Montesa Impala Sport 250: Riding History

Montesa Impala Sport 250: Riding History


My name is Alicia Sornosa
and I’m a journalist. I’m a “mototraveler”. Ever since I traveled
around the world by bike, I haven’t been able to get off the bike
nor stop traveling. I’m always thinking
about the next destination and which motorcycle to ride. A few years ago, a woman called me
saying she had an Impala which belonged to her late father. And she wanted to sell it to someone who was going to take good care of it. She wanted to make sure
it was in good hands because her father
would have appreciated that. But at that time,
I couldn’t buy another motorcycle so I turned down the offer. The conversation ended there,
but a year and a half later she reached out to me again. She introduced herself as the Impala owner
and said she really wanted me to buy it. I insisted that I couldn’t buy it
at that time. Then she told me
that she knew my great uncle. She asked about my last name
and she was right. My great uncle was an endocrinologist and had treated her
since she was a child. I called my aunt and asked her
about my uncle’s patient. And even though my uncle never
spoke about his patients at home, my aunt said that she knew her. She was a patient he had
treated for many years, since she was two years old, that he was fond of her
and even attended her wedding. So I called her back
and told her I’m buying the bike. Riding an Impala is one
of the greatest things in the world. It’s a true motorcycle. It doesn’t have any electronics in it, and it transmits the feel of the tires
when you’re maneuvering, the type of road surface
you’re traveling on. There are some curious
and unique features. Something that’s a little surprising
when you’re about to ride an Impala is that the gear
and the break levers are reversed. You can’t treat it
like an ordinary motorcycle. Otherwise as soon as
you shift into first gear, you’ll fall flat on your face. It’s actually a very easy motorcycle
to ride. It allows you to do
some amazing knee-dragging. It doesn’t look like it,
because it’s a very old bike, but when you’re riding it
and start cornering, it just leans over. It glides you along the road
so smoothly and effortlessly. It’s the type of motorcycle
that seems to eat up the road, of being always on the move. It has a very particular sound. And I think everyone,
at least once in their life, should ride an Impala. The story of Montesa
started in the 1940’s with two friends, during a time of prosperity in Catalonia, who decided to invest
in the motorcycle business. But one of these friends wanted
a more urban motorcycle, and the other wanted
a more competitive bike. They eventually split up, and this gave rise to two brands, one of them is Bultaco,
another great Catalan brand, and the other is Montesa. But what happened with the Impala
is quite interesting. They decided to make three prototypes
and take them to Cape Town. Then they drove them
all the way back to Barcelona. This was called Operation Impala. Manufacturing started in the 60’s, and as the market evolved
and people’s tastes changed, they made interesting decisions
regarding the design of the bike. Because the Impala was designed
for well-to-do people in Barcelona. They wanted a beautiful motorcycle,
with big tires, that was safe. Something you could ride wearing
your office attire and leather shoes without getting oil stains
all over yourself. However, people in the countryside
started to use the bike on back roads, on dirt roads, and the bike wouldn’t break. It turned out it was
a very durable motorcycle – beautiful, comfortable,
and very practical. In the 1960’s, the scrambler
movement came about in the US from which the Impala Texas was born. It’s similar to the Impala but with the American standards, which required foldable pedals, one single lever for gears and brakes, higher handlebars,
and a little more suspension. And also a stronger rear suspension. Motorcycles are becoming more popular. There’s a lot passion
in Spain, in Catalonia, and particularly in Barcelona
which has produced many great riders. So the Spanish brands have been growing. People have started showing
interest in motorcycles – for racing, for just having fun. And the Impala has played
an important role in the great history
of Spanish motorcycles. The Impala was manufactured
until the 1970’s, about 1974, which is when scooters
started becoming popular and the foreign brands
took the Spanish market by storm. Right before Honda acquired
Montesa in the 80’s, motorcycles became popular again,
not just scooters. This happened because
there’s a law in Spain that says you can ride 125cc motorcycles
without a helmet. Montesa benefited from this and they
started to manufacture the Impala 2, initially with a 175cc engine, but they advertised the bikes
as having 125cc engines, even though it was much more powerful. In the 80’s, Honda acquired Montesa and the Impala ceased production. It’s since become a jewel.

60 Replies to “Montesa Impala Sport 250: Riding History”

  1. The single cylinder (and some two or three cyls), two stroke (And some four), Italian bikes of the 60's and 70's sound so good. They may not have a lot of HP and TQ, but they have so much character they are an absolute joy to ride. Beautiful motorbike and wonderful story (of the bike and owner!) Once again, Petrolicious at it's best!

  2. Madre mía!!!!
    Ahora resulta que la Montesa Impala se hizo para la gente de Barcelona.
    Lo próximo qué será???
    El Seat León??
    Será también para la gente de Barcelona???

  3. So sad that Spanish brands are not doing bikes like those all ones, Montesa under Honda direction just makes trial bikes and bultaco has gone for electric bikes… It would be easy to sell one cylinder under 4k euros, retro styled

  4. It would be interesting to see WHO wouldn't like a video like this one. HERMOSO VIDEO! Saludos desde USA en la Florida.

  5. Thanks Petrolicious for that video. Bonita historia personal con la compra de esta moto y buen video de una gran marca de motos españolas con su modelo más famoso. Haced más videos de motos españolas como: Bultaco, Patria, Fusté, Simó, Derbi, Roa, Lube, BMS, Coronat, Colomer, etc

  6. Thanks to Petrolicious for sharing this beautiful video! Alicia, es un orgullo verte en Petrolicious, siempre he admirado tu espíritu aventurero! Saludos desde northern Arizona!

  7. There's definitely something positive about a smaller, well built and balanced bike. You can feel more connected to the road.

  8. Back in the day, early to mid '60s, I was enamored of Spanish bikes, there was always the tension between Montessa and Bultaco, both stylish and iconic. The Bultacos were perhaps more affordable, anyway I ended up with them, lawn mowing money seemed to go further then. First a 175cc Mercurio, then the pinnacle Metralla. Fun fact, Cycle World used a photo of the Metralla front brake in their masthead for many years, the scooped dual leading shoe side plate had a lot of panache.

  9. I don't think that the Impala was designed only for people who lived in Barcelona as Alicia said. Montesa used to build motorbikes for Spain and for Spaniards, not only for Barcelona.

  10. Veo 2 versiones diferentes. Sé que los últimos modelos tienen ruedas de fundición. Me encanta tener uno. no es común aquí en los Estados Unidos

  11. I never heard of that bike brand until tonight. That's a nice looking bike and Alicia is tasty too as she reminds me of my eye doctor.

  12. She is very passionate and this elevates the video to the heavens. It truly makes a big difference when the presenter is so passionate as this beautiful woman

  13. The title says 250, but the writing on the tank says 125. Can somebody explain s'il vous plait? Love the bike – similar to Metralla.

  14. Min 0:25, el subirse encima de la moto para encederla (ni que fuera una norton… el pedal de arranque de la impala es bastante suave para encenderla desde el suelo), luego bajarse de la moto, retirar el caballete e irse……algo exagerado pero es mi opinión. El resto del vídeo muy chulo todo! (no aparece ninguna 250 sport, por el título digo)

  15. Honestly what is there to not like about this site☺️barely know Spanish but doesn't matter I still get it.When notification shows I click on? Beautiful,well done motoramic videos.??

  16. Gracias Alicia por dar a conocer la Montesa. Tengo una Brio de mi padre del año 1956. La antecesora de la tuya. Besos
    Thank you very much tos peaky about Montesa, Spanish motorbike. I have one Brío from 1956.Kids

  17. The motorcycle world here, mostly in Catalonia was huge back in the day, its sad to see how we've been loosing all our brands and pedigree of such great products. I began loving this vehicles as a kid, not that long ago as I'm just 25 but when I was 16 or 17 I bougt a Derbi Antocha Olimpica, also made here but was just a 49cc, loved it, and I drove it to the closing of the factory, a sad day. Luckily we've got lots of clubs an people who love this motorcycles, value and preserve them.

  18. Alicia si no hace una pequeña macarrada en sus videos no se queda tranquila ????
    If Alicia don't make a little insolence in her videos she don't was satisfied ?

  19. I love the motorcycle series of this channel. I am in love with two stroke motorcycles especially since they are banned in the state that I live in. Glad to see people enjoying these motorcycles and using them as intended. Keep up the good work.

  20. Hola Alicia! Como te puedes poner en contacto con petrolicius para qur te hagan un vídeo? Tengo un amigo que es coleccionista de coches y me gustaría ponerme en contacto con petrolicius

  21. Thumb's down for sticking an English title onto content with different language. I hate when my time is wasted.

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