Scorpa 300 TRS 300
Tried and tested machinery usually ticks all the boxes of the buying public in a very competitive trials market offering many choices to suit individual needs. The Scorpa brand has been in the very capable hands of the official UK importer Nigel Birkett for over a decade now. It carries a strong reputation for reliability, and in the all-important performance areas Nigel’s experience is second to none, passing on his knowledge where it can be used in the production of the machines. With a bright orange base for its aesthetics the new 2018 model Scorpa 300cc can stand very proud amongst its rivals in all areas of handling and performance, as we will find out in this ‘Quick Spin’.
Success has come the Scorpa way at all levels of the sport from the good centre and national riders, like our test rider today Stephen Dixon right through to the Ladies’ British Championship wins with Jess Bown. In 2017 British Championship success came in the sidecar world when Nigel took on board the feedback from Nigel Crellin and his passenger Chris Molyneux on the way to the title. The French brand added the 2017 Trial125 World Championship, with Italian Lorenzo Gandola putting Scorpa at the cutting edge of the sport. Supported rider Andy Chilton is Nigel’s ‘Main Man’ on the UK scene and he constantly puts on a good showing with the 300cc model similar to the one we have for the ‘Quick Spin’ here.
It seems like quite a long time since we asked Stephen Dixon to test a Scorpa and so we met up with him in the Lake District for his opinions on the 2018 model. Stephen has been supported on the Scorpa brand since day one with Birkett as the UK importer and was more than happy to share his thoughts with us.
NEW FOR 2018
ENGINE: Progressive Exhaust: Improved system to smooth out the power delivery and boost performance. Twin Spark CDI: This increases performance at low engine speeds. Clutch Oil Retention: This improves the cooling of clutch to improve its performance under heavy use. Aesthetics: Anthracite grey colour engine.
FRAME: Front Forks: Marzocchi aluminium improving control and performance. Reiger Shock Absorber: Offering increased balance and control on both compression and rebound. Braking System: Updated with new AJP Master Cylinders. Air Filter Retention: Improved location and seal. Rear Subframe: Reinforced for a more rigid fit. Aesthetics: Black swinging arm and 2018 graphics, giving a more racing look.
STEPHEN DIXON: “I am a Scorpa fan through and through, going way back to the time when the French brand used the fantastic and ultra-reliable Japanese Yamaha engines. When Scorpa moved across to European engines I was a little dubious as to how this would affect the Scorpa as a machine. The handling with the Yamaha engined models was legendary, as it catered for riders of all abilities and came with reputation for holding your chosen line in a very comfortable way. Fortunately that handling experience has travelled across very well. This new generation orange-coloured model was introduced in 2015 and has evolved since then to what we have here in this 2018 300cc model. I have been fortunate to be good friends with Nigel for many years, and his experience for making a good machine better can be found in all Scorpa models. The fact he has 99% of the spares in stock also helps should you need any!”
A LABOUR OF LOVE
“First impressions always mean so much and once again I can see the new model has had some thought put into its improvements. The colour scheme actually looks very durable which is a plus point when you want to sell it. Swinging arms suffer from ‘boot’ abuse as they scuff them but with the new heavy-duty decals I am sure this will help. I always think that the frame layout leaves the machine looking quite low, which once again improves body positioning and movement on the machine.
“Nigel explained that the clutch is now revised from the 2017 model which was a little heavy in action, and I can confirm that it has been improved as I made myself comfortable on the brand new ‘out of the box’ 2018 machine. It started first kick, which is always good, and the lever ratio means it is very easy to start. Once the engine is running the clutch lever action is very light in its use, and gear selection also very crisp and precise. I did not adjust the suspension as it felt quite good at the front and rear in its standard set up from new. I left the machine running for a few minutes to warm up the engine. Once on the go the exhaust note was very crisp and clean, as was the carburetion”.
“It came to my notice pretty much straight away that the small changes to the frame appear to have given it a little more steering lock, which is good. I soon felt very comfortable and it’s obvious that the new Reiger rear shock absorber has something to do with this. Whether you are riding up a big step or up a rocky river bed the machine still retains its main attribute, which is holding your chosen line. With revised ignition mapping a much smoother delivery of power is on hand, giving you that extra time to pick where you are going as opposed to being thrown into hazards unexpectedly. I can imagine the front and rear suspension combination improving all the time from new as it ‘beds’ itself in. As with all modern trials machines the brakes front and rear worked very well in all conditions, and this contributed to the feeling of being very much in control on the machine.
“I am a Scorpa fan and I was very impressed with the new 2018 model, my suggestion is have a go on one and you will be very impressed, maybe as much as I was.”