Around 1959 Spaniard Senor Bulto launched a new brand of competition and performance street motorcycles and called them Bultacos. The Bultaco logo was a “thumbs up” graphic popular to this day. Among Bultaco’s first offerings were street bikes and scrambles machines like the Tralla and Sherpa S. Then in 1965 the first focused motocross bike was added, the Bultaco Pursang; pur’-sang, meaning “pure blood.” The original Pursang was a 200cc Petite Metisse with a chassis developed by the Rickman Brothers in England. Named the Bultaco Pursang Metisse Mk1, some considered it a crude copy of the Rickman’s beautifully executed Petite Metisse. Most Pursangs were 250cc machines but 125, 360 and 370cc displacements were available over the span of the brand’s production, plus a works 400. Though the Bultaco brand is still out there, and a lot of replica parts are available, actual factory production ceased around 1983.
Still noted for their style among collectors, Model 48 and its successor the Model 68 Pursangs made use of fiberglass for major body components. Nicknamed the “pelican (front) fender” and “box tail” bodywork designs, they were handsome yet fragile compared to Preston Petty’s aftermarket parts which were common modifications after the first crash. Vintage motocross racing enthusiasts consider Pursangs among the best performers of the twin shock era.
Jim Pomeroy, champion motocrosser, made the name Pursang famous with his wins in AMA Pro Motocross, but also in the Spanish Motocross GP in 1973. He not only became the first American to win on a Spanish bike, but also the youngest rider to win a World Championship Motocross Grand Prix and the first rider to win this type of event in his debut race!
Mark IV Pursangs were made in this earlier “round case” design, and beginning with serial number M68-01884 used a “square cylinder” and flat sided, more squared off engine side covers. This round case Mark IV Pursang was found in 1997 partially disassembled at a swap meet in California, and retains all of its original finishes, upholstery and tires, though the expansion chamber and Amal carburetor are new old stock as are most of the small rubber parts and the round foil sticker at the rear of the “box tail.” It’s on loan from Mark Mederski of Ohio and is one of many MX machines from several countries you can see on your next visit to the National Motorcycle Museum.
- Engine: 244cc Two-Stroke Piston Port
- Bore & Stroke: 72mm x 60mm
- Compression Ratio: 12:1
- Carburetor: Amal 932 Monobloc
- Ignition: Femsa Magneto
- Horsepower: 34 HP
- Clutch: Multi-Plate Oil Bath
- Transmission: 5-Speed
- Primary: Duplex Chain
- Frame: Welded Steel Tube, Single Down Tube
- Wheelbase: 56 Inches
- Ground Clearance: 10 Inches
- Wheels: 3.00 x 21″ Front, 4.00 x 18″ Rear
- Telescopic forks: 6.5 Inch Travel
- Swingarm/Shocks: 5-Way Adjustable, 4″ Travel
- Brakes: Internal Expanding/Drum
- Weight: 220 Pounds Dry
- Engine Number: M-6800479
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
Started riding street & dirt in 1965 age 15, Honda 250 Scrambler- Triumph 650 TR6C Desert Sled- Bultaco Pursang, that was the best dirt bike ever, light powerful handled like a dream, wheelie-power slide-always on the gas-always got me back to where I started, very reliable-dependable for the rolling hills dry/wet creek/river beds of SoCal foot hills & deserts. So much fun taking me through my late teens & 20’s.
I RODE A 65 METISSE ON THE SANTA FE TRACK AN IT WAS A WINNER.HANDLING AND POWER WAS OUTSTANDING.I WAS THE 65 NOVICE TRACK CHAMPION.
I truly remember and still appreciate the Bull (as we called it back in the 60’s) to this day –
A friend left me his Bull when he left for Vietnam – I rode it for a year or so, switching back and forth with my 360YZ — although the YZ was much faster, for hill climbing the Bull was ABSOLUTELY FANTABULOUS!
I sure wish I had it today – at 74, I’d still like to tackle some of the hills again.
If you find one, in any condition, buy it and restore it – they are worth the time and trouble.
Doug at 68 I wish I would have kept my Bultaco 250 Alpina. Like you said they weren’t the fastest bikes but they produced a ton of torque and could climb just about anything.
Beautiful bike! Anyone ever find an ‘A’ model 68 restored?
They were very popular with the short-track guys. I rode a ’72 125c.c. with a reed valve and a Mikuni. Bikes of that era were so nice on wide, sweepers and downhills.
Long and low…
Memories of our wasted youth!
The square cylinder first appeared the next year in 1972 Mk 5 Pursang.
Have a 1979 250 frontera bought new in Barcelona shipped to states .
My Dad bought one new and yes, the rear fender was the first thing to go. It was such a neat looking bike and the neighbors used to come look at it in the garage. He raced at the local tracks and I remember seeing the CZs, Rickman, Husqvarna and infant japanese mxers…. Great time to be alive Roger DeCoster was the man
I own a 1976 Pursang 200 cc, A 1978 Frontera 370cc model 215 and a 1978 mark 11 250cc Pursang. I have raced them in Cross Country’s, Mx’s and Enduro’s, in the 1970’s and early 80’s. I have a warm place in my heart for them and two of my Doctors get into long stories about the bikes and the people who rode them.
If you ever run across M6800563 I’d love to have it back