Off-road biking: MotoTrials Championship revs up in the Valley

The MotoTrials National Championship series is taking place in Garrettsville this weekend

The MotoTrials National Championship series is taking place in Garrettsville this weekend.

GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s motorcycle riding, then there’s MotoTrials — a high-powered off-road experience that takes this sport to a different level.

All that fun will be right here in the Valley this weekend as part of the National Championship Series.

“There’s definitely times where you are scared and worried about things and you kind of don’t want to do it,” said Pat Smage, an eight-time National Champion rider. “But at the end of the day, if everyone else is doing it and you want to finish well, you just have to put that out of your mind.”

Some of the best riders in the country have gathered in Garrettsville.

“Trials is basically an obstacle course on a motorcycle,” Smage said. “There are 12 different sections that are roughly a minute and a half long, full of rocks, hills, sand, gravel, any type of terrain. You are judged by how many times you put your foot down.”

“This is a big deal,” said Greg Conley, MotoTrials master. “We had 45 people in two weekends cleaning these sections and setting them up for the guys to, hopefully, be challenged and put on a good event.”

But these aren’t your normal motorcycles.

“As you can tell, the first major difference is there is no seat on the motorcycle,” said Quinn Wentzel, a competitor from Canfield. “That is basically to reduce weight. It is designed to be as light as possible, it is really thin. I can lift it up pretty easily.”

The result is high flying excitement that most wouldn’t think possible on two wheels, and sometimes even one wheel.

“Trials is a very addicting sport, at least for me,” said Kylee Sweeten, a professional MotoTrials rider. “There are just so many things you can learn. There is a wide range of skills you can work on.”

“You are like, ‘Wow, I didn’t think that was possible,'” Wentzel said. “You just do things that normal people look at and say, ‘There is no way that should happen,’ but it does.”


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