What exactly is ITSA? Well, ITSA (International Twin Shock Assoc) was
formed, and is continuing to develop, as an association for trials
enthusiasts by trials enthusiasts.
The camaraderie shared in building, restoring,
riding, and competing with other like-minded individuals is paralleled
in satisfaction by very few activities. Whether one chooses to restore
a bike and ride it within its original time period or use their
creativity to design and build a special, staying within the confines
of air-cooled, drum brake, twin shock, ITSA provides a place for you!
Limiting the technology we can use will somewhat
restrict the motorcycle’s capabilities. In doing this, the severity of
the terrain the bikes can safely negotiate becomes more reasonable.
This, in turn, opens the door for more riders to safely compete, making
for a more interesting championship.
So, to sum up what we are about…We are trials
enthusiasts, new and veterans, who are creative in our machine design
and look forward to getting together with those who share these
interests to compare ideas and put them to the test by competing.
Above all else, keep the fun in observed trials!!
Now, for a history lesson....
When you're talking about twin-shock trials competitions in the U.S., there is a window where motorcycles from about 1979 to 1985 are missing. The advent of modern mono-shock trials bikes signaled the end of the twin-shock era. That six-year period created a void of missing twin-shockers, in most rules interpretations, that included all the SWM's, Italjets, the Fantics, some Montesa's, the last few models of Bultaco's, and the Honda Reflex TLR200 and TLR250, to name a few.
The difference between the capabilities of the twin-shock bikes and the mono-shock bikes are obvious. The latest technology employed on today's modern mono-shock motorcycles make them able to tackle huge obstacles. The skill and nerve required to achieve success in executing these feats is beyond what most are willing to try, and the ability to go to work on Monday mornings has become one of those things that is necessary in our lives.
This limits the number of participants capable of attaining top expert rider status. Most twin-shock motorcycles and the abilities of their riders and the sections that they compete in are more closely matched to the average rider's capabilities. This makes an ITSA Trials competition much less dangerous to man or machine, while still being quite challenging, and much more fun.
Another thing that modern mono-shock trials competition does not afford is the creative aspect of rules interpretation, bike building, and the modifications that vintage trials bikes afford the rider. The modern trials mono-shock motorcycle, as it comes out of the crate, is ready to ride and there are no modifications required. For those of us who have experienced the walk through time and the evolution of most things mechanical, somehow feel that something is missing if you don’t have to take your bike apart and work hard at modifying it or designing parts to make it work better, striving to out-engineer your fellow competitor, as well as to out-ride him.
The main class of ITSA is the Modern Twin-Shock category. The rules are basically this:
Ø Air-cooled engine
Ø Drum brakes
Ø Twin shocks
Pretty simple, huh? What’s known in most racing circles as “run what you brung”. That’s what ITSA is all about: build the bike, ride the bike. The limiting factor of air-cooled engines, drum brakes, and twin-shocks will keep the obstacles reasonably sized which will allow more riders to reach the top ranks, providing a more tightly-contested championship series.
The format that ITSA is striving to use is a throwback to the history of Trials itself from England and Scotland. One-line sections with no split markers, with section difficulty tailored as much to the capabilities of the machines of the era as to the abilities and talents of the riders.
Come join the fun!