The Talmag Trophy Trial organised by the Territorial Army mcc for pre 65 trials
bikes has always been was one of those mythical events that unless you were in the
know you usually heard about after the event, and I always wondered what the buzz
was all about.
A few years back I had a whisper off a mate, who had heard from a friend of a friend
when the event was on, and so I went feeling all adventurous and secret squirrel
like and since then it has been a regular start of season petrol head fix for the
dark dreary days of January. Now aided by the internet where the date can be found,
and big large signs pointing the way.
So what has this to do with custom bikes, well although 100% biker is based around
custom bike scene and the biker lifestyle, this scene has its roots a long way back.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s when often bikes were used for many different sports and
also as a regular daily ride the owners had to be very adaptable, carrying wheels,
changings bars etc for whichever event. Hence many of these pre 65 bikes are road
legal too and have some great touches many which would look ace on any build. There’s
also the fantastic bodges just to keep things going.
I suppose as well this challenge to create multi use vehicles must have started off
many small workshops just for spares and hence customising.
Some machines are however almost pure customs including a fabulous 500cc Vincent,
which sadly when I saw it was “resting” needing some fettling by its owner. A lovely Douglas
and even a Ducati but the main tools are big British singles, and the woods resound
to the deep thud thud thud of the paint pot sized pistons lazily turning around
in big iron and steel engines.
But what makes this so special is also the camaraderie of the riders, some who are
right characters and some of advancing years as they walk the stages to see the lie
of the land, trading insults and jeers and encouragement to all. It really shows
that biker spirit lives as long as you can get your leg over an bike.
My favourite of the day was a quirky BSA which the owner has had for years, he confessed
was far to uncompetitive for this event, had odd bits and pieces added just for decoration
such as a turbo sign, and he had a huge grin and that’s what biking is all about.
And for those that wonder why pre 65 as after this date the two stokes started to
take over this was shown as a couple of marshals had early two stroke bikes which
easily sped round the course that many of the other riders wobbled and worried about
.This year as a project I decided to embrace the era and photograph the event as
a mono project I hope you enjoy.