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About M.O.T.A. and Trials

Andrew Putt at his Second Trials event

The Michigan-Ontario Trials Association is a Non-Profit organization devoted to promoting observed motorcycle trials activity in the Michigan-Ontario Area. Composed of a number of member clubs, M.O.T.A. sponsors virtually all trials events held in the area. Each observed trials is organized and conducted by one of the member clubs solely for the enjoyment of other M.O.T.A. club members, and any other riders who wish to participate. Any fees collected are intended only to provide enough funds to perpetuate the sport.

All work is voluntary, but without each member’s donation of some time and effort, the sport would not be possible. M.O.T.A. members have found that setting up a trials, constructing sections, and working to make their club’s event challenging, safe, and enjoyable to all can be more rewarding than competing in an event. It is this club-level organization with its emphasis on enjoyable, friendly competition that promotes family participation, and makes M.O.T.A. observed trials unique among motorcycle sports.

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The Michigan-Ontario Trials Association was a conversation over beer on February 19, 1967, in Barner’s Bar, 12501 Gratiot, Detroit. The clubs that drew together are all but gone now with only Detroit M/C remaining. But now we are getting ahead in the story.

The other clubs at the discussion were Red Wings M/C, Chatham Archons’ M/C, Sarnia Competition Team, Huron Trial Blazers, and Petrolia Road Knights. M.O.T.A., also referred to as the Association, was formally agreed upon on April 2, 1967, by all but the Red Wings M/C and the Petrolia Road Knights. Tom Clark volunteered and was accepted as interim Chairman.

The spring was filled with many long evenings hammering and molding the Rules and Procedures, By-Laws and Constitution into a workable and agreeable set of guides. (Shades of 1776.) Trials were held in 1967 and the guides tested, changed, and modified. One item of debate that year was the scoring system. Footing was counted to five; out of bounds, stops, dismounting, and restarting engine counted five each with an accumulative maximum total of fifteen if the section was attempted. Twentyfive points were given if the section was not attempted. It’s a wonder we don’t have a few adding machines.

Blue Water M/C joined M.O.T.A. June 25, which raised the member clubs to six. More trials were held and more guides were modified. Ah, the structure proved to be workable ! A practical means for distributing the administrative and functional responsibilities of the Association was discussed at an August meeting. Funny how getting work done in a volunteer organization quickly gets to be a problem.

However, the Association’s existence today is proof that those early trialers must have found a way.

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