1966 Bultaco Mercurio 175
I truly do have this love / hate relationship with Bultaco. I raced Pursang’s in the desert, Matador’s in Enduro’s and an Astro in a TT race. I rode my Matador to and from school and all over the local mountains. What do they all have in common? They all left me stranded somewhere near ‘BFE’ which is close to the ‘middle of nowhere’, well the Astro is the one exception, it didn’t strand me during my one 10 lap TT race. Nonetheless, my life with Bultaco was, well, interesting.
The one category of Bultaco motorcycles I haven’t had the ‘pleasure'(?) of spending any time on is the street bikes. Since the very beginning of my relationship with Bultaco, I have lusted after the Metralla. The Metralla had only what you needed. It was light, fast, quick handling and beautiful. The Mercurio was another version of the same bike that didn’t have much of an impact here in the US. Why? Well, it started as a small bike and worked its way up to 175cc. Today, 175cc isn’t even freeway legal here in California, but in the rest of the world, it was a pretty big bike.
The Bultaco singles worked. Because of Senior Bulto’s involvement with Montessa’s racing success, Bultaco’s were race bred machines from day one. Here is a quick (Readers Digest version) of Bultaco history. Francisco ‘Paco’ Bulto started Bultaco following a split with his former employer, Montessa. Management at Montessa decided it was time to get out of racing, Paco disagreed and along with a few others left Montessa and started the new company based on racing technology and design. 1954 brought the first Bultaco, the 125cc Tralla, a road going machine bred from the successful road racers they had built for Montessa. Two months later, in the Spanish Grand Prix, Bultaco took seven out of the top ten finishers!!! And as they say, the rest is history. A short side note, former 500GP and MotoGP rider Sete Gibernau is Senor Bulto’s grandson.
I found a very unique Mercurio on ebay this morning. This Mercurio is a really well done ‘custom’. It features a BMW gas tank, a unique fibreglass tail section and different wheels and hubs. I dig the dual headlight set up. It is a really cool motorbike. It is a runner according to the seller. Priced seems reasonable compared to some other bikes I have seen lately. The Bultaco is a very simple motorbike and with minimum maintenance should be a fun Sunday ride for a long time. Plus, this bike, in my opinion has a very high cool factor and would be a blast to ride. Click on the pics below for more pictures and a bit more information.