CHANGES TO THE STRUCTURE OF THE TWINSHOCK CLASSES FOR 2021
For 2021 a change is propsed to the structure of the twinshock classes in order to encourage owners of older twinshock bikes to enter events. There must be so many of these bikes just sitting unused and one of the main desires that spawned the series was to see these bikes brought back out of their slumber and used once again for what they were created for. They can't all be facebook picture queens now surely...
Currently both twinshock classes are filled with later models from the late 70s and 80s. Very few examples of earlier bikes are being ridden. There have been suggestions that the series and therefore the sections are set to suit the more capable late model twinshock bikes, monos and modernised Pre65 and that older bikes are not suitable. Whilst this is not the case, it is recognsed that older bikes have to compete against the latest of twinshock machinery in the same classes and owners of older bikes probably feel that they would not be competing on a level playing field, therefore they feel it is pointless entering them. Riders usually opt for what is, or what is at least perceived to be, the most competitive bike for the class. It is hoped a change to class structure will change this.
It's certainly true that a later bike will take less effort than an older bike to ride but that does not mean the older bikes are not capable of tackling the sections. The series format and requirement is that sections are set to a no-stop style of riding and not include overly tight turns or lines that require any 'trick riding' to navigate through. An older bike is still capable of tackling the expert route with a capable rider, however, the clubman route is perfect for these bikes and it would be nice to see them competing in numbers once more. Early bikes such as slimline Bultacos or earlier, Ossa MAR, Montesa Cota 247, RL Suzuki, Kawasaki would be a fantastic addition to the line up of bikes taking part.
To this effect a change to the twinshock classes has been made to allow earlier machines to compete together in the same class. Earlier machines can be defined as those made up until the mid 70s as it was around this period that factories began to incorporate longer travel suspension to their bikes together with improved engine performance giving these later machines a significant improvement in overall performance against those from the earlier years. Whereas it is difficult to cite an exact year from which to define the classes, as production of some bikes carried throughout the 70s, a reasonable compromise is to define the early and later classes based upon suspension travel using the early bikes as a standard for 'standard suspension travel'. These will compete in class 2. Bikes considered to have longer travel suspension (generally new models introduced from around 1976) will compete in class 3. Examples of bikes in production throughout the 70s but which remained virtually unchanged with no significant iprovements are the Montesa Cota 247 and Yamaha TY175 and TY250, therefore these bikes will be classed as earlier twinshocks.
Early model twinshocks that have been modified to a later specification will be classed as a later model and must be entered in the later class. The entire point of introducing this class is to encourage owners of older bikes to ride them and compete against similar spec bikes, updating them to later specifications defeats that purpose. Self build bikes, popular in the 70s and a few were produced, will be assessed on their chassis and suspension design. If it has long travel suspension then it must be entered in the later class. Frame kits such as Miller Hi-Boy will fall into the class appropriate to their design. Hi-Boy TL125 for example will be early, Hi-Boy Bultaco can be either early or late depending on the year Bultaco the Hi-Boy was designed for. Gollner Kawasaki would be later etc etc.
The organisers sincerely hope that this will encourage more riders to enter on older bikes and add more variety and interest to the array of machines taking part. To assist establishing which class a twinshock bike should entered in, a list of bikes for each class has been drawn up which can be found here.. There may be omissions, if you are aware of any bike not included please send details and it will be added to the appropriate class list.