Spanish Classic: 1970 Bultaco Metralla Mk 2

It is not unusual for a senior company executive to resign due to dissatisfaction and to secure employment with their former employer’s competition. Their decision to establish their own company as a direct competitor is less common. That was the case with Francesc “Paco” Bultó. As a Senior Director and founding member of Spanish motorcycle manufacturer Montesa, he opposed the company’s decision in 1958 to suspend its racing program as a cost-cutting measure. Bultó resigned and set out to establish a company focused on trials competition. That company became known as Bultaco and proved to be a ground-breaking organization that produced many successful models. However, Bultó cast his eyes further, with the Bultaco Metralla becoming a winner in international circuit racing. This 1970 Metralla Mark 2 is a beautifully restored example that needs a new home. The seller has listed it here on eBay in Payette, Idaho. A single bid of $8,000 is short of the reserve, although there is time for genuine enthusiasts to stake their claim on this beauty.

While Bultaco developed a reputation for producing machinery for trials competition, it also built a small number of road bikes for domestic consumption in Spain. The first Metralla appeared in 1962, designed for street and circuit racing. This Metralla rolled out of the company’s factory in Barcelona, Spain, in 1970 and is a beautiful machine. The seller enlisted the services of a specialist organization to dismantle the machine to its last nut and bolt as part of a comprehensive restoration. They stripped every painted surface to bare metal before applying the correct colors across the machine. The alloy and chrome surfaces wear a mirror shine, including the front wheel and hub assembly with its innovative brake cooling scoop. They added a fiberglass seat assembly, although they include the original seat and rear fender. Overall, this Bultaco has no cosmetic needs and should turn heads amongst knowledgeable motorcycle enthusiasts.

Apart from innovative engineering, one of the hallmarks of a Bultaco is the beautifully polished alloy components. The restoration of this classic shows that trait to great effect. Power comes from a 244.3cc single-cylinder two-stroke powerplant that produced 27.5hp in its prime. The power feeds via a chain to the rear wheels through a five-speed transmission. For a motorcycle of this vintage, performance was considered above average. With an overall weight of 249lbs, it could easily hit 100mph fresh from the factory. The highly-developed nature of the engine left little scope for owners to improve on that figure. However, careful attention to areas like the exhaust and carburetor could produce positive results. Every aspect of this Bultaco’s drivetrain is refreshed, and once again, attention to detail was paramount. The seller upgraded the areas previously mentioned, as well as the ignition. They include the factory components for a new owner intent on returning this numbers-matching beauty to its original specifications. There is no information on how the Metralla runs or rides, but if appearances count for anything, the news should be positive.

If you search the internet for period photos from the Isle of Man TT, one of the most iconic is from the 1967 event. It shows Bill Smith leaning his Bultaco Metralla into the corner at the famous Quarter Bridge. The photo is one of the most significant in Bultaco’s history, as it showed Smith well on his way to securing a win in that year’s Production Lightweight event. That win demonstrated that Bultaco had progressed beyond the world of dirt-track racing and was a serious producer of international circuit racing machinery. Sadly, various circumstances led to the demise of the company in 1983. Several revival attempts were made, but these have met with little success. Many will argue that the company’s heart died when Bultó passed away in 1998. However, machines like this 1970 Bultaco Metralla survive to keep his memory alive. That makes it worth preserving and makes me believe it will eventually find a new home.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Okay, see? Here we go again, as time goes by, less and less people know( or care) about these obscure makes. I feel bad for the writers that spend a good amount of time researching these things, and no comments. As a former Bultaco owner, I feel I should jump in here.
    Adam did a great job, but didn’t mention the MX entries, the Pursangs. I had a 200) Bultacos best showings were their trials bikes, the Sherpa. For a 2 stroke, they had good low end power, and practically bullet proof mechanics. My Pursang kept up with any other bike, and several red faced Honda 250 owners, that I passed. A dealer in Milwaukee, Competition Cycle, had all the parts, aside from broken spokes, I never needed any. I have no experience with a bike of this style, looks extremely uncomfortable, and that “chamber” adds hp, but you lose drivability, if any here, chambers work best at full throttle. Cool find, I saw someone had a restored Pursang and wanted $20 grand, so go figure.

    Like 7
    • Robert White

      I know the Sherpa Bultaco and it’s exactly as stated with tonnes of low end tork & power like a tractor in first gear.

      Best wheelie trials bike ever and easy to ride except for the seat which is postage stamp size stock.

      The Sherpa is only worth about $4k restored.

      Bob

      Like 1
  2. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Cool to see these coming out of the woodwork. There’s a Metralla on BaT right now and a Pursang recently sold there as well. We used to get all kinds of “off brand” bikes growing up in Canada, but even these Bultaco road bikes were rare

    Like 3
  3. FrankD Member

    Bultaco was a big deal in the 60’s and 70’s along with Triumph, BSA and Norton before Honda showed up. I would see these bikes on dirt (Scrambles) road racing in Laconia. The name made mark in motorcycling.

    Like 4
  4. Jeff Hamilton

    It may well perform somewhat better with this expansion chamber exhaust, but it’s looks, IMHO, suffer. As a rule top dollar requires total originality, again, just my humble opinion. Having said that I’d love to own one of these beautiful 1960s pocket rockets! !

  5. jwaltb

    Not sure what I think of the looks; seat, pipe, extreme shine, but what fine bikes Metrallas are! I had a 200 cc., and that thing was quick and handled like it was glued to the road. It’s great to see one again!

  6. Mark Mitchell Member

    I have owned several of these great bikes over the years, and still have one in my collection currently. They are very light and have strong 2 stroke motors – nearly the same as those used in their potent motocross bikes. Really feels like a race bike on the street. For a brief period it was the fastest 250cc street bike available, setting a class lap record at the 1967 Isle of Man TT. Here is a great video from Petrolicious on the Metralla:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbrC4Dhh69Y

    Like 2
  7. Mark Mitchell Member

    I have owned several of these great bikes over the years, and still have one in my collection currently. They are very light and have strong 2 stroke motors – nearly the same as those used in their motocross bikes. Really feels like a race bike on the street. For a brief period it was the fastest 250cc street bike available, setting a class lap record at the 1967 Isle of Man TT. Here is a great video from Petrolicious on the Metralla:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbrC4Dhh69Y

  8. Mark Mitchell Member

    I would be very careful leaning in on fast RH sweepers as that fat expansion chamber looks like it would easily drag on the asphalt!

    Like 1
  9. Chris

    Your own Jim Pomeroy was the first American to win a Moto Cross GP, and he rode a works Bultaco.

    Like 1

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