SuperBike staff bikes – Honda Montesa Cota 4RT Repsol edition – Part 4

Here at SuperBike, John and I spend a helluva lot of time trying to be witty, eloquent and informative when writing about bikes. And then in rolls Northover senior, an ex-mechanic from South London and says everything we need to say with one simple sentence. His line after jumping on the Montesa 4RT for five minutes? “Well, it’s a Honda isn’t it; it fits perfectly and everything is just right.” That sort of lazy description would normally have me scrabbling for cover behind the nearest thesaurus, but I can’t argue, he’s right. Riding the Monty back-to-back with my own 2014 Beta Evo 300 trials bike, the differences are more pronounced than you might think. Dad hasn’t even sat on a trials bike for a good eight years, he was never an off road rider either. And as far as sensitivity to bike setup goes, you won’t find anyone less fussy – this is the man who once raced on a tyre with a hole burnt in it from an inflammable tyre warmer and actually went faster. So for him to notice the differences between bikes without being prompted, they have to be pretty significant.

“Well, it’s a Honda isn’t it; it fits perfectly and everything is just right.” – Northover Snr.

Let’s face it, trials bikes are odd little things with their high bars and absent seats a far cry from what was originally a motorcycle. So for a non-trials rider to get on one and feel comfortable is pretty special, but that’s exactly what the Honda achieved. The smooth, four-stroke power, light clutch and responsive brakes make slow control in tricky conditions a breeze. Having a little more weight compared to the two-stroke Beta makes the Honda less flighty, giving more confidence on the steep stuff. The Beta might have the edge when it comes to hopping between rocks, but that’s at a level where trials is your main source of riding enjoyment. When it comes to having a bike to keep sharp over the winter, or entertain on a rainy day, the Montesa is a winner. It says Honda on the engine cases for a reason…

Seeing the HRC badge still makes us feel special.

Seeing the HRC badge still makes us feel special.

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