Montesa was once a popular European motorcycle manufacturer known for its success in trials and off-road racing. Celebrating its 75th anniversary last year, the company had hopes of showcasing its rich racing heritage in an exhibit held at the Museu de la Moto de Bassella in Catalonia, Spain. However, the coronavirus pandemic had other plans, and inadvertently put a stop to all tourism.
At last, it's never too late to celebrate a momentous occasion, as Montesa has finally opened the exhibit in the Museu de la Moto de Bassella as normalcy begins to set in. Unfortunately though, the likelihood of non-locals to get a glimpse of the stunning exhibit is close to non-existent, given the fact that travel restrictions across multiple countries continue to be in place.
Montesa was founded back in 1945, and prides itself as a all-Spanish motorcycle company. Although a rather niche company, Montesa saw considerable success in motorsports, particularly trials and off-road. Interestingly, back in the day, the company even had a fleet of street bikes and even road racing machines which competed in events such as the Isle of Man TT after World War II. On top of this, Montesa was one of the biggest players in the off-road scene from the 1970s through to the 1980s.
It wasn't until the dawn of the Japanese giants that the likes of Montesa began to feel the pinch, sales-wise. Many other European manufacturers had fallen into the abyss of memory thanks to the rise of their Eastern competitors, however, Montesa trundled along, surprisingly thanks to Honda acquiring the company. To this day, the partnership between the two companies lives on, and Montesa Honda continues producing trials and off-road bikes, as well as street and adventure bikes which bear the Honda brand. 75-percent of Montesa Honda's motorcycles are exported around the European market.
The Montesa 75th anniversary exhibit at Museu de la Moto de Bassella showcases quite a number of the early street-legal Montesa motorcycles. Road racers and competition machines which participated in legendary races of decades past can also be found on display. In total, 130 motorcycles are being showcased in the exhibit. It would be absolutely stellar if Museu de la Moto de Bassella could come up with a virtual tour option for those interested in this historical exhibit.