It runs…well sort of

The nice weather and a free morning brought Graham over on Saturday and we decided to have a look at the Cota 123.

I’d spent some time on the Montesa Cota 123 over the last couple of months which basically involved working out why there was no spark, despite a new condensor and a set of points. In the end the stator went of to West Country Windings (who are now in Essex ?) and they changed the energy transfer coil. Not cheap, but there was now a heatlhy spark coming from the bike.

It looks better than it runs (at the moment)

We spent some time trying to kick it over, then stripped the carb (an Amal Concentric) as potentially there was no fuel getting through. The using the Clymer manual reset the ignition timing and the points gap. More kicking and bump-starting still didn’t manage to get it to fire up, so we reset the timing. There was fuel and a spark, so it must be that they weren’t doing it at the right time.

There seemingly was compression, but how good is a bit of an unknown. Anyway on the fourth bump-start attempt, she fired up and I shot off down the road (well sort of)

Getting the barrel off

Pulled ok in 4th (I think) and managed to get it back to the house before it cut out. No idle and difficult to keep running, but it sounded good and the engine seemed to pull well. After more checking, we eventually got it running again for a couple of more laps up and down the road.

Leaking base gasket

It could be compression, and the crankcase seals or barrel/head gasket being possible favourites. Getting the head and the barrel off the bike, showed there had been some seepage across the gasket and a potential cause of the problem. The barrel nuts are 7mm hex bolts and I needed to cut an allen key and fit a 7mm socket to drive it, to get them off.

Will look at the crankcase seals next, though I did change one of them last year in the earlier attempt of getting it to run. Will see what happens

Return of Tremorithic

With the return of the Traders on 25th April 2009, went out to do some work at Tremorithic, the infamous group last used in 1994.

There is a sense of celebrity for this gully, which is still held in regard having been only cleaned by Steffan Merriman in the 90’s after first attempts in the British Championship round of 1976

Gavin working on the lower part of the section

After 15 years of inactivity since a young Douggie and Steve Colley waited in the queue for their attempt on the toughest and last group of sections, back up to Tremorithic to clear it out.

The bottom of the gully is fairly flat but the rest of it is fairly awesome. Rarely for modern trials, its a straight line, very much in Scottish tradition. There wasn’t much water in it today, but it does remind you of Witches Burn, especially the step.

Above the step, the rest of the gully (and probably the 2nd sub) is not so steep but equally impressive and will provide a useful challenge.

Lots of enthusiastic observers have already put their names down for this section (currently more than entered riders 🙂 but there are plenty of other interesting groups, including Fedw and Hill Lane, the latter was used on the classic trial in Sept as part of the route, but was deemed too easy to put in sections 🙂

Bottom of the gully looking up

The top of the step was pretty narrow, so some more space was made by removing a gravestone of a slab using the long bar Dan had brought along.

Trevor's Headstone on the move

It took about 30 minutes and everyone taking a turn to get it into a good spot off the line further down. Its now a straight (ish) line though there’s no denying that it is not an easy section. Trevor may not be happy with the easing out, but the majority of the riders will.

Gavin was heard to mention that he fancied tackling the trial on his Honda, so we can look forward to that.

Vic Ashford Trial 2009

For the third year in a row, Gavin and I headed to Devon to the series opener. The Tredegar Twinshock team had moved their focus to classic hare-and-hounds, so a smaller team than at last years event . That said, there was a full entry of 100, including 40 twinshocks

Ripon Tor rifle range was absolutely freezing and though sunny, the forecast was for wintry showers, which we got a plenty during the day. Plenty of interesting bikes on display including a lot of Ariel HT’s which seem to have come from somewhere (?)

TL125 Hiboy frame anyone ?

Various tales of injuries with Neil Gaunt and Phil Wiffen not having ridden for a while, Neil’s as a result of a branch at the Eastern Thumper’s trial back in November. A displaced vertebrate from the impact had kept him out of work and riding trials.

Steve Allen was there and primed up for the retention of his Rigid title he’d won in the previous two years. Catching up with him at Hound Tor later, he’d was taking the time and effort required and ended up loosing half the marks of Godfrey Hannam, his nearest challenger.

Lots of Fantic’s and Honda’s made up the Twinshock line-up, though with a strong south-west entry there was also a lot of Yamaha’s there as well, in standard, Whitehawk and Majesty guises.

As in previous years, only two Bultaco’s, including the one owned from new by Malcolm Peberdy. Dave Wood was also meant to be on a Bulto, but with a missing gear as it emerged from the shed, the Kawasaki KT250 made the journey down the M5 (albeight in the back of the van). With Steve Sell’s Ossa and my Beta, that was it; no Montesa’s, SWM’s or Armstrongs on the main route. A couple of Suzuki’s on the easy roue and that was that. In all, having nearly 50 twinshocks in the entry of around of 100 is interesting; for my first Sammy Miller event in 2006, i think there was a total of 8 twinshocks.

Early queues

Its also interesting to see the pedigree and quality of the riders in this SM round and to see how this compares to the ACU Traditional series.

Different route from previous years and no Ruby Rocks. For me it was a good solid start in the groups at Paradise and Tallicker. I only dropped 3 at the second group and enjoyed the first sub which i cleaned including a tight left hand turn around a tree.

However, despite plenty of shed time on the Beta, the throttle now was sticking open and also seemed to have a large amount of slack. The stickiness of the throttle was improved by the application of some oil borrowed from the back of a van, but the slack was there for the day and was a result of the plastic in the Domino item giving way. New one required.

My woes were slight though, as for some inexplicable reason Gavin hit a tree stump at the first section at Millwood, which caught on the rear brake arm which then imploded. No rear brake for the rest of the trial made a big impact of his results.

Houndtor snack van

Things hotted up at Hound Tor and I picked up two 5’s. The third sub here was difficult, and the 5th had a sharp climb to exit without a clean run-in. The Beta was also now misfiring as it came off pilot and perhaps I should have spent more time on sorting out the carbueration.

The last section here was the hardest of the day, with no cleans recorded . A slippery drop down round a tree was followed by a slippery on-camber climb followed by a tight turn, before continuing down to a stream. Not straightforward though a 3 was the optimum score as you should have been able to paddle round.

More Pitton mud

Up to the snack van at Hound Tor for a welcome cup of tea though it was sunny a passing snow storm helped keep the temperature down.

A couple of cock-ups at Hedge Barton and this was probably my weakest set of sections of the day; all the subs were cleanable (and I’d clean one of them last year).

Pitton, was as usual muddy and struggled round the subs here. The 1st and 2nd subs were cleanable and the 3rd at a push. The last sub caught me for my 3rd and final 5 of the day, with a slippery climb from a tight turn from the finish.

Decoaker was the final group and had a good ride on the first two subs here and then managed to splutter through the mud on the third for a three. The last sub was long, twisty and also with a sting in the tail. A muddy slot at the end wasn’t straightforward, as Gavin found out. He ruined the sales pitch on his bike that i was attempting by coming off head-first and colliding with a rock. A bit shaken, but luckily the last section of the day.


The result sheet came through the door during the week after the trial and despite my attempt to avoid it by being in Holland it confirmed my concerns that I’d let things slip later on it the trial. Dropping only 11 in the first three groups, a total of 62 in the end was about 15-20 higher than it should have been. Confidence in the bike and myself at Hound Tor especially had been a key factor and though i’d finished ok at Decoaker, should have been better.

Always one to seek out some comfort from somewhere, the twinshock winner, Nic Draper, dropped 1 of his 6 marks at the first section at Decoaker, where I’d gone clean.

More work on the bike and ideally some practice before the next round in April, the Harry Perrey trial.

Wye Valley Non-Expert Trial

The first trial of the year for the Wye Valley Auto Club was at Bowley Court, near Bodenham and it stayed dry and bright on the day.

Its a common theme in the off-road press, websites and in club meetings to bemoan the lack of observers and the difficulty in getting them along to trials. It must be said that observing at some trials is not pleasant; usually the weather is a factor and if its cold or infact worse, raining, then yep it can be grim.

The opening Wye Valley Auto Club trial of 2009 proved the observing can be fun and although most of them at the trial had forsaken their ride in order to provide the services to the 75 entrants, it is hoped that this was worthwhile. For me, Section 5 proved not to be the toughest on either route and cleans were the order of the day but it did mean I got a chance to see everyone riding at the event (except for the large Class D entry, more on which below). The trial was well set-out by Clerk-of-the-Course Andy Pitt and helpers and provided the right-level of good humoured competition.

Mark Vaughan

I’m a twinshock bigot, so it was great to see a good entry on all 3 routes, with Mark Vaughan showing how to ride his 31 year old SWM Guanaco on the Clubman route. Along with Ian Spence on his 250 Bultaco and ….. on his well-modified Hiro-powered Armstrong, they provide some excellent entertainment and the right approach to this event. On the 50/50 route, Stephen … on his newly acquired Fantic 240 Pro, was struggling with the bike set up and also the harder sections, but made a creditable finish. On the Sportsman route, the only pre-65 bike was …. on his excellent Ariel 500. The Tredegar Twinshock contigent turned out, with Kevin Pettit’s latest mount being a rare 1974 Fraser Honda, which it seems has a very small fuel tank. Mark Evans Kawasaki KT250 was sporting a new trick exhaust in an attempt to match Dave Woods on his KT250 in the upcoming Sammy Miller Products Championship.

Alan Gould on a Bultaco

There was an excellent turnout of riders on more modern machinery and the Eric Rees trial provided the right kind of challenge for novice and experience riders alike. WVAC’s Malcolm Howell’s has spent the winter on some worthwhle practice as his performance on the 50/50 route was much improved.

For the first-time in 2009, WVAC is running a Youth Championship of 5 rounds and with 15 entries for the Class D conducted route, the promise of healthy competition and a developing group of talent is excellent. Under the drive and enthusiam of Clive Smith and Richard Williams, it is hoped that the entry can grown and that parents brought their off-spring from as far a field as Swansea to the Marches shows the demand a good quality event is there.

Fashion Victim....

With the club running the Traders Trial on April 25th after a 15 year absence (and yes Tremorithic is back!), 4 more off-road events and a round of the ACU Traditional Championship in September, trials in Herefordshire has not looked so healthy in a long time. The club meets on the last Monday of the month at the Three Horseshoes’s, Allensmore, about 6 miles south of Hereford and is keen to welcome new members of any ability.

Bultaco Trials Models

Following a request from information on TrialsCentral , the thread produced a list of trials models

There are some Bultaco model lists, such as , but nothing with specific trials model information. Hopefully this list can provide some more specific information for Bultaco’s trials models.

The Trials Central thread included a post for Woody on the model numbers and some subsequent comments from other posters.

M10 – original 250cc 4 speed radial head 1965/66

M27 – next version 250cc (may have been the first 5 speed, can’t remember) 1967/68

M49 – 5 speed 250cc 1968/70

M80 – Updated M49 250cc with slimline one piece tank seat (available as a kit on the late type 49 before Bultaco standardised it on the 80) 1971/72

M91 – updated M80 250cc with new small front hub, new arched bottom fork yoke iin alloy (previous models steel) 1972/73

M92 – as M91 but first 325cc engine

M124 – updated M91 250cc with different exhaust and rear wheel, new forks no longer tapered fit into top yoke, new shape clutch cover 1974

M125 – as M124 but 325cc

M150 – updated M124 250cc with different exhaust 1974/75

M151 – as per 150 but 325cc

M49 to M151 were essentially a continual design of the same bike. UK models from late 91/92 through to 150/151 were fitted with alloy blue/silver homerlite tanks seat units (homerlite = company that made them in Wolverhampton)

M158/159 (250/325) 1975/76 through M182/183 1976 to the M198/199 1977/78 – New model (the one that Martin Lampkin is usually associated with) with different frame, seperate tank and seat, new exhaust, rear wheel, 250 downsized to 238cc (French tax laws) engine internals and frame changes along the way.

All bikes red with silver frame up to this point (from the factory)

M198a – Now all blue in colour with seperate bashplate, new timing cover with thumb logo, reinforced swingarm with big gussetts up to shock mounts 1978/80

M199a – as 198a but 325cc

Somewhere along the line a 250 model got it’s own frame design but then reverted back to a common frame for both, can’t remember which model this happened on

M198b – Basically a remodelled 198a with new square section swingarm and rear frame loop cut off – white frame/mudguards, blue tank/sidepanels/yokes/forks 1981/83

M199b – as per 198b but engine overbored to 340cc with Pursang piston and fitted with 6 speed gearbox

There were some other comments and I’ll update the file accordingly