Featured Bike

Bultaco  Metralla  250      1970

Bultaco is a Spanish bike which created a name for itself in the 1960’s as predominantly a very successful off road bike especially in Trials competition. There were a wide range of two stroke single cylinder models from 100 cc to 370 cc in both road and off road trim. In 1967 the Metralla 250 was made available and with only minor changes ,was in production until 1973 . Japanese sophistication and reliability took their market and industrial unrest in the factory saw it close in 1973. Only 5,500 Metralla’s were produced and only a comparatively small number found their way to Australia.

The Metralla is a fun bike to ride and weighting only 112 kilos is a nimble handler with great drum brakes. It may only put out 27.5 bhp but with avid use of the 5 speed box it has great acceleration and with all the planets aligned, will top out at 160 kph. The bike is a simple [ and quirky ]  no frills machine  and with a long ride at higher speeds, the vibration and induction roar lets you know this is an experience, and was how bikes  used to be! In 1967 the factory put out a Kit America pack which increased the horsepower to 32 bhp and with a large  fibreglass tank and sexy ducktail they not only looked the part but won many races . That year saw this model with the updates , take first and second place in  the Isle of Man Lightweight TT .

My bike was purchased from a long time Bultaco enthusiast by the name of John Martin, 6 years ago who did a nut and bolt restoration to a very high standard. When I heard he may consider selling I  went to see him and  remember sitting in his lounge room being interviewed by him for 2 hours before I was allowed to actually look at the bike!  The philosophy was, you cannot let classics fall into the wrong hands. Now that John’s health means that he cannot ride anymore another club member has purchased his other Metralla, also in concourse condition. That makes at least 4 Metrallas in our club that I am aware . Sounds like John Best may have another photography session coming up !

Greg Costello.