1967 Cotton 250 Trials Special


  • Fully restored in 2021
  • Engine rebuilt by Villiers costing £1,300
  • Rebuilt gearbox with lowered 2nd gear
  • All new parts and powder coated frame
  • Competitive bike that runs and rides well

The Appeal

When built in 1967 this Cotton 2500 originally had a Villiers Starmaker engine, but this had been removed prior to the Seller purchasing the bike.  With little to occupy his time during lockdown he decided to rebuild the Cotton and make a return to the world of Historic Trials competition.  The frame was modified from its original twin front tube design to a central single tube to accommodate the newly rebuilt Villiers engine. The footrests were moved rearward to get more weight over the rear wheel.  All the work was expertly carried out, with all new parts, including a Honda TLR fuel tank which is narrower than the original.

 Having last competed in the 1980s he entered a couple of competitions in the Twin Shock class, but wasn’t that successful as although the bike rode well and was competitive, time had passed and he wasn’t as comfortable riding as he used to be.
The Cotton remains in excellent condition and starts well after a little carb tickling, and ticks over nicely once warmed up. It was last started a couple of weeks prior to our visit.

History and Paperwork

  • Manufactured in 1967
  • Rebuilt in 2021
  • Tested and competed twice in 2022
  • Villiers 37A engine completely rebuilt by Villiers in April 2021, invoice for £1,300 on file
  • New clutch
  • Modified frame to accommodate engine
  • Footrest moved rearward for better weight on rear wheel
  • Honda TLR aluminium fuel tank
  • Invoices from Villiers for engine rebuild and various parts
  • List of parts with costs
  • Over £3,700 spent on rebuild


  • Black vinyl seat with no damage
  • White painted Honda fuel tank with Cotton branding, slight bubbling under paint
  • Gold powder coated frame with no damage
  • Aluminium front and rear mudguards
  • New handlebar rubbers
  • All glass and lenses in great condition 
  • Lightweight spoked wheels, rear showing some pitting of chrome rim
  • Lightly worn Pirelli front tyre
  • New and unused IRC Trial Winner rear tyre
  • Minor age related marks

The Mechanics 

  • Recently rebuilt Villiers 37A engine
  • Rebuilt gearbox
  • Modified frame
  • Amal carburettor
  • Electrix World ignition system
  • New cables
  • Fully rebuilt gearbox with lower second gear
  • Primary chain tensioner modified to reduce flex
  • Montesa front forks
  • Betor adjustable rear shocks
  • Properly prepared and rides well with competitive potential


For a time during the 1960s Cotton produced a wide range of motorcycles at their Gloucester factory, both for Trials and Circuit racing.  They had early success in the Isle of Man TT pre-war, and also produced bikes for some famous names during the golden years of trialling with success in the Scottish Six day Trial.  The factory closed in 1980, mainly from the pressure of Japanese imports but Cotton motorcycles are still successful machines in historic trials competitions. This is a good all-round fun Historic trials bike and would be competitive in the Twin Shock class. 


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1967
  • Make Cotton
  • Model 250 Trials Special
  • Colour Multicolour
  • Odometer
  • Engine size 250
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Petworth
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom

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