The 1970’s – A golden era for trials

1971 groupLeft to right: A 1971 shot of Allie ‘Beag’ Cameron (Fort William, Montesa); Kenny Fleming (Dunblane, Montesa); Rodger Mount (Fort William, Montesa); Alastair Macgillivary (Fort William, Bultaco) at  a Perth & District Trial in Scotland.

The only thing missing from the image above which shows four well-known Scottish Trials riders, three of which (Fleming; Mount & Macgillivray) were Scottish Champions is…an Ossa! Did you know that the mid 1970’s was a time when more bespoke trials machines were sold in the UK than any period before or since? The main importers were: Comerfords/Bultaco UK (Bultaco); Jim Sandiford Imports (Montesa & at one time Beta); Ossa Moto UK , then Cliff & Roger Holden and subsequently Quinns Competition M/Cs (Ossa).

M Lampkin 1978H. Martin Lampkin (factory Bultaco 325) on his way to victory in the 1978 Scottish Six Days Trial. Lampkin was the first ever World Trials Champion in 1975 and no doubt helped to boost sales world-wide for the San Adrian de Besos based ‘Bultaco’ concern.


The 1977 publicity photo of the Model 199 (326cc) Bultaco Sherpa T. seen here with home market fibre-glass resin fuel tank which factory rider, Yrjo Vesterinen rated as the most pleasing to the eye tank that the company ever produced.

Bill Wilkinson edramucky

Bill Wilkinson (Ossa 250) at the 1977 Scottish Six Days Trial. Wilkinson made the move from the British Greeves to Spanish Ossa concern in 1972 when the marque was imported by Peter Fletcher under the Ossa Moto UK importership. (Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland)

ossa pennine redThe early Ossa trials machines like this one here, named the Pennine, was based on their enduro style machines. The factory supported riders were issued with these models including Dave Thorpe and Mick Andrews. When the 1970 SSDT came round, Andrews weighed-in a much neater prototype (with Barcelona licence plates: B775073) which was the basis for the Mick Andrews Replica of 1971.

Rob edwards pipeline'79Rob Edwards was associated with Montesa since 1970, seen here at the 1979 SSDT on his Montesa Cota 349. (Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland)

Montesa_Team__73The USA Montesa Team in 1973 helped promote the brand in the US. All Americans, except for two, Spaniard Xavier Jordi on the far left and Scotsman Derek Edgar, second from left. Thanks to Martin Belair for the use of this image.

1980 Montesa 348

The 1980 version of the M51 305cc Montesa Cota 348. This particular model was fitted with Telesco ‘gas-bag’ rear suspension units as standard OEM fit. A very popular machine in it’s day. More popular than it’s successor the 349 Cota.

Coming soon…The ‘Spanish Armada’ trials story…

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