American Honda surprised almost everybody when it announced it would offer a trials bike earlier this year. The Repsol-colored 2014 Montesa Honda COTA 4RT was only offered in limited numbers for the U.S. market, but if you missed out on that initial batch, there’s good news, as Honda will again offer it in 2015, with some new updates.
Honda will offer two versions for 2015, a Repsol-edition COTA 4RT Race Replica and a base-model COTA 4RT260 in Honda red. Both versions share the same fuel-injected 259cc Single used in last year’s model. For 2015, Honda revised the fuel-injection and ignition map to improve traction and improve throttle control. Honda also reduced the effect of engine braking to give the 4RT a lighter feel.
For 2015, the trials bikes get a slimmer shift lever, a new 41-tooth final drive sprocket, a slimmer front fender and a black-finished on the triple clamp and handlebar.
The Race Replica version receives a new four-piston monobloc front brake caliper and competition-quality fully-adjustable Showa suspension. It also gets DID rims, Michelin tires, extra-wide aluminum pegs and a race-replica headlight. Carbon fiber is used for the fork guards, front fender brace/mount, clutch cover, head pipe heat shield and exhaust cover. And of course, it receives the Repsol graphics to resemble factory racer Toni Bou’s competition bike.
The 4RT260 also uses less-expensive four-piston calipers and a TECH fork and R16V Pro-Link rear shock instead of the pricier Showa components. Also helping keep the price low are the Morad rims and Dunlop tires. Unlike the Race Replica, the 4Rt260 does not have a headlight, but it does come with a removable seat with a bit of underseat storage.
The 4RT260 has a claimed curb weight of 163.7 pounds, making it a bit lighter than the Race Replica which claims a weight of 165.1 pounds (both factoring a full 0.5-gallon fuel tank).
“Trials riding is a very unique style of competition that’s spectacular to watch and incredibly difficult to do well,” says Lee Edmunds, manager of motorcycle marketing communications. “Last year we unveiled the COTA 4RT Race Replica, a hard-core bike made for national-level competition. That bike returns for 2015 with some important new features. The new COTA 4RT260 we’re introducing is designed and priced for riders entering the sport; those who compete at local and regional levels, rather than in national-level and pro events. Together, this pair allows trials riders to pick the one that best suits their tastes and budget.”
The 2015 Honda COTA 4RT Race Replica is priced at $9,499, an increase from last year’s $8,999 MSRP. The 4RT260 is a bit more affordable, coming it at $7,799. Expect both versions to arrive in showrooms in January.