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Four-stroke manufacturing problems?

by JohnNicholas on 04/14/2010

I found part of the following information on ( I believe that they found it on a forum someplace. The message bears reading and consideration, although at this time it has not been confirmed.

If you have additional information, please let us know.


Info on 4 strokes…I thought some would be interested in this (edited for content – not altered)…the bottom is a shock.

I just returned from my yearly visit to the GasGas factory….saw the 4-stroke again. It’s almost done, all they have to do is to finish the final head design and figure out the mapping for the fuel injection system. Not much….however, due to the economy, which is really bad in Europe.

They have put the project on hold for the short future. IF the economy comes back, they will resume the final testing next summer and it will be a 2011 model.

Unemployment in Spain is running 23% right now….pretty incredible!  Lots of small businesses are gone, including some of the ones that made parts for the factory. They had to really work to find other sources of these parts from other business, which took awhile, which is why the bikes are late this year.

The 4-stroke bikes are dead in Europe. Too high an initial cost and also a high repair cost. Two stroke enduro and trials bikes are coming back rapidly over there.

When it comes down to comparing all the qualities of 2-stroke verses 4-stroke, the ONLY advantage the 4-stroke has (and it’s small) is better traction in slippery conditions….that’s it. The factory engineers and riders all say that the 2-stroke is far superior.

Montesa just closed their new factory just outside of Barcelona and laid off 250 workers. Guess that says something….their trials team will end after 2010.   (posted Dec. 22, 2009)

While searching for additional information about the above article, I discovered something I had not known before, that Honda owns Montesa and has since the early 1980?s. The following excerpt was found on Wikipedia;

By 1981, another round of economic unrest in Spain began to hinder motorcycle manufacturers. Strikes and a shrinking market left Montesa as the only major motorcycle concern in the country; however they were in need for a major influx of capital in order to continue to survive. A loan from the government and shares sold to Honda (to establish a European manufacturing base for their commuter bikes) helped production continue. Indeed, one of the governments stipulations was that Honda would guarantee that production would not stop. Honda was prepared to stockpile trials bikes and to sell them off at a loss in an effort to reach Europe’s more profitable market and to bypass restrictive import tariffs.

In July 1985, a major reorganization took place and a large amount of money from Honda was received. By then, only two trials models were offered and the workforce had dwindled to a mere 152 employees. A year later, there were further financial moves between Honda, Spain’s government and the Permanyer family, leading to Honda buying the majority of the family’s remaining shares. Honda now had an 85% holding and spent another $5 million on modifying and updating the factory.

Montesa was still active in World Trials competition throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. Even though reduced to only offering one model, the Cota, such riders like former World Champion Eddy Lejeune and Andrew Codina rode the bike to good results in the mid-’80s. In 1992-93, the liquid-cooled Cota 311 was produced; this was to be the last “real” Montesa. In 1994, a new model, the 314R, was introduced. This model featured an HRC Honda powerplant with many other components from Honda. Montesa-mounted Marc Colomer won the World title in 1996 and the 315R followed in early ’97. The 315R had a run of 7 years, taking Dougie Lampkin to many world championships, and was replaced by the technically advanced four-stroke Cota 4RT in 2005.