World Bikes: Spain - 2007 Montesa Cota 4RT - Dirt Rider Magazine

Spain is notorious for its enriched culture. Bullfighting, flamenco dancing and Antonio Banderas are just some of the most notable products and people that hail from this exotic country-but this short list definitely has a new addition coming, by way of a hard-working little company known as Montesa. Getting its start back in 1944, this Spanish manufacturer has recently made waves in the trials market with the inclusion of the new Cota 4RT. The bike is bold, sexy and fuel-injected-everything you would expect from Spain, except for maybe the EFI part. Either way, Montesa is no stranger to the bike-building game, and we were really excited to see what this little exotic bike had in store for us.For all intents and purposes, the Montesa has a Honda motor. But the flavor of the engine is as unique as a bowl of flaming hot kokotxas (or fuel-injected kokotxas, for that matter). Power delivery is instant and smooth, with seamless traction pouring out with every crack of the throttle until you hit the high-revving top of the powerband. Compared to a two-stroke trials motor, the 4RT is easier to ride due to the smooth hit and gnarly torque down low, but it can still be ridden wound up if need be. Thanks to the well-tuned injection, there is no choke to mess with, no petcock to turn off and no jets to adjust when the altitude changes (just so long as the idle is set to the 1800 rpm manufacturer's spec). The engine runs nice and clean at a variety of temperatures as well, making the bike quite hassle-free for the rider.Complementing the motor is an aluminum perimeter frame that feels almost as light but slightly wider than most two-stroke trials machines. High-quality Showa suspension and D.I.D rims add to the solid feel of the bike, and both are up to the gnarly obstacles for which trials courses are known. Bottoming resistance is the best part of the suspension's character, as the Montesa can take hard hits all day long without beating up the rider (though you can't say the same for the flimsy bash guard under the motor). The enormous disc brakes are snappy but super workable for casual trials pilots, although the floating front rotor translates a slightly sloppy feel to the handlebar in tight scenarios due to excessive play. Overall, the Cota feels planted enough for comfort but is still agile where you need it most. Considering this is a four-stroke, you'd be surprised at how well the chassis reacts to body English ... er, Spanish.Because you can only tell so much about a bike by rockhopping, I took the Montesa on a mellow trail ride with a few other trials-mounted riders to see how it shook down in another element. While the 0.53-gallon tank is too small to venture very far from the truck, the 4RT has enough trail knowledge in its genes to get you where you need to go, and not without first putting a smile on your face. For section-to-section riding, the Montesa shifts well and has plenty of torque for rough spots, even in a higher gear. The bottoming resistance is again appreciated on the trails, but you should keep in mind this isn't what the bike was designed to do (despite what you may have read on the Internet). For the casual trials rider with access to short, fun trails, this machine is right on the performance target. But is the Cota 4RT a sign that fuel-injected four-stroke power is on its way to conquering trials? It ain't cheap, especially for a bike that is usually a second machine or another "toy" for a regular dirt rider. I'd suggest asking the top brass at Montesa for the answer to that one. And while you're at it, feel free to prod about anything else that tickles your curiosity, because you just might get the information that you want. Like how all these Japanese parts constitute a Spanish motorcycle. After all, nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!