Montesa 125 Sprint
With Phil Aynsley
Sometimes a bike’s looks strike you so strongly that any interesting history is just a happy addition. This Montesa 125 Sprint is a case in point.
The 1954 125 Sprint was Montesa’s first catalogue race bike and was based on the company’s road model, first introduced in 1945.
Factory racers were also campaigned successfully, notably finishing second, third and fourth in the Ultra Lightweight TT at the IOM in 1956.
The motor featured a six-speed bolt-on gearbox with needle-roller bearings throughout. It also had “plugs” mounted on the crankcase mouth that protruded up inside the interior of the piston to assist in transferring the intake charge to the combustion chamber.
The petrol fuel mixture could be added to (for those demanding sections of track) by oil held in the frame that was bleed into the carburettor bell-mouth. The 55 kg bike made 18 hp and had a top speed of 150+km/h.
The dolphin fairing was introduced in late 1954, replacing the handlebar unit fitted prior – it was one of the first full fairings to be offered on a race bike.
This bike was bought directly from the factory, then the second owner, Swedish racer Leigh Smeadh passed it on to the current owner a few years ago.