Monday, January 13, 2014

Motorcycle Monday - Bultacos Rock


Bultaco was a Spanish manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycles from 1958 to 1983.

The origin of the Bultaco motorcycle company dates back to May 1958. Francisco "Paco" Bultó was a director of the Montesa motorcycle company founded in 1944.



Setting up shop in very primitive conditions at an old farm owned by Bultó, things developed quickly. In 1959 Bultaco held a press day and launched its first bike, the road-going 125cc Bultaco Tralla 101, named after the Spanish word for whiplash. Just two months later Bultaco entered its first Spanish Grand Prix taking seven of the first ten places.


Although they made road and road racing motorcycles, the company's area of dominance was off-road, in motocross, enduros, and observed trials competition.

Perhaps the most famous Bultaco model is the Sherpa T, a trials bike, which revolutionised the sport in the 1960s. At that time trials was almost exclusively a British sport using big heavy four-stroke machines. Bultaco dominated the World Trials Championship in the 1970s, winning the title eight times, and winning the Scottish Six Days Trial four times.





Bultaco's premier model in the USA, the Pursang, was an excellent handling and powerful 250 cc competition model that could readily compete in virtually any type of speed-based off-road competition. In later models this was expanded to 125 cc, 360cc and 370 cc Other models, such as the Sherpa T (trials), the Astro (flat tracker) and the Matador (trail bike), provided more targeted approaches to specific types of races.



Bultaco motorcycles were mainly powered by single-cylinder, air cooled, two stroke engines, but they also made water cooled versions. The rider was required to mix the oil and gasoline manually. Built in Barcelona, Spain, Bultaco motorcycles were exported throughout the world, but their largest market ultimately became the USA, allowing aspiring racers to purchase legitimately competitive motorcycles without modification.

Due to industrial unrest and market pressures, Bultaco production closed in 1979. The factory reopened in 1980, but closed again in 1983.

MotoGP star, Sete Gibernau is the grandson of the founder of Bultaco, Paco Bultó. Legend has it that Mr. Bultó asked to be buried "with his Bultaco t-shirt and his moustache properly waxed".