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Newbie Bike question

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Hello all. I’m interested in trials riding and am looking at used bikes. I’m 6’6”(198cm) and 230lbs(105kg). 47 yo been riding street bikes since I was 14. I took trials lesson that went ok, but I certainly need practice.

wondering if a 1994 Montesa 314r is ok for my first bike. Curious as to what parts situation is for that bike. I have some mechanical aptitude but no interest in fabrication. Guy is asking $2300. Haven’t seen anything but pics so I can’t really tell how solid the bike is. Should I spend more for a newer bike or will this be ok.


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34 minutes ago, Nebulous said:

Hi Dougrad.  I’m also very new to trials , and in the last month , read everything I could - to the point of mental exhaustion. Then , when I was at my lowest ebb- I read articles on mental-exhaustion as well!!  After a minor-stroke and heart-arrhythmia , the paramedics were called - and they rushed me into A&E.  Then I was put into an acute-ward and hooked-up to all sorts of machines and drips.  Quite heavy medication was pumped into me , and I was told that I would be given some information in the morning.

Sure enough , at 9.30am , two or three senior practitioners drew back the curtain and stood by my bed with very serious faces.  They then told me that the doctors and consultants at the hospital have all agreed that , for the newcomer to trials with $2,300 to spend - that I would be advised to look for a later machine. The Beta Rev3 and Montesa 315R being the most popular beginner’s choice.

They also advised that , whilst the resourceful would-be purchaser can learn lots quite quickly and possibly make an informed choice from adverts and sensible research - it would be better to see the bike in the flesh , hear it running , know it’s history if possible , and checking documentation and frame numbers etc - before taking an actual test-ride on the machine to check basic operation etc.  

With my inexperience , I was told that it would be a good idea to join a forum and possibly a trials club near to me. I could go along to their trials and talk to others about my introduction to the sport. It would be almost essential , when buying a bike - to take along someone who knows exactly what to look for - someone experienced enough to put the bike through it’s paces , and make an informed judgement.

They then told me that if I ever phoned paramedics for constipation again - they would see to it that I would be put on a diet of figs and prunes for a month!


If you can stretch to a 2004 Rev3 or 315r - you’ll find that a lot of the bugs were ironed-out by that time , and your budget is actually more than enough for such a machine. It’s possible that the seller of your 314 is ascribing some sort of “vintage” value to it , which I would personally avoid.   $2,000 should easily get mint examples of the other two machines , and they are 10 years in the future from the 314 - I don’t know for sure  , but probably quite a difference in feel on the more modern-bike.

If you are spanner-friendly , then there are other possibilities. But for your size and weight , I’d say a 250cc for certain.  I don’t see why a Gas Gas 2007 250 shouldn’t be within your scope , or even a Beta Evo , at $2,300.  People will talk of Shercos and Scorpas as well - both good solid bikes , and very learner-friendly - and once again , your budget takes you into the ball-park of a machine just over ten years old.

My own choice of bike fell to what I liked the look of - and to it’s suitability for a beginner.  I was fired-up about the sport , and watched many videos of the talented super-stars on their amazing machines.  I felt that I didn’t want to come down from that , and then consider my own machine as something dull and uninspiring.  But I didn’t want to buy something that would hinder my progress , and be virtually impossible to ride as a learner.  It was a difficult decision , even with my unlimited budget.   I finally capped my spending at $3,000 , and  that got me the bike I now have.  This was a 2009 Montesa Cota 4RT 250.  

After just 2 days of ownership , setting the idle , and maybe 40 minutes of riding total - I now know I did the right thing.  Learning will be slow , and there’s lots of tinkering to do - but on my second ride , after adjusting handlebars and stuff - I began to gain confidence doing tight-turns and riding up and down my track to the house.  Step by step learning , and discipline - combined with 100% attention.  What is nice , is that the bike lives in my living-room - and in my favourites I have a video of Tony Bou literally flying one of these 2009 machines over rocks 10ft tall , and it looks identical to mine.  Everything I’d read about the bike’s power and weight and balance - now simply doesn’t matter , as I have quickly bonded with it - and will persevere in steadily learning all the techniques I can , at my own pace and level.   

I hope that is some help to you Dougrad , and that you can appreciate my take on it.   

PS.  Don’t forget that fibre in your diet is very important - it’s all about reducing weight in trials , and a couple of bowls of All Bran a day can save a few pounds for sure.

Hi Solarflare. 

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there is a great group of riders in the Tulsa area that usually have a few decent bikes available.

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