Jump to content


Photo

Where have all the Bultacos gone?


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 Greystone

Greystone
  • Member

  • 124 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 13 July 2009 - 18:43

I went to the CRMC meeting at Brands yesterday and it struck me when watching the 250 and 350 single cylinder races that there was not a single Bultaco to be seen, not even in the parades. Mike Hose was scheduled to ride a 350 but did not appear. I don't know whether he was out on it on Saturday as I was only there Sunday.

This is strange as during period, whilst they were not as common as the british two stroke singles, they were hardly a rareity. Peter Bowers, who I used to go to race meetings with, raced a 350 in the late sixties / early seventies before moving on to TR and TZ Yamahas. This was the ex Barry Sheene, ex John Murphy bike and I believe that it is now owned by one of Peter's former sponsors.

To get back to the point does anyone else have any idea why hardly any Bultacos are being raced these days?

Is it the spares situation? Do the company who make the AJR Bultaco also make spares for the originals? If so are they prohibitively expensive?

Can anyone throw any light on the absence of Bultacos in classic racing?

Andrew

Advertisement

#2 Herr Wankel

Herr Wankel
  • Member

  • 931 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 13 July 2009 - 19:13

I went to the CRMC meeting at Brands yesterday and it struck me when watching the 250 and 350 single cylinder races that there was not a single Bultaco to be seen, not even in the parades. Mike Hose was scheduled to ride a 350 but did not appear. I don't know whether he was out on it on Saturday as I was only there Sunday.

This is strange as during period, whilst they were not as common as the british two stroke singles, they were hardly a rareity. Peter Bowers, who I used to go to race meetings with, raced a 350 in the late sixties / early seventies before moving on to TR and TZ Yamahas. This was the ex Barry Sheene, ex John Murphy bike and I believe that it is now owned by one of Peter's former sponsors.

To get back to the point does anyone else have any idea why hardly any Bultacos are being raced these days?

Is it the spares situation? Do the company who make the AJR Bultaco also make spares for the originals? If so are they prohibitively expensive?

Can anyone throw any light on the absence of Bultacos in classic racing?

Andrew

Good question,
I suspect that a few of the aircooled ones were vandalised for kart engines.It seems only a few who really persevered with them could get the best out them.In the 125s a CR93 would get you to the finish.In 250s a'Macchi or good Duke would do the same and then came reliable(ish) Yams.Undoubtedly fast when going though.It is a shame though as they added variety.
Michael Nash de Villiers is running a 200 in the Belgian classic scene to excellent effect but he is the last of the many I think.Weren,t there quite a few 200s in Scotland and Ulster for their championships?In the early CRMC days Bob Peabody ran a very quick one.
Posted Image
This was at Dijon last month.The bit of tape under the badge says Sheene Bultaco,and if the plate colour is correct its a 360!
BTW Ginger is still kicking arse down under in vintage meets,but if anyone could get them moving he could.Russell was there a very quick one in Oz a few years back?
I think AJR made 350 reps,but I think a few parts were swapable,werent the complete bikes a bit expensive though?
ATB HW

Edited by Herr Wankel, 13 July 2009 - 19:14.


#3 Coupe Kawasaki

Coupe Kawasaki
  • Member

  • 1,501 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 13 July 2009 - 19:50

I had one in '77 which munched money in parts. I think Chas Blay sold me a cylinder and piston. More than 200 quid then!

David

#4 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 13 July 2009 - 19:53

Yes, given there were lots around from the early sixties, slightly strange that they're not still being punted around. In Britain, Dan Shorey had great success with the them - winning, I think the 125 British championship in '61? - and throughtout the sixties they probably were the most numerous bike on 125 grids. I think the 250, or 196, was a bit less compeitive, although still fairly common By the time the improved watercooled bikes appeared, they were outgunned by the TDIC.

Afraid I dont recall the Aussie bike from recent years, Herr. Quite a few there in the sixties though: Bill Horsman and Kevin Fraser being among the quicker blokes on them. Kevin Cass did really well over here with them too during that period. I probably should know this but don't: have they factory now closed? If so, at the risk of stating the obvious...could explain the lack of spares etc? Oh, an aside that might be germane: I seem to remember them being referred to as Bulseizos, at least in OZ..... :eek:

Edited by Russell Burrows, 14 July 2009 - 09:22.


#5 Herr Wankel

Herr Wankel
  • Member

  • 931 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 13 July 2009 - 20:25

Yes, given there were lots around from the early sixties, slightly strange that they're not still being punted around. In Britain, Dan Shorey had great success with the them, winning, I think - the 125 British championship in '61? - and throughtout the sixties they probably were the most numerous bike on 125 grids. I think the 250, or 196, was a bit less compeitive, although still fairly common By the time the improved watercooled bikes appeared, they were outgunned by the TDIC.

Afraid I dont recall the Aussie bike from recent years, Herr. Quite a few there in the sixties though: Bill Horsman and Kevin Fraser being among the quicker blokes on them. Kevin Cass did really well over here with them too during that period. I probably should know this but don't: have they factory now closed? If so, at the risk of stating the obvious...could explain the lack of spares etc? Oh, an aside that might be germane: I seem to remember them being referred to as Bulseizo's, at least in OZ..... :eek:

Bill Horsman would be the one Russell,weren't they allowed to run on methanol in the Oz vintage races?Burns a bit cooler so would help keep the seizures at bay.Weren't the earlier ones a bit troublesome.Primary chains and seizures on the aircooled models.By the time they were sorted the Japanese were advancing at a hell of a rate.I think the factory closed in the late 70s or early 80s at the time of much Spanish industrial unrest.A new Bult trials bike appeared a few years back but then the trade mark owners pulled the plug and it had to be renamed.Sherco I think it is now and I'm sure its made in France,so only the slackest of links with the old firm.I think Bults were were very popular in Ireland too.Harry Lindsay was the importer in Blessington.
HW

#6 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 13 July 2009 - 20:45

Bill Horsman would be the one Russell,weren't they allowed to run on methanol in the Oz vintage races?Burns a bit cooler so would help keep the seizures at bay.Weren't the earlier ones a bit troublesome.Primary chains and seizures on the aircooled models.By the time they were sorted the Japanese were advancing at a hell of a rate.I think the factory closed in the late 70s or early 80s at the time of much Spanish industrial unrest.A new Bult trials bike appeared a few years back but then the trade mark owners pulled the plug and it had to be renamed.Sherco I think it is now and I'm sure its made in France,so only the slackest of links with the old firm.I think Bults were were very popular in Ireland too.Harry Lindsay was the importer in Blessington.
HW



I don't know about now but in the old days, Shell A, I think it was called, was the fuel to use, which was methonol based.

Edited by Russell Burrows, 14 July 2009 - 07:22.


#7 timhanna

timhanna
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 13 July 2009 - 21:59

Ginger Malloy has them here in New Zealand. He wins evrything he wants to by miles and there are probably a few people who would like to see the Bultos repatriated so they can have a go.
Tim Hanna




I went to the CRMC meeting at Brands yesterday and it struck me when watching the 250 and 350 single cylinder races that there was not a single Bultaco to be seen, not even in the parades. Mike Hose was scheduled to ride a 350 but did not appear. I don't know whether he was out on it on Saturday as I was only there Sunday.

This is strange as during period, whilst they were not as common as the british two stroke singles, they were hardly a rareity. Peter Bowers, who I used to go to race meetings with, raced a 350 in the late sixties / early seventies before moving on to TR and TZ Yamahas. This was the ex Barry Sheene, ex John Murphy bike and I believe that it is now owned by one of Peter's former sponsors.

To get back to the point does anyone else have any idea why hardly any Bultacos are being raced these days?

Is it the spares situation? Do the company who make the AJR Bultaco also make spares for the originals? If so are they prohibitively expensive?

Can anyone throw any light on the absence of Bultacos in classic racing?

Andrew



#8 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,237 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:45

Ginger Malloy has them here in New Zealand. He wins evrything he wants to by miles and there are probably a few people who would like to see the Bultos repatriated so they can have a go.
Tim Hanna


Ginger has also been sneaking over for a few of the larger classic meetings in Australia for the last few years and breaking a few hearts on the Bultacos, as well as Bert Flood's 350 AJR. Still as smooth as silk, and bloody quick, Ginger was unlucky enough to fracture his skull in a fall down some stairs recently, but is recovering well and will no doubt be back thrilling us all shortly.

Russell, I think Peter Guest may be the mystery man who was flying on the Bullies a few years back in Aussie, before Ginger started turning out on Bert's bikes Guesty was the incumbent missile.

Edited by GD66, 14 July 2009 - 08:48.


#9 Ninja1950

Ninja1950
  • Member

  • 45 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:56

Ginger has also been sneaking over for a few of the larger classic meetings in Australia for the last few years and breaking a few hearts on the Bultacos, as well as Bert Flood's 350 AJR. Still as smooth as silk, and bloody quick, Ginger was unlucky enough to fracture his skull in a fall down some stairs recently, but is recovering well and will no doubt be back thrilling us all shortly.

Russell, I think Peter Guest may be the mystery man who was flying on the Bullies a few years back in Aussie, before Ginger started turning out on Bert's bikes Guesty was the incumbent missile.


The early 70s TSS 250 Bultaco were water-cooled, If I remember correctly it did not have a water pump and relied on thermosiphon. On the TSS 250 it also did have habit of snapping ignition side crankshaft normally on the down change into corners. The rider noticed a sudden stopping of the engine and the flywheel over taking the rider in the corner!!

The fix at that time was to have the crank with two drive side main shafts and rebore the ignition flywheel rotor to solve that issue.

Compared to the TDIC on paper it appeared competitive, it had a 6-speed transmission, water-cooled engine and electronic ignition, the brakes worked okay and they handled very good. But a single was going to find it tough against a twin.

On my 5 port TD1C, after I fitted TD2 carbies it ran very good to give some of the TD2s a run for their money at Bathurst etc. Had to sell the TD1C to help pay for the TR2B.



Murray

#10 7okai

7okai
  • Member

  • 50 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 14 July 2009 - 13:11

I recall being told about my fathers first experience with his new 125 and 250 Bulties.

When you bought them, there was an unofficial list of items that were immediately replaced. From memory, you had to fit a Smiths rev counter, cable and drive unit, replace all the jets with Amal items. Fit a KLG or whatever they were back then, spark plug. I believe there were 7 important parts that you threw away and replaced, before you even bothered to start them.

The original parts were all made during the Franco years, and Spain did not have access to such good material. The Rev counters were Smiths replicas, but if they even worked the first time, they were totally unreliable. The Spanish brass would erode after a few meetings and the bike would gradually become richer. Fit a smaller jet.......yonk.

I heard the tale of Dan Shorey taking over control of dads bikes when they arrived, brand new. He promptly started them up, pushed them to a far away corner of the paddock and warmed them up...and warmed them up some more....then more. To the point that they were boiling, or badly overheating. Of course there was some concern about all this, but Dan would not have any of it and continued with the "procedure".

After they had cooled down...probably the next morning, there was some disassembly and attention to some internal details. Then, they were ready to race. Whether they finished a GP, well that was another matter.

At a very young age, I learned about primary chains and various other irritating frustrations with Bultacos. As a seven year old my only fond memory was sitting on the tank of one while dad rode it through the pits. Unforgettable.

Ginger was one of the few to really persevere and get a handle on them. Amazing how fast, smooth and tidy he still is on one these days

#11 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 14 July 2009 - 14:31

Posted Image

Peter, this bloke looks more than a bit like your dad ?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 14 July 2009 - 14:33.


#12 Rennmax

Rennmax
  • Member

  • 2,046 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:15

Posted Image


This one even lasted a lot more than a GP distance...didn't they clinch the Montjuich 24 h race in '69 ?

Edit: Pic is obvioulsly not from '69, nevertheless quite evocative...

Edited by Rennmax, 15 July 2009 - 11:21.


#13 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:20

Posted Image


This one even lasted a lot more than a GP distance...didn't they clinch the Montjuich 24 h race in '69 ?

Edit: Pic is obvioulsly not from '69, neverthess quite evocative...


For an outright win ?


#14 Rennmax

Rennmax
  • Member

  • 2,046 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:31

For an outright win ?


Yes Russ, acc. to these snippets of Mick Walker's book...and again in 72

http://books.google....y...lt&resnum=2

Edited by Rennmax, 15 July 2009 - 11:37.


#15 Rennmax

Rennmax
  • Member

  • 2,046 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:49



Anyone remembers W.A. Smith's and Tommy Robb's double victory in the prodie TT in 67 ?

Wasn't there a rumour that these bikes were genuine racers in mild disguise ?

#16 exclubracer

exclubracer
  • Member

  • 1,714 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 15 July 2009 - 13:05

Anyone remembers W.A. Smith's and Tommy Robb's double victory in the prodie TT in 67 ?

Wasn't there a rumour that these bikes were genuine racers in mild disguise ?


Renn, many 'proddie' bikes at the TT have been suspected of being a little more than a basic showroom model, I wonder if this is a common trend across all manufacturers, hence the lack of protests?

#17 fil2.8

fil2.8
  • Member

  • 19,496 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 15 July 2009 - 14:29

Anyone remembers W.A. Smith's and Tommy Robb's double victory in the prodie TT in 67 ?

Wasn't there a rumour that these bikes were genuine racers in mild disguise ?


Yep , Renn , I was lucky enough to be there , and they were indecently quick  ;) another model was ridden by Kevin Cass .
I was at the bottom of Bray Hill and boy , impressive they were .
I have the prog in front of me , and the race was titled ' Standard Production Machines ' ----- :rolleyes: :rolleyes: I would imagine a good percentage of the bikes would have failed that :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ...........allegedly  ;)

#18 Arthur

Arthur
  • Member

  • 170 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 15 July 2009 - 19:40

Anyone remembers W.A. Smith's and Tommy Robb's double victory in the prodie TT in 67 ?

Wasn't there a rumour that these bikes were genuine racers in mild disguise ?

Remember it well They were definitly tuned machines The main bone of contention was that both machines were running on racing expansion chambers which was not the standard exhaust arrangement

#19 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 15 July 2009 - 21:16

Wasn't the Metralla essentially an aircooled TSS with lights? I do know they were pretty swift.

Advertisement

#20 exclubracer

exclubracer
  • Member

  • 1,714 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 15 July 2009 - 23:00

Wasn't the Metralla essentially an aircooled TSS with lights? I do know they were pretty swift.


:wave: And they were 2 strokes, Russell!! :cool: :up:

#21 Rennmax

Rennmax
  • Member

  • 2,046 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:11

:wave: And they were 2 strokes, Russell!! :cool: :up:


Nothing is perfect :wave:

#22 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:16

:wave: And they were 2 strokes, Russell!! :cool: :up:


One of the major problems with all of 'em.


#23 exclubracer

exclubracer
  • Member

  • 1,714 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:19

One of the major problems with all of 'em.


:wave: :D :D

#24 Ray Oldam

Ray Oldam
  • Member

  • 168 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 22 July 2009 - 15:15

Russell/Guys,

You may want to take a look at Richard Tracy's web site below. He is restoring a water-cooled TSS at the moment. Scroll down past the Asamah Racer Yamahas - some photos and detail about the bike. Lots of interesting stuff on his web site - The Moto Guzzi Gambulanghino restoration story and photos are well worth a look.

http://www.raveengin...om/restore.html

All the best.

Ray :wave:


#25 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 22 July 2009 - 16:09

Russell/Guys,

You may want to take a look at Richard Tracy's web site below. He is restoring a water-cooled TSS at the moment. Scroll down past the Asamah Racer Yamahas - some photos and detail about the bike. Lots of interesting stuff on his web site - The Moto Guzzi Gambulanghino restoration story and photos are well worth a look.

http://www.raveengin...om/restore.html

All the best.

Ray :wave:


Good stuff Ray, It'll be the Guzzi for me..... :clap: Have to pm Arthur.

Edited by Russell Burrows, 22 July 2009 - 16:56.


#26 Arthur

Arthur
  • Member

  • 170 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 22 July 2009 - 18:58

Good stuff Ray, It'll be the Guzzi for me..... :clap: Have to pm Arthur.

Thanks Russell,yes myself and Richard have been in touch over the Guzzi In fact Richard asked me if I minded him purchasing it before the sale from Murray's museum went through and I was able to give him some history of the machine. Richard is a superb engineer and this is demonstrated by restorations he has done.
Its a small world as 2 of the machines mentioned on this thread have been owned and raced by me The Guzzi and the ex Dan Shorey air cooled Bultaco. What made that Bultaco look different from standard was it had a Oldani 2ls front brake.

#27 pmbboy

pmbboy
  • Member

  • 265 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 23 July 2009 - 17:11

Hi All,
This thread certainly makes me wonder what happened to all the Aldridge owned Bultaco's We had 8 in all and they certainly gave us a lot of headaches but were good fun to use if some what fickle.
Here is a picture of the last one we raced which was my brother Bob,s bike also in the picture is my TR2B and Roger,s 500 Manx. This Bultaco was the only one we never bought new it was an ex Sheene bike a 1968 model 250.
Posted Image
cheers
Peter


#28 fil2.8

fil2.8
  • Member

  • 19,496 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 23 July 2009 - 17:55

Very nice Peter :up: the 11/1300 in the background seems to have lost it's peepers :eek: :eek:

#29 Coupe Kawasaki

Coupe Kawasaki
  • Member

  • 1,501 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 30 July 2009 - 19:03

Posted Image
Posted Image
Martin Orr 250 Butaco 67?


Martin won in the rain on Saturday, Mid-Ohio. Nice to see a two stroke out there amongst the Hondas. Interesting paint job eh guys?


David

Edited by Coupe Kawasaki, 30 July 2009 - 19:04.


#30 fil2.8

fil2.8
  • Member

  • 19,496 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 30 July 2009 - 21:53

Posted Image
Posted Image
Martin Orr 250 Butaco 67?


Martin won in the rain on Saturday, Mid-Ohio. Nice to see a two stroke out there amongst the Hondas. Interesting paint job eh guys?


David


If you say so :rolleyes: not a yank was he ??? :rolleyes: :eek:

#31 Coupe Kawasaki

Coupe Kawasaki
  • Member

  • 1,501 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 30 July 2009 - 22:44

If you say so :rolleyes: not a yank was he ??? :rolleyes: :eek:


If he can have a US paint job on a Spanish bike then I'm having the Union Jack on my Jap bikes! Transatlantic rivalry should be fun Phil :yawnface:

David

#32 pmbboy

pmbboy
  • Member

  • 265 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 31 July 2009 - 13:18

Hi all,
Please do not paint them them like this USA example they are simple plain bikes which do not need multi colour paint jobs.
They look there best when left as the factory painted them, I have tried and original is best.


Peter


#33 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 31 July 2009 - 13:57

This example tends to break up the bike's contours - horrible.

#34 TeeZed

TeeZed
  • Member

  • 137 posts
  • Joined: November 08

Posted 01 August 2009 - 00:44

Hi Fellows,

We still have a few "tacos" racing on this side of the pond:

Posted Image

Don

#35 Coupe Kawasaki

Coupe Kawasaki
  • Member

  • 1,501 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 01 August 2009 - 01:40

It didn't look too nice did it? Went well though. The one I had looked just like the red one in Don's pic. Much nicer. Though I'm not sure a TZ 750 done in Harold Coppock colours would do it any favours! I doubt I'll be seeing one in the near future to have a choice in the matter anyway ):



Dvaid

#36 Yendor

Yendor
  • Member

  • 519 posts
  • Joined: December 06

Posted 25 August 2009 - 13:57

Spotted this example at Castle Combe at the weekend. According to the programme it's a 250TSS 1966, and was ridden by Kevin Breedon. Shame about the silencer but needs must I suppose.

Posted Image

#37 Herr Wankel

Herr Wankel
  • Member

  • 931 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 06 October 2009 - 18:41

Is this the oldest Bultaco roadracer in captivity?
1960 125cc GP model seen at Denia last weekend.Just look at the diameter of the rear shocks!(And what has that bloke got in his hand?)
HW
Posted Image

Edited by Herr Wankel, 06 October 2009 - 18:42.