Montesa Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Montesa 1967 Trials

Montesa 1967 Trial 250

This is the same model as that described in the article. Photographed by Mike Ricketts at the Montesa Cota exhibition, Bassella Museum Barcelona.

Early Montesa Trials Machine
by Carlo Ramella*

Several years ago Pippo Bartorilla and I visited our good friend Dr Garino, a Bultaco affizionado collector, with a considerable collection which includes many interesting trials machines - a Sherpa with radial fins, Matador, Montadero, various Ossas, 6-speed Bultaco - the list is long. He also quite a number of machines awaiting restoration or re-assembly, with a large store of spares for the purpose. In years gone by he travelled frequently to the UK and some of these machinss came home with him.

A particular Montesa caught my eye; it had large brakes and very low frame number, #93, and I persuaded him to part company with it. I don't quite recall if I bought it outright or it was part exchange for my yellow SWM trials sidecar, but that evening I returned home with the Montesa, along with two tank-seat combinations, one separate and another integrated in the fashion of an early 247. Looking closely it seemed to be a very early version, because the air filter and silencer were not the usual types. About two years ago I found photos and information online about an early Montesa trials which ended with the number 54, so I consider my number 93 as a very early production machine which has seperate fuel tank and seat/side panels. Later I repainted the spare integrated tank/seat combination, while the seperate set retains the original finish - they are perfectly interchangable so I can easily change it's look and ride it as one version or another, as the fancy takes me.

Mudguards were painted red, but I also fitted aluminium guards. The engine was running rather well, and just required some fine tuning to the ignition timing and carburettor. I was not after high performance, just a nice looking bike that I experience riding sensations similar to those who developed the Montesa, my heroes Pedro Pi [2] and Don Smith - and the Montesa delivered! I like trials bikes that are easy to live with and fun to ride. Now our friend Justyn Jr will take her out for a serious ride and we'll get his opinion.

This is an edited version of the story Justyn Norek contributed, in English. If possible the original Italian version will also be posted.

Montesa 250 Trial Prototype Impressions

by Justyn Norek Jr. [1]

During one recent visit to our friend Carlo Ramella we saw a Montesa trials bike that looked like prototype of the successful 247 Cota. I was very interested to give this a run as my father and I have several examples of the marque - 247, 348, 349, 304 (the first monoshock Montesa), 307, 309, 310 (as ridden by trials legend Eddy Lejeune), 311 (first water cooled model) and a 4RT.

So you can call me a big Montesa fan.

I am very well accustomed to these machines having ridden them many times, and on the 348 I took part in famous Mont Ventoux Classic Trial.

Thus I was very happy to be able to test it and compare with other models developed from this one. Location of test was decided to be Rubiana Bike Park that is close to Turin and place I train frequently on modern and classic bikes. It's beautifully located in woods with different kinds of ground, and terrain configurations.

Carlo's bike was prepared in separate fuel tank version as I have never ridden such version. Usual preparation before test like preparing petrol mix, checking tires pressure As very often I find it too high and than we warmed bike properly. Few minutes of easy riding around and trying to get used to controls and I could start more demanding courses. My immediate feeling was pretty much at home really very similar to 247, bike was very easy to ride and to control on downhill and uphill sections and brakes adequate for it's age. Also separate fuel tank was not any problem despite its bit

Higher than famous trend setting one piece design introduced with 247. Engine power was very usable with good delivery at low rpm. So now I was ready to try some bigger rocks and stones. Bike is handling very well and easy to control also in more "tricky" situation it's easy to maintain equilibrium. This must be due to intense development program done with famous Spanish rider Pedro Pi, who was famous for introducing

Training on trials bicycle and was founder of "MONTY" trials bicycle brand that was instant winner of bicycle trials events. I know something about it as when I was kid my Daddy both me beautiful chromed 20" MONTY BICYCLE on which I trained every day and have learned basics of equilibrium before I started bicycle DOWNHILL RACING and motorcycle riding. Of course I still have my 20" MONTY together with FANTIC trials bicycle and also 26" WORKS KOXX bike that I bought from GILLES COUSTELIER on which I continue to train and relax considering it great fun and excellent exercise....

Well I should have mention my admiration for Pedro Pi's son Ott Pi, renowned trials bicycle champion and performer at indoor trials events on his MONTY, amazing spectators by cleaning sections that trials riders had lots of problems with... I have quite a collection of spectacular photos of Ott Pi with his signature!

By the way, Montesa was just celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Cota - the Cota 247 was introduced in 1967.

Coming back to the test - I was not surprised by excellent Montesa handling, very easy on all manouvres and yet stable on rough and rocky surfaces. It's certainly this machine's forte. I also found it very easy to control on "aerial" manoeuvres and monowheel riding when necessary. Also it's very easy on rock steps where it jumps really like mountain goat thanks to a very stiff frame, magic geometry and a sprightly engine.

I could ride it for hours....Now I understand why this bike bike was so successful in hands of great riders like Pedro Pi, Don Smith, Gordon Farley, Christian Rayer, Lawrence Telling, John Hemingway, Ulf Karlsson, Malcolm Rathmell, Yrio Vesteerinen ... and of course the truly amazing Tony Bou.

So it's impossible not to advise you to buy Montesa!

Thank you Carlo for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this delightful piece of motorcycle history.

Congratulations for 50 years, Montesa, and may you have 50 more!

Justyn Norek Jr.

Montesa 250 Trial Prototipo 1967

Scheda Technica

Modello: MONTESA 250 Trial Prototipo


Type: Two stroke, single cylinder, air cooled

Capacity: 247.69 cc

Bore x Stroke: 72.55 x 60 mm

Compression ratio: 9 : 1

Power @ rpm: 19 CV@7000 rpm

Carburettor: IRZ 24

Clutch: multi disc in oil bath

Gears: 5

Primary transmission: gears 24-64

Frame: single front down tube with double tubes rear subframe

Rims: WM1-1.6 front and WM2-1.85 rear

Tyres: 2.75 x 21" front and 4.00x18 rear

Brakes: Drum type, front 110 mm, rear 110 mm

Fuel tank: in glass fibre capacity 6.5 litres

Wheelbase: 1330 mm

Total length: 2050 mm

Max speed: 108 km/h

Years of production: 1967-1968

Production number: 44

Frame numbers: 11 M 0001 ...

1. No.93 is variously referred to in the original (English) texts as a prototype, post-prototype, and "part of first post-prototype batch".
2. The Montesa Cota first appeared in 1967 and it was this machine upon which Pedro Pi, the company's chief engineer, won the Spanish Trials Championship.