North West Wales

Ross Hall inquest: Metal cracked on race death motorbike

An off-road motorcyclist on a motorcycle. Image copyright Pablo Guillen/ Getty Images
Image caption The inquest heard the motorcyclist died during race trials in Cefn Llwyd.

An academic has told an inquest into the death of an off-road biker that the metal used in the motorcycle's headstock was prone to cracking.

Dr Iain Fielden of Sheffield Hallam University produced a report for the inquest of Ross Hall, 43, from Accrington, who died in Cefn Llwyd forest, Ceredigion, in November 2015.

Mr Hall suffocated in mud when he came off his bike during "Extreme Team Enduro" trials.

His death was accidental, it was ruled.

Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones told the inquest in Caernarfon, Gwynedd: "Dr Fielden has in my view produced a report which is very relevant to everybody who is involved in off-road biking.

"It highlights weakness generally but also in the headstock that was in use in this instance."

German motorcycle maker X-Trig has not responded to the report.

The aluminium alloy used in the headstock of the motorcycle was prone to corrosive cracking, the inquest heard.

"Other alloys and metals should be used," Mr Pritchard Jones urged.

The inquest heard Mr Hall's machine may have hit a tree, although it was not known whether he was still on his bike at the point of collision.

Mr Pritchard Jones concluded that Mr Hall's death was accidental and he believed a small crack in the bike had led to a complete fracture.

Mr Hall may not have known exactly what happened because other parts would be in their normal place, the inquest heard.

Mr Pritchard Jones added: "I hope other motorcyclists will be aware of the potential danger and that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and trading standards will be told in this country."

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