The Spanish marque Montesa is legendary in the annals of trials history, so it’s always good to see a classic Cota restored to original condition. This one is a 1982 model owned by Oliver Cooper of Sheffield, in the north of England. He bought it for a song from an auto jumble last summer; it was a non-runner, and Cooper decided it would make a fun winter project. But at first, it looked like Cooper had bitten off more than he could chew. “The colors were wrong, it didn’t run and it was very worn out,” he recalls. “But it was a complete bike.”
He started by getting the cylinder re-bored, and tracked down a NOS piston from South West Montesa in the USA. He had all the nuts, bolts, washers and spindles re-plated, fixed the kickstart mechanism, and turned out new bushes, spacers and washers on a lathe. Local suspension specialists Shocktech supplied a new set of shocks, while Cooper bead blasted the fork bottoms and rebuilt them with new oil and seals.
Then the Cota was returned to its original colors, with new paint throughout. “A shop in the south of England specializes in trials bikes of this era,” says Cooper, “so I was able to add some nice details—like the tank straps, and original Montesa grips and decals. Just like it had when it rolled off the showroom floor!” The Cota is now ready to have some fun in Twin Shock trials events, and Cooper will soon be putting it up for sale. Any takers?
With thanks to Richard Baybutt. Images by Tom Kahler, using a Canon 7D and Nikon FM2 film camera. For a completely different take on the Montesa Cota, check out this 1974 Cota 247 customized by Dutch design company Studio RAAR.