the history of alpha trial
1990, there were many changes to the new model. The red white and blue decals were changed to the more sober purple and gold. The front exhaust and rear silencer were modified, in addition to a new headlight.
By 1991, Trials suspension with hindsight was confused. Manufacturers were all running and buying upside down front suspension, eager to reduce the unsprung weight, not that anyone really noticed the difference. However a never ending dribble of fork oil onto the front brake disc as well as a twisting action when steering, reversed the fashion after only a few years - sending upside down forks in the trials world to room 101. Despite the 1991 official sales brochure of the Micra showing upside down forks, buyers were given the option and many chose Marzocch, which were tried and tested. Rear suspension was by Cort Cosso or on some bikes Boge - depending on supply.
The amazing thing about Alpha .....this small small company ....is that they designed and built their own engine. Whilst it looks vaguely similar to a Hiro / Villa / GasGas engine, when you take more than a fleeting glimpse you quickly realise that its completely different.
Here are some photos of Pierre Rouma with his Alpha's
The Micra was used in competition during the 1990 and 1991 French Championship. The factory rider that any of you will remember was Thierry Girard. Thierry was 3 x French expert runner up and 1 x Senior French Champion. On the Alpha Thierry was part of the 1990 winning French TDN team.
During 1991 Thierry also campaigned the Alpha in the World championship acheiving some notable results.
He achieved 9th place in Luxembourg and Belgium, 8th in Spain, 7th in Austria and a superb 6th place in Poland behind Phillipe Berlatier, but ahead of Bruno Camozzi , Diego Bosis, Marc Colomer and Steve Colley. At the end of 1991 Thierry left Alpha and rode with GasGas.
And so, Alpha had created and placed into production a competitive trials machine, but the warm feeling inside was short lived. Alpha fell foul the way of so many other manufacturers. An inevitable lack of cash flow, a small dealer network and a market that was fast turning liquid cooled, left the small Catalonian company floundering with no choice, but to invest heavily to keep up with the advancing competition and develop, or pull out. Despite having a liquid cooled engine almost ready the decision was made to shut the doors for the final time.
Jacques moved to Spain and in 1997 under the employ of Marc Tessier secretly prepared the designs for the new Bultaco engine. Jacques Coll sadly passed away in 2006, but left behind a competitive and special marque of motorcycles.