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A free Montesa Cota 349

Discussion in 'Trials' started by GBen, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. GBen

    GBen Been here awhile

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    An old friend gave this to me today. He took it apart a long time ago for some reason and never put it back together. I think his wife had at least some part in him giving it away. He said it was a "1980 1/2 349 Cota", and that originally a rider had it who was sponsored by Montesa at one time. He also threw in a basketcase Moto-Guzzi 125 Stornello that I originally gave him 20 years ago when it was in one piece, in case you are wondering what the oddball engine is mixed in with those Montesa parts. I rode Bultaco a lot when I was young but never had a Montesa before, looks very similar to me.

    If anyone has any specific information on this bike that would be great. Hopefully someday I will find the time to put it back together before I am too old to ride it.

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    #1
  2. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

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    Location and name of sponsored rider would be a help. :D
    #2
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  3. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Well it looks like he only took the top end off. As long as the mains are good, put it back together. It should run.
    #3
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  4. 10K

    10K Trail Runner

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    Let us know how much that free bike costs to put back together!
    #4
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  5. GBen

    GBen Been here awhile

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    The rider's last name was Samuels I think and he was in the Pittsburgh/Buffalo/Cleveland triangle below Lake Erie.

    Yea, I know it takes time and money to put a bike together, I have done it before a few times since my father was a Matchless dealer in the late 50s/early 60s.

    But a bike in a basket that is free is better than one in a basket for the hundreds of dollars he probably could have gotten for it as-is or if he parted it out on Ebay.

    I think he had the bike's best interest in mind, I just happen to be the only guy he knew who was into bikes and had a van, and he wanted it gone immediately, or maybe his wife did. His garage was an impressive pile of anything you could want except for space to stand or walk in. I will store it and gather parts and info until I get a chance someday to work on it or maybe give it back to him if he wants it at some point in the future after a divorce.
    #5
  6. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

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    Good info, maybe someone will chirp up about it's history. Still, looks like you have most of a White Wonder. Full resto planned, or just a reassemble and run?
    #6
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  7. GBen

    GBen Been here awhile

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    Here are some more photos. The reason the last owner stopped riding the bike was because the ignition wire melted through on the exhaust, so he took the entire bike apart. I don't see anything missing, but I am sure at least some nuts/bolts will be needed.

    On examination yesterday it looked like when he pulled the top end off the engine he was not careful and I see dirt and rust got dumped into the bottom-end, so that means a complete disassembly and checking of the engine. Bore looks great, piston looks great too, I imagine the bike ran great until the plug wire melted.

    I never restore bikes, I just like to ride them, so I usually take care of the mechanical side of things and don't worry too much about winning any trophies for appearance. My guess is once I get the engine back together I will just put the bike together so it is safe to ride and that will be the end of it.

    I hit a lot of the parts with wd-40 and stashed it away until maybe someday I can get to it. I already have a Bultaco, the Moto-Guzzi, a Capriolo, eight Norton featherbed bikes, a few Triumphs and five or six Matchless bikes on the list, so nobody hold their breath.

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    #7
  8. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Long timer

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    Looks good I would too do all the mechanics first, do the engine completely then put it together and see how it wirjsthen rebuild copmonent wise, like wheels forks,...
    Of course you need a seat and stickers!

    The 349 is a very powerfull bike as the 325 Sherpa and a bit quicker then the 340 Bultaco.
    #8
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  9. GBen

    GBen Been here awhile

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    I have the seat, it is a bit beat but will work. The guy who gave it to me said the 349 of this year ran better than previous 349s for whatever reason, and with all those CCs it better have some power. The Bultacos I had when I was young ran good but they were all 250cc and smaller. I used to ride a 490 Maico MX that was about the same year as this Cota too, and it had plenty of power. You can only use so much power anyway when it is tight and muddy.
    #9
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  10. Nodabs

    Nodabs Been here awhile

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    My Dad was a motorcycle mechanic by profession and he had noticed through the years how that when non mechanical people worked on motorcycles they always removed the fenders. There must be some sort of feeling of accomplishment to that.

    Not that it has anything to do with this, but more of an observation.
    #10
    GBen likes this.
  11. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Long timer

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    The "white wonder" was indeed better then all red Montesa Cotas that came before.

    The engine was smoother and very powerfull, the chassis was better and easier to ride too, the brakes where a bit better, the weight went down too.

    But it is still a twinshock of older style not made for hopping around but good for big obstackes and loose ground.
    I had two Italjet 350' s back then which where very similar to big Montesas and Sherpas.

    I do like the smaller cc bikes between 175 to 277 cc better easier to ride and lighter.

    I have a 340cc Bultaco as a beauty and Garage queen, prefere my SWM TL. NW in case of riding...
    #11
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  12. GBen

    GBen Been here awhile

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    Interesting. Fenders are easy to take off on a lot of bikes compared to many other parts. My father was a Matchless dealer/racer in the 50s and early 60s, I am sure he has stories of bikes he had to repair after amatuers cobbled them. I think the guy who took this apart was a decent mechanic and had good intentions. I know he is a great rider. He just had too many projects and too little time, kids to raise etc. so he and his wife decided to purge themselves of a lot of things. I hope it all works out for them.
    #12
  13. LowPSI

    LowPSI Been here awhile

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    GBen, I sent you a PM.
    #13
  14. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    That added hardware on the swingarm made me laugh. That was some effort just to have one spot to lube two zerks. But that sure is easier than taking our bikes apart to get any grease in them. Bikes up to 1999 had zerks in the linkage. Damn things must weigh too much for modern bikes!
    #14
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  15. GBen

    GBen Been here awhile

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    I like the personal history of old bikes. If a bike has some modification or touch left by a previous owner I usually respect it and leave it intact. I will be gone in the near future, but all the old motorcycles I have will be around as long as our society does not disintegrate, so I figure the bike and it's history is more important than I am, nobody will give a damn about me after I am gone but someday whoever ends up with the bike will hopefully appreciate the marks people who have owned it left on it as I do now.
    #15
  16. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Yeah, I can just see my son`s grandson asking where that thing with no seat came from.:imaposer
    #16
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