Motorcycle Sport and Leisure’s Deputy Editor, Bruce Wilson, put the new Honda Montessa Cota 4RT through its paces… check out the video here.
What do I need to know?
The Honda/Montessa story is one steeped in success, taking the last seven world trials championships consecutively. For 2014 there’s the all-new Montessa Cota 260, which has seen many advancements over the previous four-stroke powered 250, including an increase in capacity for additional torque and a decompression system to reduce engine braking. The fuel tank and plastics are also new, along with the suspension.
What’s it like to ride?
Speaking from a real amateur’s perspective, the bike’s a dream. It’s stupidly light and really well balanced. I got to experience the Monetssa Cota 260 at its model launch, on which there were a real variety of riding challenges, including rocks, steep banks and streams. I was out of my depth, but the bike helped me through some pretty tricky situations. The suspension’s super supple, and seems to mould itself to whatever you’re tackling. It’ll compress as much or as little as you need it to, as the bike clambers effortlessly over obstacles in its path. The CoG is notably low, and the short wheelbase means you can quickly switch direction, aided by the broad and well-balanced bars. The levers are intuitively placed and I can’t give enough credit to the hydraulic clutch, which proved super smooth and easy to manage accurately.
Tell me about the motor
The torquey motor makes this bike fantastic. It pulls really hard and that’s what the pros say they like best about it. Most of the Cota’s rivals are two-strokes, but the Honda motor delivered linear and precise power without any hesitation. The gearbox is really smooth and it’s a doddle to kick into action. You can really run the bike low in the revs, too, without any fear of stalling. Under the guidance of wiser riders, they encouraged me to use the tick-over alone to tackle relatively tight, but flat sections; on all of which it performed great.
Why should I buy one?
Because it’s not just a great bike, it’s that bit different to the rest. And it’s got a fantastic heritage which makes it hard to question the four-stroke direction. Not to mention the simplicity of running a four-stroke over a two-stoke – no premixing and less regular maintenance. It’s a serious piece of kit.