Jim Winterer sent this email out to a few UMTA club members last week. My comments follow:
Dear friends, neighbors, partners in crime, evil doers etc.
Thought you might like to see this recent photo of my sons’ first motorcycle. I’m still working on confirming the date, but it is a ’74 or ’75 Montesa Cota 25. Now considered somewhat rare, it has a 49cc two-stroke motor and I think it makes just under 400 horsepower. Or maybe a little less than that. However, on the cute-as-a-bug scale, it has been scientifically verified to be off the charts.
We have terrific memories associated with the little Cota. It was the first motorcycle Ben ever rode, he was four and he rode it right into a picket fence. Will brought it to grade school for show and tell. They used to keep it up in their bedroom over the winter when we lived on Stewart Avenue. But the last time I saw it, the bike was in rough shape.
I bought it used in 1981 following one of our Minnesota trials events near Faribault. Two of us wanted to buy it; I won a coin flip and $100 later it was in the back of the Pinto station wagon. When Ben (on the right) and Will (on the left) outgrew it in the 1980s, the Cota found its way to the Wigley family (it was my longtime friend Griff Wigley who lost the coin toss) and we more or less lost track of it under the “possession is nine-tenths of the law” theory. Actually, I never had asked for it back and was under the impression that it had been professionally restored and shipped to a museum in Spain, home of the Montesa factory. I always kind of missed it, but felt good that it was well cared for and where people could enjoy seeing it.
Ha! Some sneaky friends of mine (ie: Steve Ahlers and Co. from Duluth) rescued it and secretly (at least to me) spent the past five years conducting a total restoration, inside and out. Steve’s an expert restorer and I think this is his best work yet. He had people in Europe and the United States looking for parts, and a master fiberglass artist in Texas did the fuel tank and seat assembly. Steve soaked the tiny drive chain in solvent for a full year and spent 50 hours on just the wheels before sending them to the chrome shop. The pictures don’t do it justice, it is that perfect. There were some parts that couldn’t be found anywhere so our master-machinist trials buddy in Thunder Bay, Stuart McLuckie, made them (like brass swing-arm bushings). Anything Steve didn’t chrome, he powdercoated, or metal-polished. The thing is a jewel.
On Saturday, quite a little crowd showed up unexpectedly at my house before noon. I was expecting a couple of these characters to come later in the afternoon and we were going to watch Supercross races in the Metrodome that night. Anyway, they said they decided to come early and have lunch first, and not to worry because they brought a buffet along with them. Well ok then. Diane Ahlers spread out the feast and it was like an instant party and I was in the living room visiting and telling lies when someone snuck out to Stewart’s van, carried the restored Montesa into the house, and wheeled it into the living room.
I think they were hoping to see me faint and fall over because they had their cameras ready; I didn’t pass out but came close. It was like the greatest surprise ever … like seeing an old buddy again, but not old and beat up but all sparkly and perfect. So I started asking how they fixed this part, and where did the new piston come from, and how they chromed that part and where did you find that little thingee. I still wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen to the Cota, however, so I asked Steve what he planned to do with it. He smiled and said, “It’s home, Jim. It’s home now.”
So how cool is that: owning a piece of motorcycle history and family history all rolled into one. The three Winterers are now the Cota’s keepers, so to speak, but dang, it sure looks nice in my living room.
A little more background:
The Cota 25 came to the UMTA via Northfielder Dudley Flamm whose two sons rode it in the 70s. When they outgrew it, Dudley put it up for sale and Jim and I both wanted it for our sons. Jim won the coin toss with me to buy it. Right photo: That’s Dudley at the UMTA 35th Anniversary in June, 2004, with Ron Hampe, Ed Hampe, and Al Gohlike.
My memory is as hazy as Jim’s but we think that he gave the Cota back to me at some point where it ended up languishing in my garage/basement/attic for years. I still have both the Cota 25 brochure and owner’s manual which will soon be on their way to Jim. I’ve included page 1 of the manual above for its, um, unique English.
In 2006, I decided to put it up for sale. When Steve Ahlers heard I was going to sell it, he told me his scheme to restore it and give it to Jim who’d spent thousands of hours working with Steve on the World Trials Championships held in Duluth in 2002, 2004, and 2005. I gladly donated the bike and I’m thrilled that it’s found its way to a proper home.
Right photo: Jim and Steve at the 2004 World Round.
UMTA is sorry to announce, that due to weather, the Hay Creek event is cancelled – for the time being. Watch this space for updates as they happen.
Hello all – just a quick notice about a few things – The schedule has changed to show that the Black River Falls event is a joint Wota/Umta event, continuing a 30+ year tradition!
Also note that positions for Trialmasters and helpers have been noted on the schedule. There are still some spots left…. get ‘em while they’re hot!
Hello all (and Happy New Year!)
I have posted the 2013 schedule, on…. you guessed it, the http://umta.org/2013-schedule/ page.
Notice that as of this writing, we have not yet posted the names of the Trialsmasters for the events….. but places may be going fast. I would suggest, to avoid disappointment, make sure you are at the banquet early, so you can beat the masses to the signup sheet! With the limited amount of events to set up (and help with) you wouldn’t want to miss out!
Another great season, thanks to everyone who had a part in making it happen. Trialsmasters, helpers, landowners, club executive, points-keepers, even long suffering family members and signinficant others!!!
Points can be found Here…
Congrats to everyone who came out to ride, and especially to the year-end class winners!
See you at the awards banquet – watch here for details.
On the front page of today’s StarTribune Variety section: Riding for life perched on a cycle
Ben Winterer probably is the world’s only athlete who prepares for grueling, two-day motorcycle competitions by drinking gallons of water and donning a vest that pummels his chest 25 times a second. "Probably not that many who slam down 100 pills a day, either, or inhale drugs to clear their lungs," said Winterer, 35, of Hastings, a computer programmer and national champion in a little-known precision sport called MotoTrials.
It’s a non-speed sport with hours of start-stop, throttle-brake, teeter and plunge techniques that appear to defy gravity and common sense. For about 25 weekends a year, Winterer travels around the country, but it’s not simple. Since birth, Winterer has had cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease characterized by thick mucus in the lungs and problems digesting food. It is a progressive, life-threatening and incurable disease that requires close monitoring and symptom control to maintain a good quality of life. Continued…
The video also features Ben’s dad, UMTA member Jim Winterer.
American Motorcyclist Association congratulates U.S. Trial des Nations team
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Trials is one of the most challenging motorsports in the world, and the annual FIM Trial des Nations championship features the world’s best competitors. On Sept. 30 in Moutier, Switzerland, the U.S. men’s and women’s teams represented America well, finishing sixth and fifth in their respective divisions.
Spain, a perennial trials powerhouse, won both the men’s and women’s divisions.
The U.S. men’s team, which competed in the International Trophy division, included Cody Webb from Royal Oaks, Calif., Bryan Roper from Glendale, Ariz., Karl Davis Jr. from Ormond Beach, Fla., and Eric Storz from Ventura, Calif. For the U.S. women’s team, the competitors were Louise Forsley from Bernardston, Mass., Caroline Allen from Norton, Mass., and Rachel Hassler from Albuquerque, N.M.
“The U.S. team did America proud in Switzerland,” said AMA Off-Road Manager Chuck Weir. “Trials is enormously popular in Europe, but it is growing quickly in the United States. Our participation in events such as the Trial des Nations plays a key role in that growth by showcasing our riders’ talents among the best trials riders in the world. We congratulation Spain on an impressive showing, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s competition.”
The U.S. Trials des Nations team was managed by Kip Webb, and Martin Belair served as the delegate to the local FIM affiliate organization.
The sport of trials involves riders navigating their motorcycles over seemingly impossible terrain. The Trial des Nations began in Europe in 1983 as a way to bring the best trials riders from each country together to compete as teams, and it has evolved into one of the most anticipated motorcycle events of the year. Each competing country fields two teams: a men’s team consisting of four riders and a women’s team consisting of three riders.
Congrats to all the riders from the UMTA!
Have been updated with the results from the weekend, and also from the BRF event the week before that. Enjoy!
Another one in the record books, as they say, and the points have been updated on the “Results” page…. we go into a fairly long “summer” break now, but some UMTA members will be headed to Ohio and Rhode Island for the NATC National rounds 5/6 and 7/8. Ben Winterer (who recently celebrated a birthday!) is hoping to clinch another national championship! He placed first in SR35 at the recent NATC rounds in CO and will hopefully continue his winning ways in Ohio! Go Ben!
Also of note is that former UMTA member Andrew Allen did very well in California and Colorado, with a WIN in Sportsman class on one day in Colorado. Way to go Andrew!!
Also present at the NATC in Colorado were yours truly, Eric M (another former UMTA’er) and Pat and Nate Hirt.
Here’s a neat picture from section 12, with Cody Webb shoing great form (but perhaps poor judgment – his rear wheel hit a marker 1/2 a second after the picture was taken, and he got a “5″….. which cost him a win. Thanks to Andrew Allen for the great shot.