PERE PI – DE­VEL­OP­MENT CHIEF

Classic Dirtbike - - You Neeed -

We chat­ted to Pere Pi, who the off-road world would more read­ily recog­nise as Pe­dro Pi, and the first ques­tion to him wasn’t about Montesa, but the slight change to his name. “Ah, you see I am Cata­lan. When Franco was in charge of Spain we had to have the Span­ish name which is ‘Pe­dro’ but ‘Pere’ is Cata­lan.” So Pere, at Montesa were you the de­vel­op­ment engi­neer? “Not ex­actly, I am not an engi­neer but my job was like an engi­neer, more cor­rectly from 1964-1980 I was head of the de­vel­op­ment and com­pe­ti­tion depart­ment at Montesa. My role was to de­velop the mod­els for all dis­ci­plines Montesa were in­volved in and re­act to the changes needed as rid­ers re­ported to me.” Re­tir­ing from mo­tocross in 1966 al­lowed Pere to con­cen­trate on the Montesa’s first tri­als bike which came to fruition in 1967. It was called the 250 Moto Trial, the name ‘Cota’ came later. “I did well on this ma­chine and be­came Spain’s first official trial cham­pion which meant I was cham­pion in three dis­ci­plines, road race, MX and now trial. We made many im­prove­ments to the ma­chine and by 1968 we could en­ter the SSDT with sev­eral rid­ers in­clud­ing English­men Don Smith and Char­lie Har­ris. As to model names, we wanted to know how ‘Cap­pra’ and ‘Cota’ came to be as­signed to the Mxer and tri­als bikes? “These names came through dis­cus­sions in our depart­ment – cota means moun­tain lev­els, for in­stance cota 471 would be 471m up the moun­tain and so on. We made it Cota which seemed cor­rect to do so. The Cap­pra is a word we made up – a capra is a moun­tain goat type of an­i­mal, very fast over rough ground, we added a ‘p’ and made Cap­pra.” Pere fin­ished our chat by say­ing af­ter his Montesa pe­riod ended he founded the Monty Cy­cle com­pany which still pro­vides ex­cel­lent bi­cy­cles to­day.

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