM. The trial starting time is 11:00 AM.

Spectators are welcome at no charge, but may not ride a motorized vehicle or bicycle on the
rider loop. All dogs must be kept on a short leash.

Riding Rules:

All NYACT events are gate trials, using the original Moreland scoring system. High score wins.
There are no Observers; you score yourself. This is a family-oriented organization. We have
women and youngsters riding with us, so conduct yourself accordingly. Copies of the complete
Rider Conduct Rule are on the signup table.

Unless otherwise stated, there will be 10 sections and 4 loops. Each section has 5 internal
gates, each worth 1 point. The exit gate is not a scored gate. 40 sections times 5 points per
section means 200 points maximum.

The 5 gates are marked with opposing white or orange arrows. The white pairs are normal.
Where two gates are close to each other, and might lead to confusion, one of the gates will be
marked with orange arrows. The value is still 1 point.

The object is to ride through as many gates as possible in each section. There are no lines or
class distinctions. Any rider can attempt any gate. Gates can be ridden in any sequence, and
different routes may be used on subsequent laps.

You can go backward through a gate. However, a gate used in the backward direction cannot
be used again in the forward direction. There is no score or penalty for going backward
through a gate. The forward direction is the side the markers are on.

Do not enter a section until the rider before you has exited, subject to disqualification.

All riding tricks may be used, such as hopping, backing, or stopping in balance.

Yellow tape limits your path, and cannot be crossed or broken.

The allowed time is 4 hours, so you must finish by 3 PM to maximize your score. The official
clock is on the table. However, there are no “Did Not Finish” (DNF’s) in NYACT. If you are
unable to ride all 40 sections, just ride as many as you can, but you must get your points on
the scoreboard before 3 PM, and make a note on the yellow board card as to why you did not
complete everything. If you have to leave the property before the awards ceremony, please
make a note on your yellow card.

Failure Modes:

The following failure modes mean zero points for that section, that ride.

The first is a dab anywhere, anytime, after your front axle passes the “Start” markers, until
your front axle passes the “Finish” markers. A dab is any contact between you and a support,
such as the ground, a rock, or a tree. Grazing a tree during continuous forward motion is not a
dab, but using the tree for support is a dab. Contact between the skid plate or tires, and a
support, is allowed with the engine running.

The second failure is out of bounds. This means one or both wheels outside the yellow
boundary tape, breaking a tape, breaking or disturbing anything holding a tape or marker, or
knocking a marker from anything holding it. If you break a tape or dislodge a marker, it is your
responsibility to fix it immediately. If there is no tape limiting your path, you may go where
you choose, but a dab anywhere is a failure.

The third failure is two-wheel path crossing. This means crossing your previous path with
both wheels. You also cannot make a ground loop.

The last failure is using a gate twice. If a gate is used in either direction, it cannot be reused
during that attempt.

Additional Reminders:

No shortcutting or backward riding on the marked loop, subject to disqualification. This is a
safety issue. If you miss a section, either push back when dismounted, or ride an extra loop.

If your bike breaks, and you swap to another bike in the same class, you may finish the trial
and all your points will count. If you swap to a different class bike, you may finish the trial for
experience, but your score will only count up to the bike swap. Note it on your yellow card.

Helmet must be worn anytime you are on the bike.

Write your score immediately after each section, using your own pen. Keep your scorecards
legible. We may need them to break ties. If you need to correct your score, do not remake the
old number into the new one. Draw a single line through the old number and write the correct
number alongside it.

After each lap, total your lap score and write it both on the lap card and on the yellow
scoreboard card. Put your old lap card in the box and take a new one. Write your name and lap
number each time. Do not take more than one scorecard per lap. This will help us to gauge the
progress of the trial, and to order the food on time.

After 4 laps, total your yellow card, but leave it on the scoreboard.

If you are addition-challenged, there are calculators on the table. Most addition errors occur in
the lap cards. One easy way to avoid errors is to add twice, once forwards, once backwards.

Finally, the tiebreaker sequence is:
Oldest class of bike, best 1st lap, 2nd , 3rd , & 4th laps, then oldest rider.

Rider Conduct:

Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated at any NYACT event. This will include verbal,
written or physical action, cheating while self-scoring, or violating, ignoring or “bending” the

Drugs are not permitted at any time. Alcohol is not permitted before or during any trial or
school. However, responsible use of alcohol is permitted after you have finished competition.

Violations may be directly observed by the Administrator, the Trialmaster of the event, or may
be reported to either of them by two or more witnesses who observed the infraction.
Levying of penalties will be at the discretion of the Administrator. Penalties will range from
subtraction of points, to permanent exclusion from future NYACT activity.

Questions or comments? Contact NYACT Administrator Ron Bors at: or (607) 257-5640