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trialsrfun

Montesa 348 vs Bultaco

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With the age of both bikes, which is best would depend almost entirely on how good an example you are looking at. Both were of course top of the tree as trials bikes in their day. And both, in standard trim and in average condition, would be a bit of a pig to ride in today's sections when stacked up against the well sorted Fantics, Majesty's etc used in modern twinshock trials.

If you were thinking of riding open class trials on one of them for nostalgic reasons, do yourself a favour and buy a modern age bike.

Having owned a 348 and an earlier Bulto, the Montesa seemed altogether designed to be more directed towards less troubled ownership: well sealed airbox, chain tubes as standard (you'd be lucky to find one with these still intact), excellent indestructable mudguards as standard and somewhat more of a quality feel. 

Edited by cleanorbust
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I find that the Cota 348 and 1977 Sherpa T are a joy to ride but both are hard work in tight sections. They are both suited to sections that are more open and have stable, relaxing handling. They feel different to each other in the handling and steering and which one feels better to someone depends on personal preference.

If you are talking about the 325 Bultaco, both the Cota 348 and 325 Bultaco are difficult to ride with precision unless the motor is running perfectly, because the behaviour of the motor dominates the behaviour of the whole bike.

If you were wanting the best chance of a low score in modern twinshock trials with tight turns and stop-allowed riding techniques, you would probably not ride a standard version of either of them. If you want a twinshock that feels amazing to freeride and has awesome power, then they are a great choice.

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The 349 is great, fab fun to play on and good on trails ... no way I'd use it for actual trials though :) 

I imagine the 348 is somewhat similar

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I have both bikes and would say, they are very different. the 348 is better in tight sections. wheel base is  shorter and engine seems to behave more  directly .little bit more lichter and nervous than bultaco. wonderful to ride in classic trials . But i personally prefer the bultaco, which has more torque and character. its very good at hillclimbing and on rocks. and reliably brings you on the top of mountain. anyway not so easy in tight sections. it always demands a special style of riding...

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4 hours ago, turbofurball said:

The 349 is great, fab fun to play on and good on trails ... no way I'd use it for actual trials though :)

I would, but I'm really not that smart.  B)

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Having owned several of both 348 Monts and 325 Bultos over a 10 year period I would say they are both excellent bikes. The 348 had a weak headstock and could have gearbox problems. I would quite happily ride either in modern easy, clubman and some hard route sections. No good for stop allowed sections or clutching.

The middle steps at Newbiggin on the Alan trophy trial are now not used because "they are too hard for most riders on modern bikes". In the 1970s The whole entry used to tackle these sections on these old twinshocks. 

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I am familiar with both Bultaco and OSSA trials bikes but have never owned a Montesa they were the ones that got away,. The 348 has a certain appeal to me so thanks for all of your replies please keep them coming.

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2 hours ago, trialsrfun said:

I am familiar with both Bultaco and OSSA trials bikes but have never owned a Montesa they were the ones that got away,. The 348 has a certain appeal to me so thanks for all of your replies please keep them coming.

OK If you are familiar with the Bultaco then I would describe the 348 as compared to the Bultaco 325:

Motor has faster pickup

Motor feels a bit more powerful

Motor not as smooth as late model 325. Similar to first model 325.

Higher footpegs (riding position)

Feels like you are closer to the font wheel

Front wheel placement slightly less important

Feels light until you get a bit out of shape

Gear selection is sketchy

Clutch has unpredictable and delayed engagement

More susceptible to overheating (in my climate)

Less ergonomic and heavier kickstart action

 

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Mr S. Miller esq gave me a tip many years ago concerning my Bultaco 325, set the ignition timing to (hard to forget this) 3.25mm btdc this will soften the power delivery and also reduce the dreaded starting in reverse which my mates 325 did a few times...embarrassing when selecting first and letting the clutch out only to disappear in a heap on the ground.😂 

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On 02/02/2018 at 9:51 PM, dadof2 said:

Having owned several of both 348 Monts and 325 Bultos over a 10 year period I would say they are both excellent bikes. The 348 had a weak headstock and could have gearbox problems. I would quite happily ride either in modern easy, clubman and some hard route sections. No good for stop allowed sections or clutching.

The middle steps at Newbiggin on the Alan trophy trial are now not used because "they are too hard for most riders on modern bikes". In the 1970s The whole entry used to tackle these sections on these old twinshocks. 

Are the frame weakspots just around the steering head or other places as well ?

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When you consider how old these bikes are that get ridden, thrown and dropped everywhere they aren’t doing too badly if they break occasionally. Wonder what a more modern Trials bike will be like in 30-40 years time?

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I always liked the look of the 348's and I got a later model one last year having never rode one before, its surprisingly well made for a bike of that age easy to work on as well..   

I wouldn't worry too much about it snapping in half if you find a decent one I doubt you will loose money on it. I'm not bothered about

it being competitive in twin shock trials I just bought it for the fun factor which it has in spades. 

 

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