Montesa-Honda are setting a new benchmark in the trials world, with their Montesa Cota 4RT 2006 four stroke thumper. Light, agile and with a fuel injected motor inside a twin beam allow frame, the Cota 4RT offers Clubmen trails fans something close to a works ride.
Alastair Walker tried a quick spin – and a water-splash – in the wilds of Yorkshire on the 2006 Cota 4RT. Eric Kitchen took some pictures.
The 2006 Montesa 4RT is based on the Honda RTLF250 competition bike which appeared in World Trials back in 2004. In the rock-hopping world of clubman trials riding, this is like a MotoGP Honda V5 with lights and a quiet exhaust.
You can tell Montesa-Honda are serious about dominating the trials scene with this bike from the moment you set off up the first grassy bank. The 4RT weighs less than a Supermodel´s breakfast, has a torquey 249cc, liquid cooled motor, features beautifully made suspension and the fuel injection system is absolutely faultless. Like most trials machines, there´s no seat to speak of, just a sparse, twin beam frame and minimal bodywork.
It feels so light, so punchy off the throttle, almost like a BMX bike with an engine fitted. One dab on the kickstart fires up the electrics, as well as the engine ( there´s no battery ) and away you go. Once you re-think your biking style from road biking – gentle braking, lots of bodyweight input into the steering, let the bike move around much more – you begin to get a daft grin on your face.
The only thing I didn’t like on the bike was the gear lever being too far from the footrest. I had to get my foot completely off the peg to shift gear, which when you’re trying to balance the bike on muddy gradients, doesn’t help that much. Apart from that, the Cota 4RT felt like a Swiss Army Knife, able to unlock the secret to a dab-free section much quicker than my addled brain. In truth, the bike had more off-road talent than I’ll ever have – like a well set-up R1, GSXR1000 or Fireblade, this motorcycle masks your mistakes and flatters your ability.
RE-ENGINEERING YOUR BIKING WEEKEND
This was my first ever attempt at trials riding, so simply clearing a novice level section, ( after five attempts ) popping an accidental wheelie, colliding with spectators, then drowning the bike in a stream was all the riding experience I could take in one day. It was ace!
The thing that strikes you immediately is how difficult it is to maintain fine throttle control, whilst `reading´ the terrain ahead accurately, within a single glance. Some basic techniques, like trying to master the huge amount of counter-steering needed to make tight turns, made me realise I was learning to ride a motorcycle all over again.
The Cota has tiny brakes, but they´re all you need for slowing it down steep hills, plus the amount of engine braking from the motor on a closed throttle was immense. I was impressed that the fuel injection didn´t `surge´ or falter in any way – it made learning to ride trials sections that bit easier.
The Cota has `quality´ written all the way through its skinny frame; the way it stops, steers and goes is fluid, deceptively easy to master and the bike is pretty quiet too. If you are serious about trials comps, then Montesa do an `chip´ upgrade for the 4RT as well. More info from the UK importers; www.sandiford.co.uk
A little taste of trials got me all fired up to try more off-road, hopefully before the UK government introduces the death penalty for riding on green lanes. Trials is good fun, teaches any road rider all kinds of things about grip, throttle control and balance, and isn´t as physically demanding as an MX or enduro machine.
A motorcycle like the Montesa Cota 4RT is obviously aimed at experts, and £4500 is way too much for my budget, but novice riders can also appreciate the easygoing nature of the bike. If you’re bored with road riding and all the Police harassment that goes with it, then maybe an ACU licence, van/trailer and trials bike could open up a whole new world of weekend fun.
Get Carole Nash motorbike insurance for the Montesa Cota.
Test bike supplied by ;
James Sandiford UK.
Engine Liquid cooled, 4 stroke, single cylinder, 249cc
Bore and stroke 76.5mm X 54.2mm
Fuel system PGM-FI injection, 28mm throttle body
Gears 5 speed
Chassis Twin spar aluminium alloy frame.
Suspension Showa 39mm cartridge forks, Pro-Link monoshock rear, Showa damper. Suspension multi-adjustable at both ends.
Brakes Front; 185mm single disc, 4 pot calliper. Rear; 150mm disc, 2 pot calliper.
Tyres 21 in front, 2.75 section, 18 in rear, 4.00 section.
Fuel capacity 2 litres
Trail 23 degrees
Seat height 650mm
Price £4500 ( Nov 2005. )