TRIALS IN GERMANY:
Here at Trials Guru, we are always looking for something new, something old and something out of the ordinary. Trials friend, Kurt-Patrik Beckmann suggested that we look towards Germany for something new as there were many fine riders of trials who came from Germany. So contact was made with Kurt-Patrik’s help with Rainer Heise who took many photographs in the period 1970 – 1990 and was active taking photographs for the premier German trials magazine Trialsport which was formed by Felix Krahnstover, himself a multiple German National Trials Champion.
German trials enthusiast Gernot Menke has written some words to compliment Rainer Heise’s excellent photographs.
Here is the result, Rainer Heise – Trials in Germany, a special section for your enjoyment …
From the camera of Rainer Heise: – Trials in Germany 1974 – 1977
World Championship – Gefrees, 1975
World Championship – Gefrees, 1976
OBSERVED TRIALS IN GERMANY
Words: Gernot Menke
The development of observed trials in Germany was directly stimulated by two British influences. Maybe this is why in German the word “trial” is pronounced in English – or nearly in English, as the German “r” is used.
The first influence came to Carl Jurisch (1904-1963) in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) already before WW II and it was a big one: the Scottish Six Days Trial! Jurisch, who was a brilliant engineer and works rider of the Puch-team in time trials, came from a wealthy family. Due to his good language skills he came into contact with British riders on the occasion of International Six Days Trial events. When Robert ‘Bob’ MacGregor and Jack Williams, both winners of the Scottish Six Days Trial, invited Jurisch to come to Scotland to compete in the Scottish, Jurisch could afford to do so in 1936.
However, a nazi-functionary insisted on him riding a German bike and so Carl Jurisch competed in the Scottish of 1936 on a DKW SB 250. It was the only two stroke machine in the field, but Jurisch finished as best foreigner and won the Albert Memorial Challenge Trophy. Jurisch also competed in the Southern Trial and when he was back home, he had become a real enthusiast of observed trials. Jurisch tried to spread the idea of observed trials in Germany, but World War II stopped it all for more than ten years.
World Championship Round in Belgium, 1977
Gernot Menke continues:
The second influence from Britain came after the war to Northern Germany, which was then the British occupied zone. A letter published in 1959 reads as follows:
“When the British came in 1945, they brought with them the sport of observed trials. The Englishmen carried out dozens of trials on the Bergen-Belsen military training ground, on whose borders I live, and we have been there from 1951 to 1957, wishing our young boys had motorcycles to be able to participate. The Club in Soltau took up the idea in 1952 and carried out several trials with great success. In 1954 I was able to found the MSC Bergen and have carried out 12 trials since that time.”
As far as the emergence of observed trials is concerned, Northern Germany was well ahead of Southern Germany. For this reason, the backwardness of the German motorcycle sports commission Oberste Motorradsport Kommission (OMK), which held a prejudice against observed trials and did not consider it as a real sport like racing, was felt most strongly in the North. When the OMK made inadequate and unrealistic regulations for observed trials in 1959, this raised protest.
The above-cited letter must be seen in this context. It stressed the own experience and competence with regard to observed trials against the ignorance of the OMK. The protest led to the creation of the North German trials association Trialsport Gemeinschaft Nord (TSG-Nord) in Uelzen, which was changed into the Deutsche Trialsport Gemeinschaft (DTSG) for all Germany in 1961. This organization published its own trials information paper “FAHRERLAGER” until 1976, when it was replaced by TRIALSPORT-magazine, which still exists today.
Rainer Heise at the 1975 Scottish Six Days
We at Trials Guru are absolutely delighted with Rainer’s fantastic trials photographs from the 1970’s. We hope you are too!
Gernot Menke’s German Trials History continued:
Of course, there were also activities in the wake of Carl Jurisch. Ulrich Pohl, an engineer and rider like Carl Jurisch, was enthusiatic about Jurisch`s reports on observed trials and tried to develop this new motorcycle sport from 1937 onwards. In 1953 he failed to organize a time trial with observed sections as special tests, as he did not receive the approval from the OMK. Besides Carl Jurisch and Ulrich Pohl two other enthusiasts must be mentioned, who reported on trial events in MOTORRAD-magazine and propagated the idea of observed trials as a demanding, but cheap popular sport: Ernst Leverkus, called “Klacks” and Christian Christophe, called “Crius”.
In 1957 the Motorsport-Vereinigung Nürnberg, which had been founded two years before with Carl Jurisch as its president, planned the first observed trial held under OMK-regulations in the end of April 1957 in Nuremberg. Officially, it had to be a time trial, because no regulations for observed trials were existent, but in reality the Georg-Thumshirn-Trial was an observed trial, as all special tests were laid out as observed sections. With regard to the sections, a 0-1-2-5-7-20-penalty-system had been worked out together with the OMK (1-2-5 for one, two or more dabs, 7 points for stopping and 20 points for failing the section).
Earlier in the same year, the Belgian Zündapp-importer invited the Zündapp works-team to compete in the Belgian Trial Lamborelle, which was held six weeks before the Georg Thumshirn-Trial. The management of the Zündapp-factory agreed and so the works-team (Hans Best, Richard Heßler, Gernot Leistner, team supervisor Georg Weiss) came and saw what a trial bike had to look like. The Zündapp-team also got a lot of organizational support to develop observed trials in Germany. The 0-1-3-5-penalty system was learned and brought home to Germany and was applied in the Georg Thumbshirn-Trial six weeks later.
The years between 1958 and 1960 were a phase of transition. An OMK- trials cup was held in preparation for a national championship. However, I already mentioned the the inadequacy of the OMK-regulations created for observed trials now which led to the foundation of the TSG-Nord in the North in 1959.
In 1960 the German trials championship finally came. In the first three years between 1960 and 1962, qualifying rounds were held in the North and in the South in order to reduce costs. Only the final events were considered as championship.
From 1963 to 1973 the championship was run in the winter period. This was according to the common idea of trials riding as a practice for competition in the other motorcycle sports disciplines.
Another traditional feature, which also met the interests of the Zündapp-factory, which took nearly any titel up to 1973, was the existence of several classes of engine capacity. Up to 1968, there were three classes up to 100 cc, up to 200 cc and above. In 1969, a 50 cc-class was introduced until 1972. The displacement subdivision of capacity classes changed several times, until from 1975 there is only one class.
At last some interesting figures. In 1967, internationally had seen the last year of the ‘Henri Groutars’ Cup, the following machines were used in the national round in Schatthausen (a well-known club south of Heidelberg where Franz Haaf, German champion 1982 and 1984, came from): 23 Zündapp, 10 Hercules, 3 Maico and 3 Bultaco.
The seventies were a unique period with an unprecedented popularity of motorcycling. Motocross and trials riding boomed everywhere. In this era, in 1976, Felix Krahnstöver founded TRIALSPORT-magazine which still exists. Felix Krahnstöver was the dominant rider in those days in Germany who won ten national titles betwenn 1970 and 1981. He comes from Celle in the North, where observed trials had been swallowed from the British military. Today, few people know that Felix Krahnstöver, who was the German Montesa importer and Montesa works rider, was the one who brought the idea of bike trials which he had accidently seen in Fürstenhagen (west of Göttingen near the Weser river) to Pedro Pi in the Montesa factory in 1978. Pedro Pi thereupon hired Andreu Codina to develop the first commercial trials bicycle, the Montesita.
The following dominant trials rider in Germany war Carsten Stranghöner, who also accumulated ten national titles between 1999 and 2011 (11 titles, comprising his indoor title in 2002). Stranghöner, also coming from the North, belongs to the club in Brake near Bielefeld, which organized rounds counting for the Groutars Cup from 1964 and also the World round in 1977. This region around Bielefeld and Osnabrück is a second nucleus of German trials riding influenced by British troops in the North. Helmut Stanik, German trials champion in the class up to 125cc in 1974, also comes from this region.
Today, Franz Kadlec is a new top rider, who regularly wins the national championship since 2014. In contrast to Krahnstöver and Stranghöner, Kadlec comes from Reichersbeuern near Bad Tölz in the deep South of Germany.
German Trials Champions from 1960:
1960: – 100 ccm – L. Specht Zündapp 1
under – 200 ccm – S. Gienger DKW
over + 200 ccm Alfred Lehner Zündapp
1961: – 100 ccm – L. Specht Zündapp 2
– 200 ccm – G. Sengfelder Zündapp 1
+ 200 ccm – Hermann Bitzer NSU
1962: – 100 ccm – A. Lehner
– 200 ccm – G. Sengfelder 2
+ 200 ccm – Gustav Franke Zündapp 1
1963: – 100 ccm – A. Brandl – Zündapp 1
– 200 ccm – G. Sengfelder – Zündapp 3
+ 200 ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 2
(1963)1964: -100 ccm – Andreas Brandl – Zündapp 2
-200 ccm – Günter Sengfelder – Zündapp 4
+200 ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 3
(1964)1965: -100 ccm – Andreas Brandl – Zündapp 3
-200 ccm – Günter Sengfelder – Zündapp 5
+200 ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 4
(1965)1966: -100 ccm – Andreas Brandl – Zündapp 4
-200 ccm – Günter Sengfelder – Zündapp 6
+200 ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 5
(1966/)1967: – 100 ccm – Andreas Brandl – Zündapp 5
– 200 ccm – Franz Brandl – Zündapp 1
+ 200 ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 6
(1967)1968: – 100 ccm – Josef Wolfgruber – Zündapp 1
– 200 ccm – Günter Sengfelder – Zündapp 7
+ 200 ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 7
(1968)1969: – 50 ccm – Josef Wolfgruber – Zündapp 2
– 175 ccm – Franz Brandl – Zündapp 2
+ 175 ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 8
(1969)1970: – 50ccm – Reinhard Christel 1
-175 ccm – Ludwig Terne
+175 ccm – Felix Krahnstöver 1
(1970)1971: – 50ccm – Wolfgang Butzner
+ 50ccm – Gustav Franke – Zündapp 9
(1971)1972: – 50 ccm – Herbert Wegele – Zündapp
– 125 ccm – Reinhard Christel – Zündapp 2
– 250 ccm Josef Wolfgruber – Zündapp 3
(1972)1973: – 125ccm – Reinhard Christel – Zündapp 3
+ 125ccm – Felix Krahnstöver 2
1974: – 125 ccm – Helmut Stanik – Montesa
+125 ccm – Felix Krahnstöver – Montesa 3
1975: Felx Krahnstöver – Montesa 4
1976: Felix Krahnstöver – Montesa 5
1977: Felix Krahnstöver – Montesa 6
1978: Felix Krahnstöver – KTM 7
1979: Felix Krahnstöver – Montesa 8
1980: Felix Krahnstöver – Montesa 9
1981: Felix Krahnstöver – Montesa 10
1982: Franz Haaf – Fantic 1
1983: Thomas Bormet – Fantic
1984: Franz Haaf – Yamaha 2
1985: Udo Lewandowsky – Yamaha 1
1986: Udo Lewandowsky – Yamaha 2
1987: Matthias Neukirchen – Fantic
1988: Marcus Kipp – Beta
1989: Horst Hoffmann – Fantic 1
1990: Horst Hoffmann – Fantic 2
1991: Horst Hoffmann – Fantic 3
1992: Horst Hoffmann – Fantic 4
1993: Jens Ter Jung – Fantic/Beta 1
1994: Jens Ter Jung – Beta 2
1995: Jens Ter Jung 3
1996: Andreas Lettenbichler – Beta 1
1997: Jens Ter Jung – Gas Gas 4
1998: Jens Ter Jung – Gas Gas 5
1999: Carsten Stranghöner – Montesa 1
2000: Carsten Stranghöner – Sherco 2
2001: Carsten Stranghöner – Sherco 3
2002: Andreas Lettenbichler 2
2003: Carsten Stranghöner – Sherco 4
2004: Carsten Stranghöner – Sherco/GasGas 5
2005: Carsten Stranghöner – GasGas 6
2006: Carsten Stranghöner – GasGas 7
2007: Carsten Stranghöner – Montesa 8
2008: Jochen Schäfer – Montesa
2009: Carsten Stranghöner – Montesa 9
2010: Micro Kammel – Beta
2011: Carsten Stranghöner – GasGas 10
2012: Jan Junklewitz – Sherco 1
2013: Jan Junklewitz – Sherco 2
2014: Franz Kadlec 1
2015: Franz Kadlec 2
2016: Franz Kadlec 3
More on Scottish Six Days Trial history
Abbreviations used in captions:
GF = genehmigungsfrei = without authorization, no license required
DMV = Deutscher Motorsport Verband = German Motorsport Association
HTP = Heide Trialpokal = Heath(er) Trials Cup (GF trials, organized in Northern Germany)
NTP = Norddeutscher Trialpokal = North German Trials Cup
With special thanks to Hans Greiner of Trialsport DE magazine for his ongoing co-operation.
Click here for Link to Trialsport DE – Deutschlands einzige TRIAL-Fachzeitschrift!
Also many thanks to enthusiast Gernot Menke for his contribution to this Special Section.
© – All text copyright: Trials Guru / Moffat Racing, John Moffat, Gernot Menke & Rainer Heise – 2017.
© – All Images ‘Rainer Heise Archive’ on this page: World-wide Copyright Rainer Heise, Germany (All Rights Reserved) – 2017.
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