A Bultaco re­union

Classic Trial - - INTERNATIONAL REUNION - Words: Mike Rap­ley • Pic­tures: Eric Kitchen and John Dick­in­son

Well quite a lot ac­tu­ally, be­cause whilst I have seen four-speed Bul­ta­cos many times be­fore, when I saw Chris Gas­coigne rid­ing what ap­peared to be a to­tally orig­i­nal one com­plete with the unique four-speed Bultaco ex­haust note it brought back those al­most for­got­ten mem­o­ries of the time I spent such happy hours with the Hay­dons, par­tic­u­larly as I watched and learned as Ken fet­tled Ian’s ma­chines. And that was very much the in­ten­tion of the Bultaco Re­vival idea that the West­mor­land Club came up with at the start of the year when the trial was launched at the Telford Clas­sic Show.

Bultaco Years

Of course, the years from 1965 through to 1982 were very much Bultaco years as just about ev­ery­body who rode tri­als in those now far-off days will have owned and rid­den a Bultaco at some time or an­other. As the mar­que is still so pop­u­lar on the clas­sic scene, and with spare parts still read­ily avail­able for them, when the West­mor­land Club had a meet­ing ear­lier this year to an­nounce their new re­la­tion­ship with the Nos­tal­gia Trial the meet­ing was unan­i­mous in agree­ing to call it the Bultaco Re­vival Nos­tal­gia Trial, be­liev­ing that it would at­tract a great many of the Span­ish mo­tor­cy­cles and en­thu­si­asts to Holme Farm, Mid­dle­ton, near Sed­bergh. They were cor­rect as 38 com­peti­tors signed up to ride a Bultaco in this event for Pre-65 and twin-shock ma­chines, but per­haps of more im­por­tance was the dis­play I was just nine­teen years old when I moved from my home town of Slough down to Ex­eter, where I had been ap­pointed as the man­ager of a small cam­era shop. I was pas­sion­ate about the sport of motorcycle tri­als back then — just as I am now — and it didn’t take me long be­fore I made friends with a few tri­als guys in the area. In par­tic­u­lar one Ian Hay­don, who hap­pened to be the South West Cen­tre Cham­pion at that time. I well re­call see­ing for the first time his 250cc ra­dial-head, four-speed gear­box Bultaco that his fa­ther Ken had just pur­chased for Ian to ride. I can still clearly re­mem­ber see­ing him in his garage and re­mark­ing what a su­perb ma­chine it was when com­pared to the Bri­tish mod­els of the era. Be­ing sin­gle and liv­ing in grim lodg­ings I spent many, many hours in the Hay­don’s front room – a much pre­ferred lo­ca­tion to my dingy bed and break­fast – and with the Hay­don fam­ily, Ken, Ian, Edith and Jenny all mad keen on the sport, we dis­cussed the mer­its of many dif­fer­ent mo­tor­cy­cles. What, you may rea­son­ably ask, has the above para­graph to do with a re­view of the West­mor­land Club’s Bultaco Re­vival Nos­tal­gia Trial?

In­ter­na­tional

With the trial open to all Pre-65 style ma­chines and all twin-shocks, for a third of the en­try to be Bultaco mounted was an im­pres­sive ef­fort by all con­cerned. Equally im­pres­sive was guest of hon­our Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen’s ef­forts in man­ag­ing to per­suade many of his Bultaco friends from his World Cham­pi­onship win­ning days to at­tend and ride the event, giv­ing it a very in­ter­na­tional feel. For the well-known tri­als pho­tog­ra­pher Eric Kitchen it was also a day to meet up with his many Bultaco friends who he has taken pic­tures of over the years. of Bul­ta­cos that had been gath­ered for in­spec­tion prior to the start of the trial. In­evitably there were some tatty orig­i­nal, un-re­stored used ones and also ma­chines that are rid­den on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, but equally there were a few that looked as if they had left the fac­tory only the pre­vi­ous day. It was one of those, the model owned by Ian Bradley of Con­is­ton Brew­ery, that took the Con­cours Cup for the best pre­sented ma­chine at the trial. Ian made no claims to have been the re­storer as that hon­our went to Sap­phire Mo­tor­cy­cles, who were once the spon­sor of Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine test rider Nick Shield whose Bultaco would have prob­a­bly claimed the cup were it not for Ian’s ma­chine.

Three times a world cham­pion for Bultaco, Fin­land’s Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen was highly in­stru­men­tal in or­gan­is­ing the ma­chines for his friends from Eu­rope.

Team My­ers, all Bultaco mounted, which re­quired a pur­chase from good old eBay.

I can imag­ine how much en­joy­ment Frances Charles Coutard got out of beat­ing his good friend ‘Vesty’!

Alan ‘Sid’ Lamp­kin talks Bultaco with John Mof­fat, him­self the ‘Tri­als Guru’ is a mind of in­for­ma­tion on any­thing Bultaco, and his son James who rode in the event.

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