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  • Restored in the previous ownership
  • Past history of twin-shock competitions
  • Engine rebuilt and still at the running-in stage

The Appeal

It is a curious thing that Spain, which has never had much of a motor industry, should have managed to find a niche which it has not only exploited but in which it has positively excelled – that of the off-road competition motorcycle. Such was the case, though, thanks in large part to the efforts of Francesc ‘Paco’ Bultó, who first established Montesa and, latterly, Bultaco.

Montesa began in 1944, when Bultó went into business with Pere Permanyer. Its beginnings were rather humble, with the first Montesa being an adaptation of a French Motobécane moped design, and subsequent early production bikes were very small, lightweight two-strokes of just 95cc. Bigger models followed, though, and by the 1950s Montesa had become a serious competitor in the International Six Days Trial and the Isle of Man TT.
When Bultó left the business in 1958 to set up Bultaco, it did not do Montesa any harm. The 1960s and ’70s was something of a golden age for Montesa, following the introduction of a 175cc engine in 1960 which would make Montesa a force to be reckoned with in motocross, and by the end of the decade it had a championship-winning trials bike, the Cota.
Much rarer than the Cota trials bikes, however, is the Cappra motocross model, which was only ever built in much smaller numbers. Despite its low-volume production, the Cappra was a steady seller through the 1960s and ’70s and found favour with enthusiastic motocross riders across Europe and America.

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The History

Although this bike’s early history is not known, it seems to have had a very good life in recent years. The previous owner, an elderly Yorkshireman, was a dedicated enthusiast and racer who rode in the major motocross races at Farleigh Hungerford Castle and in many other twin-shock events across Britain. He had been searching for six years to find such a good, original Montesa and, on acquiring this one, immediately treated it to a painstaking restoration, which included a full engine rebuild.
The vendor, a well-known figure in the motorcycle world, bought it in 2015 but, being occupied with other bikes in his collection, regrets that he has not had much of an opportunity to ride the bike except for 15 minutes around a small field.

The Condition

The Montesa is in lovely condition all-round, having received only very light use since its restoration, and retains much of its originality. As Cappras have typically all seen a lot of hard use in their early lives, it is often the case that at some point they have lost their engine, petrol tank, seats, shock absorbers or some other major part; that is not so with this one – every part is original and correct.
There is a lovely patina across the whole bike, with a few minor paint blemishes which enhance its character, as they testify that it has been ridden properly in the past. With his many years’ experience in the classic motorcycle world, the vendor speaks with some authority when he describes it as “one of the most original bikes I have ever come across”.

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The Engine

Having hardly been used at all since its restoration and engine rebuild, this bike is almost certainly in the very best mechanical condition, although the vendor has not ridden it enough to ascertain whether there may be any less obvious faults. He has ridden it for 15 minutes around a small field, and while he was satisfied with its performance under those conditions, the tight confines prevented him from taking it beyond fourth gear. He advises that it will still require another 45 minutes of running in. Running on half gas, we are told that it is very fast indeed.
Just one small fault has come to our attention, which is that there is a slight weep from the gear shaft seal on the gearbox, but no more than a new seal is required to resolve that and we are advised that it is a job that may be completed in situ without need for any dismantling.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1976
  • Make Montesa
  • Model Cappra
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 0
  • Engine size 360
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Devon
  • Country United Kingdom

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