Montesa 4Ride - Modifications
December 10, 2015 version



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Click pictures to supersize.

Although the 4Ride may never be in my garage, I've been thinking about what mods I might do if I were ever to get my grubby hands on one. I looked through all the mods I've made to the six motos I've purchased in the last 10 years, about 80 distinct mods, and decided that a few of these could be on my list of things to do.

Bags, tools, et al - Gotta carry tools, rain gear, snacks. The 4Ride doesn't look to have many places to carry these items, so I'll probably add a Mojavi saddlebag on the back. I'm reserving the under-seat storage area for extra fuel.
MoJavi saddlebags

Enduro Jug - I don't use a hydration pack; can't stand weight on my back and having my shoulders pulled back. I'll mount the tried and true Enduro Jug on the front handlebars, just like on every moto I've owned over the last 30 years.

Footpegs - Move the footpegs forward for a more normal seated position; either reverse the footpeg mounts or make new brackets.

Fork bleed valves - A must-do mod. There are no air bleed screws on the stock fork caps, so I may have to machine something up.
Fork bleeders

Fork seal protectors - Reliability/protection mod.
Fork seal protectors

Fuel tank - 4.4 liters isn't enough for my normal ride. I'll use the Touratech 2 Liter Spare Fuel Canister until an aftermarket fuel solution pops up. I'll store the canister (or two) in the under-seat storage area and try to find a way to plumb into the stock fuel line. If the canister won't fit, I'll use a bladder.
Touratech 2 Liter Spare Fuel Canister

Handlebar, grips, and handguards - I like Pro Taper SE handlebars and will install a set, cut to my preferred width. Spider SLX grips for my wide hands are a must. I like the feel, too. I'll be foregoing aluminum/plastic handguards and installing an all-plastic setup to save weight.
Handlebar, grips, and handguards

Horn - Gotta move that horn up under the fuel tank somewhere.

Mirror - I like small mirrors; I'll have to wait and see.

Skid plate - I'll stick with the stocker until a plastic one comes along.

Sprockets - No telling on this one but the stock gearing may be just fine.
Comparing my modified CRF230F to the stock 4Ride and modified 4Ride (11 tooth front sprocket):


The values on the 1000, 2000, 6000, and 8000 rows are MPH.
For example, the CRF230F table shows 60.9 MPH for the CRF230F at 8,000 RPM in 6th gear.

BTW, NOBODY sells a Cota 4RT 11 tooth front sprocket. I checked web sites in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, and the US and no one's got 'em. 9 and 10 are available; no 11s. If you know where I can get an 11, please send me an email!

Tires - Install a TechnoMousse in the front tire. The rear is good to go; it's a tubeless.

Vent hoses - head, tranny, valve cover - I always end up messing with these, but Montesa may do the job right.



Footpegs - The footpegs on the 4Ride appear quite stout. This picture shows the 4Ride on the left and the Cota 4RT on the right. Not only is the 4Ride mounting bracket heavier, but the footpeg itself is heavier and larger, side-to-side and front-to-back. The spring and pivot pin look heavier duty also. It looks like the pivot pin is just a tinch closer to the frame...


4Ride vs 4RT

I've been thinking about the 4Ride gearing as shown in the preliminary specs from Montesa. The first 4 gears are different than the 4RT, the engine/tranny that the 4Ride is based on. I have calculated the speed at 8,000 RPM for both the 4Ride and 4RT with the stock 10T front sprocket and also with an 11T front sprocket. The chart below shows speed curves for all four gearing configurations.


The blue (stock) and green (11T) curves show the 4Ride speeds. The green (11T) curve shows the speed increase in each gear over the blue (stock) speeds. I like the 11T front sprocket option because it raises the 5th gear top speed to 65 MPH, a comfortable top speed for riding transition road sections between trails.

Looking at the red (stock) and dark red (11T) 4RT speed curves, I notice that the 5th gear speeds are identical to the 4Ride 5th gear speeds. This is because Montesa did not change the 4Ride 5th gear ratios. So the question is - why did they change gears 1-4 and leave 5th alone? I think it was to make the 2nd/3rd/4th transitions smoother and more road-bike like. Trials riders are used to the gappy transmissions in their trials bikes - they accept the slower and closer lower gear ratios because they need very low gearing in 1st and 2nd, the gears they use while riding the trials sections. My observation is they usually only need the ultra low speed of 1st gear for riding sections. Road and trail riders are used to higher ratios and smoother transitions.

But thinking about my own personal preference, I think I would appreciate the 4RT gearing over the 4Ride gearing. I ride very technical single-track trails and the trials gearing would suit my riding style. I like the 11T front sprocket for the 5th gear top speed and the slightly higher 1st gear over the stock 10T speed would be acceptable. The 4Ride higher first gear would not be as comfortable to me on very technical trail sections.

Thinking about the 4Ride vs 4RT further, here's how I feel about other 4Ride differences.

Seating position - The big change between the 4Ride and 4RT is the seat. I definitely need a seat; I ain't standing all day while riding. But wait, the 4RT comes with a removable semi-standard seat. It doesn't look as cool and integrated as the 4Ride seat, but looks have never been very high on my list; just look at my CRF230F. The 4Ride footpegs are supposed to be in more road-like positions, but I'd bet my friend Robert could help me make new 4RT footpeg brackets that would work just fine.

Handlebars - another plus for the 4Ride is the more comfortable handlebars. Since I have my own handlebar preference, I was going to have to change the 4Ride bars anyway, so doing so on the 4RT is not a problem at all.

Ignition mapping - Although this is mentioned in the 4Ride notes, I can't imagine that the 4RT doesn't run as well as I need. I have changed FI systems before and am prepared to do what's required, if anything, in this area. Also, I just found out that the new 4RT has the dual map switch on the handlebar - schweet.

Suspension - longer suspension is another 4Ride plus, but I'm not impressed. The 4RT has adequate suspension numbers for my slow, trail meandering pace.

Fuel tank - At 1.2 gallons, the 4Ride is no long-distance bike. For the 4RT, I could plumb in some extra capacity from the under-seat storage area, which I was already planning for the 4Ride. I have two options in mind - Touratech 2 Liter Spare Fuel Canister and the 2 Litre Touring Bladder from "Liquid Containment" in Australia. I will also consider buying the 4Ride tank when it becomes available. I could be lookin' at 6.4 liters or 1.7 gallons on board, which is all I'd need for a good trail ride.

Fenders - I like the slightly raised front fender on the 4Ride and see no problem getting the 4Ride fender and mount to work on the 4RT. The rear 4RT fender is going to be a problem - I have to build in enough strength to mount a license plate and taillight. And I hate the ugly 4RT rear fender. So I'll get some red Kydex and see what I can fab.

Weight - I was very impressed with the 179 pounds dry weight of the 4Ride compared to my current CRF230F's dry weight of 235 pounds - almost 55 pounds lighter! But at 161 pounds, the 4RT is almost 75 pounds lighter than my 230F. I can't even imagine the difference when riding.

US version - the 4Ride has not been EPA tested yet (I follow the EPA web site) and my thinking is, it won't arrive in the US any time soon. The 4RT is already sold by selected Honda dealers, and a few are now advertising the 2016 300RR. I have converted 6 non-street-legal motos to street-legal motos according to Colorado rules and specifications and I see no impediment to doing the same for the 4RT. I suspect the 4Ride, if it is ever imported, will arrive in non-street-legal form and I would have the same process to go through. If Montesa add all the usual EPA/DOT junk, the 4Ride will gain unacceptable weight and I wouldn't be interested in it at all.

Conclusions - all things considered, I think the 4RT is the better choice for me. Having now decided to go all-trials, I can even consider the 300RR with it's larger displacement engine (288 vs 259) if I have the extra $2,000 bucks to get it. Thanks for the effort Montesa, but looks like I don't need the 4Ride. If you'd put a 6th gear in the tranny and a 2.5 gallon fuel tank on, then I'd be very interested... but I think the 4RT is in my future for now.

What did I miss? I'm sure something else will come along that I've missed, but I've been mulling this over for about a month now. Anything I've missed may not be significant. If anyone out there sees something, send me an e-mail.

I called in at Apex Sports in Colorado Springs and talked to Mike Stokes about the 4RT. Between talking to Mike and earlier with Lance, I was almost convinced. After a short ride in the parking lot, we concluded the deal.

busy busy
        Viva Montesa                 Steady... Steady

Oh, oh, does this mean there'll be a Montesa Cota 4RT web page on Rick's web site - you betcha.

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