Cars

Welcome Back, Bultaco!

Re-entering the world of motorcycle building after 30 years away, Spain's legendary Bultaco brand is back in a big way, and they've just announced an all-electric performance dirt bike that you'll be able to get your hands on next year.

You'd be forgiven if you don't remember Bultaco — their last bike was made in 1983 — so here's a bit of a refresher: after another Spanish bike manufacturer decided to quit racing in 1959, Bultaco made its first bike, and in its very first race took seven of the first ten spots.

For the next couple of decades, Bultaco concentrated on dirt bikes, and pretty much dominated anything that involved going off road. Simply put, if you were an off-road racer and you wanted to be the best, you wanted a Bultaco, end of story.

That's why their return is such a big deal. They've announced the Rapitan, which based on looks alone would be a pretty fun ride, but to make it live up to the Bultaco standard its drivetrain is 100% future-oriented.

It's all electric, which means your throttle response will be outstanding — a huge help when riding trails. Even better though is the energy recovery system they've built into the rear wheel, which both recharges the battery and functions as a stability control mechanism, keeping the wheel spinning under intense braking.

And a lot of braking is definitely something you'll be doing, considering it's got 53 hp and a superbike-esque 92 pound-feet of torque. It's practical, too: the motor is efficient enough to take you 87 miles up the road, and can plug in and be fully charged for the return trip just a few hours later.

Throw all that tech into a dirt bike with a pedigree of filthy, mud-covered championships, and you've got something unique and awesome on your hands.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and he thinks we should all celebrate whenever a defunct brand returns to glory.