PERE PI – DEVELOPMENT CHIEF
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.