Learning how to trials


We went to the launch of the new Montessa, to see how hard it could be. The answer, very…

Towards the tail end of last year we were invited to the launch of the new Montessa trials bike, a bike that probably wasn’t of much interest to us, not in an adventure sense of the word in any case, but the thought of getting a go on a trials bike was a curious one, as I’d never ridden a trials bike, and always wanted to having watched Kickstart back in the eighties as a kid. Those guys always made it look easy, bouncing from rock to rock, log to log, balancing on the spot and somehow hopping from a standing start to the other side of the paddock.

Skip forward some thirty years and I’m laying on the my side with the bike on top of me having tried and failed to ride over a log. Myself and everyone else on the open day is covered in sweat and mud, and that log’s really catching the lot of us out.


What first hits you about trials bike riding is just how tiring it is; more so than motocross, more so than any other riding. It’s certainly a great way to get fit.

This bike was also interesting; it was the new Montesa Cota 4RT260, the big change in recent years being the 259cc four-stroke engine, rather than two-stroke of old. The frame is now aluminium, with Showa suspension, and the bike retailing for £5,699.

On flat land it’s encouraging just how easy they are to ride; especially in only weighing a slimline 73kgs. It’s just when you try and do anything more tricky, such as the log, or the riverbed they had us riding up. Some of the other guys were pretty handy. The rest of us were pretty lousy. But like all these things, it was surprising how quickly you started to pick up the basics, meaning the log was finally conquered, and that stream finally tamed. Or just abouts.

For anyone with access to land, a trials bike is a great way to really hone your basic riding skills such as balance. It’s also a great deal of fun, and at such slow speed arguably less hazardous than motocross or even green laning. A great sport to get your kids in to perhaps. For more information start here; www.acu.org.uk