1982 Montesa Cota 348 Trials/Sidecar


  • Successful trials bike model
  • Matching numbers example
  • Tidy condition
  • Great sidecar
  • Comes with trailer suitable for 2 bikes or 1 bike and a side car

The Background

Formed in 1944 by Pedro Permanyer and Francisco Bulto, the Montesa motorcycle company designed it’s first competition machine, a 125cc, which became very successful during the 1950’s, and took second, third and fourth places in the ultra-lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT in 1956. During the 1960’s a 250cc engine was designed and mounted on the Scorpion scrambler which went on to win the Spanish Trials Championship in 1966. This engine was the cornerstone of Montesa’s success.

Primarily selling throughout Europe, further trials models followed in many different sizes including the Cota 348 which British Trials Champion Malcolm Rathmell helped develop in 1975. Due to his success, Montesa offered the 348 as a ‘Rathmell Replica’ which was adorned with his signature on the side - such as we have here!.     

The History

First registered on the 1st August 1982, not much is known about the history of this bike and sidecar. The owner’s handwritten notes suggest that the combo’ may have been purchased around 2015 from veteran three-wheel ace, Bert White, the well known competitor from the 1970’s, ’80’s and ’90’s who we believe is still active in the sidecar scene and regularly imparts his riding skills and knowledge at demo events and has also been actively involved in the OWD Codgers & Friends Motorcycle Club events. 

Sadly, the elderly owner of this Montesa and sidecar has recently passed away and we are not sure if he actually competed with the combo’. The gentleman’s family are now offering it for sale and assure us that the bike has been dry stored in a garage for the last year and runs fine having been regularly started. 

The Paperwork

The V5 documentation is not currently available, but the family point out that being an off-road machine, it hasn’t needed one thus far. 
Usefully, a couple of A4 sheets outline some of the specification details and some restoration parts purchased from Bultaco/Montesa specialist ‘In Motion’ (see photos).

The Condition

This desirable and sporting combination has clearly seen some action but nonetheless looks tidy and up together. Upon first inspection, the bikes frame, forks and swing-arms appear straight and look like they have been hand painted and touched in here and there. The handlebars and alloy headstock are in good condition as is the plastic tank shroud and seat. The owners notes indicate
a degree of restoration work may have been carried out in recent years which included a new tank shroud and seat from In Motion Bultaco UK, at a total cost of £475.00.
The engine, drivetrain and ancillary components are in a ‘used’ condition but are generally presentable and in accordance with a competition machine. The white plastic mudguards are largely undamaged and other than a few rim scrapes, the non-matching wheels appear true. The competition tyres look fine with plenty of tread. 

The tubular framed sidecar is of classic design and features a single suspension unit, custom alloy footplates and lots of grab handles including fan belts!. Again, the condition can best be described as ‘used’, but functional.  

A good steam clean and removal of a few cobwebs would undoubtedly improve the appearance of this combination. 

The Mechanics

Without the history, we do not know the engine mileage, condition, or when it was last serviced. However, being a trials enthusiast, with several other bikes, the owner more than likely attended to any maintenance, oil changes, etc. over the last six or seven years.
The trusty 310cc, single cylinder, big bore, two-stroke engine has points ignition with the recent addition of a kill switch. A standard Amal carburettor sits behind the cylinder and a 6-speed gearbox assists with the smooth low-speed delivery and control. Previous handwritten notes suggest that a new oil seal for the gear change lever shaft may have been required. We are not sure if this has been attended to. Heavily reinforced forks and rear swing-arm suspension feature along with twin shocks. 
We would obviously suggest that a thorough inspection and some maintenance should be carried out before taking to the hills!.

The Appeal

With plenty of club events running throughout the season, the well respected and successful Montesa Cota 348 model (and sidecar) would be ideal for competing at championship level or at local amateur trials events. This particular combination also offers the opportunity to spend some quality time in the garage making a few improvements which will only enhance the future value.

So go on, call your bravest best mate, walk the course, and get out in the countryside and have some three-wheeled fun. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1982
  • Make Montesa
  • Model Cota 348 Trials/Sidecar
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 0
  • Engine size 310
  • Town Stubbington
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
18 bids
  • Al•••• £2,700 16/05/22
  • br•••• £2,600 16/05/22
  • Al•••• £2,500 16/05/22
  • br•••• £2,400 16/05/22
  • Al•••• £2,300 16/05/22
  • br•••• £2,200 15/05/22
  • Al•••• £2,100 15/05/22
  • br•••• £2,000 14/05/22
  • Al•••• £1,900 14/05/22
  • br•••• £1,800 14/05/22

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