Montesa Cota 2RT
A few years ago our colleagues from Trial Magazine Italy presented a gorgeous 300 4RT created by Valter Ponzo. Curious to discover the latest output of this Latin genius, we were not disappointed. This amateur mechanic who is so full of creative ideas has built a model that never appeared in the Honda catalogue: the 2RT! This creation is superbly finished and is sure to make a true fan of the Cota green with envy.
Today, aged fifty-one-years-old,
Valter is a rider from the 1980s where he produced some good results in the Junior class before deciding that he preferred to energise Indoor shows rather than ride in competition. He did, however, keep one foot in the competition world so to speak as the minder for riders such as Gimmi Rossi, who is today still in the world-round paddock as assistant to Gabriel Giarba or Mirco Bruni (ex-Team Otyan).
This history has given him some important contacts in this small but select environment and access to some special racing parts. This is fortunate for him, because as a result of serious eye problems he only has 1/20 vision in one eye and nothing in the other... this means he cannot ride off road alone and must be guided by a friend who leads the way.
“To overcome this emptiness I have thrown myself into my passion for producing special machines. It is one way for me to be involved in the fantastic environment that is trials.”
One after the other he has built some specials or restored some rare models. Other than the 2RT he can count out a Honda RTL250 Rothmans, TLM260, TLR250 and an Aprilia TXR 312.
Like many others, Valter has an undisguised passion for the Japanese manufacturer and the time of Lejeune – but only in his later days.
“My love of Honda was born in 1986 when I discovered that Motocross (an Italian magazine) had done a test of the Honda RTL270 SW ridden by Eddy Lejeune; the article was written by the late Giulio Mauri.”
It is, as you can see, not by chance that Valter’s garage is resplendent in the blue, gold and red of the Rothmans brand. As we mentioned before, Valter had already created a stunning 4RT. The machine was finished with a white frame, one he finds both ‘classic and racing’, which has since become his signature colour.
Despite his obvious pride in his creation Valter was soon tempted to “create something that was totally new and to finish a project that was unique in its field”. His inspiration came from Andrea Fistolera and Stephen Oliver, the European Youth Champion of 2000. Andrea has ridden since 2010 on a 300cc 315R slotted into a 4RT frame. The latter, who has since become the Jotagas importer for New Zealand, built a two-stroke power unit into the 4RT chassis during 2011. He has also made some Sheronda machines (a Honda engine in a Sherco frame – or vice versa)!
These two men are the ones that Valter salutes “for their precious advice, which has greatly helped me to finish my own 2RT. I needed to draw inspiration from their tremendous passion and experience to finish my own dream”.
Following their lead, “I realised the frame of the 4RT was the better option being at the same time lighter, stronger and having the best suspension of the production models. If I exchanged the heavier four-stroke power unit for a two-stroke one I could build a trials machine with the realistic objective of it weighing between 68 and 70kg. This seemed to me the ideal compromise and promised to be a fantastic machine. Even if today the 315 engine is starting to date a little, it still offered an excellent compromise between reliability and performance!”
All that remained was to build the beast.
A COMPLEX EXHAUST
The basic starting point for the work is eased considerably by the fact that the two engines share the same swinging arm and rear suspension system. The 315 engine also aligns perfectly between the engine and rear wheel sprockets. Obviously the engine mounting brackets needed to be relocated as, for example, the front struts needed to be lengthened by 3cm to enable the front exhaust pipe to exit underneath the radiator and to connect to the water cooling circuit.
Is a 2RT your dream machine? Valter has made one.
Valter never hesitates to take the machine apart to refine a small detail.
The huge 4RT air-box helps breathing.
Valter the ‘Doctor Frankenstein’ of trials!