Montesa Cota 123/172
When Gordon Farley knocked Sammy Miller off the top of the British Trials Championship in 1970 it concluded Miller’s run of success in the series. Miller had held the title from 1959 on the four-stroke Ariel, before changing the face of motorcycle trials forever when he gave Bultaco the first ever championship win for a foreign machine in 1965 and started the Spanish two-stroke revolution in trials. Farley’s win on the Montesa put the name on everyone’s lips and with it came the sales success. It was no ‘flash in the pan’ for Farley either, as he successfully defended his title in 1971 as Montesa sold their one-thousandth Cota trials machine. With a team of twenty-one fully supported factory riders around the world Montesa were marching forward, and made the decision to launch the first production small-engined trials motorcycle from Spain to reach out to a wider off-road market.
Montesa development rider Pedro Pi had been heavily involved with the success of the Cota 247 model that had been ridden to the British Championship title by Farley, but he also had ideas for both smaller and larger capacity trials motorcycles from Montesa. His first attempt at a machine for younger riders resulted in the production of the Cota 49, which was a scaled down machine aimed at the schoolboy rider. Shortly after this Montesa introduced the Cota 25 but Pedro Pi was more interested in developing a ‘Micro’ trials model, having witnessed the success of these small-capacity machines from Great Britain. A cottage industry of manufacturers had risen from the ashes of the once mighty motorcycle manufacturing industry in Great Britain such as Cotton, Dalesman, DOT, Greeves, Saracen and Sprite to name but a few, using imported small capacity engines ranging from 125cc to 175cc.
62 With a bore and stroke of 54mm x 54mm the new Cota 123 produced a very usable 13bhp @ 7,000rpm.