Bultaco stuff

Posted: November 26, 2008 in bike show, British Bikes, Bultaco, EBay, motorcycles, Norton Commando, vintage racing

M23 Metralla

M23 Metralla

We’ve been big Bultaco fans here for years for a number of reasons, but for me it was down to the way they were built. My first real dirt bke was a 360 El Montadero, a brute of a bike in many ways. It had a big powerful motor and it was by todays standards a real heavyweight. I think it weighed about 250lbs but for a capable enduro machine it wasnt too bad for the day. Anyway, I bought it with the motor in pieces (I always crave a challenge) and wound up doing a pretty complete restoration in the living room.

Why am I turning this into a novella you ask? Well I saw by rebuilding this bike (and others) from the ground up, you get a feel of how the people thought when they designed and manufactured it. Bultaco motorcycles were the brainchild of Mr. Bulto himself and he had a clear vision of what he wanted. He was also a dab hand at riding himself so the end product had to work and work well.

Bultaco motorcycles are more than the sum of their parts. The motors were simple 2 strokes, servicing was straight forward, there weren’t a lot of fussy little parts to break and the hardware was robust quality stuff; usually nylon lock nuts etc. Power delivery was controllable, the frames were stout( with a few exceptions) and consequently Bultacos were frequent podium visitors in all disciplines of motorcycle sport including roadracing. The most amazing part of all was they came from a factory that consisted of a series of chicken coop buildings but were staffed by passionate people. Another notable thing was that the parts weren’t made in giant punch presses, you could see they were made by men who knew how to cast metal, weld steel and lay up fiberglass by hand. I always had the feeling than any one person in the factory could do any of the jobs.

What does this have to do with Norton Commandos you ask? I guess because Nortons are more than the sum of their parts and in the beginning were associated with one man; “Pa Norton”.


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