MONTESA/HONDA

Trial Magazine - - CLASSIC MACHINE - Trial Mag­a­zine would like to thank Don Mor­ley for his help with this ar­ti­cle.

The ru­mour mill had started that was as­so­ci­at­ing the Span­ish Montesa with Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer Honda. The ru­mours be­came re­al­ity when in mid-1982 Honda an­nounced it would be buy­ing into the Montesa con­cern with the Span­ish gov­ern­ment’s ap­proval. With the Montesa brand strug­gling with sales of its tri­als mod­els some of the old stock of Cota 123, 200 and 349 ma­chines were re-badged and sold as Montesa/Honda tri­als ma­chines. Honda was pre­pared to stock­pile tri­als ma­chines and to sell them off at a loss in an ef­fort to reach Europe’s more prof­itable moped mar­ket and to by­pass re­stric­tive im­port tar­iffs.

In the sum­mer of 1985 a mas­sive re­or­gan­i­sa­tion took place and a new in­fra­struc­ture was put in place to se­cure the com­pany’s fu­ture, fi­nanced by monies from Honda. Never one to miss a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity, Jim San­di­ford Mo­tor­cy­cles pur­chased many of these ma­chines and re­leased them onto the UK mar­ket as a way of get­ting more rid­ers into tri­als as the ma­chines’ prices were very at­trac­tive.

1985: With the Montesa brand strug­gling with sales of its tri­als mod­els some of the old stock of Cota 123, 200 and 349 ma­chines were re-badged and sold as Montesa/Honda tri­als ma­chines, seen here with Jim San­di­ford.

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