The Highland Classic Two Day Trial – ‘Fantic Edition’ will be held on 12/13 June 2021 at Alvie Estate, Kincraig, Highland.
The Highland Classic logo and website content are copyright, the intellectual property of the Inverness & District Motor Cycle Club Ltd.
The event is for Pre’65, Twinshock and Britshock motorcycles with 8 classes.
‘The Friendliest Classic Trial in Scotland’ is our trade mark and we are incredibly proud of our event that attracts an entry of 160 riders from across the UK. Plus a group of ‘Signature Riders’ who have either contributed their expertise to motorcycle sport or won Scottish, British or even World Championships over the years.
A Short History of the Highland Classic event:
The Highland Classic Two-Day Trial originally started as a one day Pre-65 trial at Alvie Estate back in 2004, held later in the year.
It was the brain-child of club chairman, Malcolm Smith to ensure that riders had something special to ride at Alvie, rather than just another modern bike event. Malcolm had purchased the ex-Mick Dismore James 250 (286 FON) from friend Trevor Butts, a machine which had been ridden in the SSDT in 1963, when Dismore enjoyed support from Comerfords of Thames Ditton,Surrey. Smith was keen to ride it more often and Alvie was just the place to do this.
After two years of running a one day event, it was decided, after talking to competitors from south of the Scottish border and spurred on by Jock McComisky, that a two-day event would be more worthwhile. The club were keen to encourage our friends from further afield to compete on our wonderful course.
Originally, there had been a Highland Two-Day Trial which began in 1949 and ran into the early 1960’s. This event was well supported and organised then by the Highland Car & Motor Cycle Club (now the Highland Car Club).
As a tribute to the original event which was once won by motorcycle dealer Tom Ellis from Ripon riding his factory supported BSA 500cc Gold Star in the mid 1950’s, it was deemed a good idea to partially resurrect the name and modify it slightly, hence the addition of the word “Classic”.
As a matter of interest, Ellis put his factory BSA on the train and had it carried in the guard’s van up to Inverness railway station. In those days the event started at the Drummossie Hotel, adjacent to the old A9 trunk road and covered quite a distance from its Inverness base. After his winning ride, he popped the bike back on the train and went back down to his native Yorkshire.
Thanks to motorsport enthusiast John Mackenzie from Fortrose, he recently discovered the following information about the original Highland Club. It is an extract from the ‘Scottish Clubman’ Motorsport magazine, January 1960 edition:
“A new Highland Motor Cycle Club has been formed in the Inverness area and following the A.G.M. in November of the Highland Car and M.C.C., it is expected that a new Highland Car Club will emerge. We understand that it was mutually agreed in September that the car and motor cycle interests in the 11 year old original club should go their separate ways, but, at the same time, retain a friendly association. The formation of the Highland M.C.C. was fostered greatly by some of the ‘old hands’, and chairman at the inaugural meeting, attended by about 30, was Mr. Jack Gregory, founder secretary of the old club. He left the uninitiated in no doubt as to what was required in terms of discipline and good behaviour for a club of standing. There was no room for Promenade Percies or Café Corner racers, he said.”
A few years ago, the Highland Classic trial’s format had been re-worked to attract a larger entry by opening it up from Pre-65 machines only to include twin-shock machines up to 1983, before the advent of the mono-shock machinery.
The club are ever grateful to our main ‘Trial Partner’ Alvie & Dalraddy Estates and their owner, the Laird, Mr. Jamie Williamson of Alvie Estates Ltd for their kind permission and assistance in allowing the trial to make use of their ground. Alvie is a hunting and activity estate and we are very lucky to be able to compete on this ground. It lies but 4 miles south of the holiday town of Aviemore which has ample varied accommodation to suit all needs and pocket.
Alvie and its’ associate estate, Dalraddy, support many local businesses including a caravan and camping park along with cottages for holiday lets, pony-trekking and the zip wire adventure; so we have to be aware that the ground is used for other activities and not just trials. The Inverness & District club work very closely with Alvie’s owners and tenants to achieve this harmony.
Hosted on the second weekend in June, the course itself covers around 5-6 miles of a lap, taking in around 18 sections per lap. This is done twice on the Saturday and with some over-night adjustments, a similar two lap course on the Sunday.
The going is varied with some traditional Scottish style sections in the river and some dry-land rock going, with a little variation high up on the tree lined hillside.
The event is a no-stop in keeping with classic trials and most, if not all, classes are catered for.
We run a dual route, “Red” being aimed at twin-shock or “Blue” route for the Pre-65 machines and riders who don’t want too much of a challenge. The sections don’t look hard but they can be long and need sustained concentration otherwise marks can be lost.
We usually aim to present the awards no later than 4.00 pm on the Sunday, allowing long distance travellers to set off home down the A9 which is only a mile from the start area.
So far, the Highland Classic has been host to quite a few of our Spanish trials friends including Carlos Casas; Angel Magrina (Delay trials shop owner) regulars’ Javier Cruz of Sotobike Club, Madrid and Alicante based hotelier, Carlos Bosch as well as some trials past masters, such as Peter Salt (former Cheshire Trials Champion); Mick Wilkinson (former Greeves factory rider) Clive Smith (former Montesa rider) and former Vulcan bomber pilot, Wing Commander (rtd), Jonathan Tye In 2013.
We started the themed event with The Bultaco Edition and our Guest of Honour was three times World Trials Champion, Yrjo Vesterinen. Since then we have had the esteemed company of Dave Thorpe; Bill Wilkinson; Mick Andrews; Rob Shepherd; Nick Jefferies, Douglas Bald and 1979 World Trials Champion Bernie Schreiber as subsequent guests.
The Highland Classic has become one of the premier Pre’65 and Twin-shock events in the UK and indeed Europe.
The Inverness club have run trial events at Alvie Estate since 1981, the original approach being made by former club member Ray Sangster and we hope to be able to do so for many years to come. It is well worth the long haul up into the Scottish Highlands to ride what has become known as “The Friendliest Classic Trial in Scotland”.