If there was one constant in the world of motocross bikes, at least up until fuel injection made them obsolete, it was the gas petcock. In the days of car-
DO YOU REMEMBER THE MONTESICLES?
bureted two-strokes, especially the Amal and Bing days,
you could not leave the petcock open or you ran the risk
of filling your bottom end up with raw gas. Thus, every
bike worth its weight in gold came with a simple on/off
petcock. The vast majority used the same basic design—a
simple switch that opened and shut the fuel line by turn-
ing a lever. Innovation was uncommon. Perhaps BSA’s
guillotine-slide petcock could be considered unique, but
it wasn’t an actual improvement. New ideas were few.
That didn’t happen until Spanish
brand Montesa blew out the jams
with the infamous Montesicle pet-
cock (using them on the VR, VA and
VB models from 1973 to 1978). Oh,
don’t get us wrong; Montesa didn’t
call it that in their fancy advertis-
ing brochures, but the source of
the name became obvious as soon
as the Montesa petcock was used.
The Montesa petcock consisted of
a molded rubber tube with a steel
ball bearing inside. To turn the gas
on, you squeezed the rubber tube to
squirt the 1/2-inch-diameter ball bearing out of the way of the fuel flow.
To shut the gas off, you squeezed the
other end of the rubber tube to move
the ball bearing over to block the
flow of fuel. It was almost inspired.
Almost! The problem? Smog ate the
poor-quality Spanish rubber, and the
ball bearing would come flying out.
This means that today most vin-
tage and museum-quality Montesas
are missing their very rare, original
Montesicle fuel petcocks. ❏