Perched on the pedals, feet never touching the ground, a group of motorcyclists start, stop, wheelie, stoppie, leap and climb over a variety of obstacles collected on a slab of hot asphalt during AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.
Story by Jim Witters
Photo by Halley Miller
Perched on the pedals, feet never touching the ground, a group of motorcyclists start, stop, wheelie, stoppie, leap and climb over a variety of obstacles collected on a slab of hot asphalt at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.
These highly skilled riders are demonstrating the art of MotoTrials competition, a form of riding that requires concentration, precise body movement, superb throttle and clutch control and, above all, balance.
The crowds ooh, ah, shake their heads and applaud loudly when a stunt succeeds.
A group of competitors is performing the demonstrations all weekend at the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days event near Lexington, Ohio.
The AMA's 2015 Women’s National Champion Madison Leigh (right) is one of them.
The 16-year-old from Colorado said she has been riding motorcycles since she was 6, usually in the woods. So showing off her skills on pavement in front of a crowd of 100 or more is a little intimidating.
But her performance was flawless.
“My grandpa got me involved in riding and then in competition,” Leigh said. “He was really involved in the North American Trials Council.”
The United States MotoTrials National Series is governed by the AMA and the NATC. The series hosts the best riders of various classes, and consists of six to 12 events held in various parts of the country.