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Ben's Bultaco

This Bultaco is going to make it's DTRA Sideburn Vintage class debut in the near future, hopefully next week at the Greenfield TT. Its owner, Ben Eddings, shared some details about himself and his bike.

I've been a Sideburn subscriber since issue #21 but only had my first actual taste of racing in August 2018; Sean Kelly loaned me his race proven Yamaha #33 for a day at Rye House. I came dead last in the two heats I could make the thing start for but loved it, in particular the warmth with which everyone there made me feel welcome on the start line.

That was followed by a last minute eBay snipe several margaritas deep while out celebrating my girlfriend's promotion at work and I ended up the sole bidder and subsequent winner of what turned out to be a mk8 Pursang 250 engine in a mk9 250 frame, with the front end off a Montesa Cappra, in standard scrambles guise. No wonder the Bultacistas were holding back on the bidding, but I got it for just £1400.

And so I got to it in my garage: I got some Astro spec yokes from David van Parijs; combined two worn out pairs of Betors I found at Shepton Mallet to make one good set that I also shortened by 25mm; the front wheel is a WM3 speedway rear I got for just £70, for which my friend Mac turned up some spacers on very short notice to match it to my axle; springs are heavier weight progressive Hagons that I ordered to size for the right pre-load without any spacers after shortening the forks; the carb was originally a worn-out 38mm round-slide Keihin PE that was forever flooding and running much too rich, however it's now been swapped for a 36mm flat-slide Keihin PWK my friend Caddy had to hand, which is still a little rich but I'm working on tuning; mk9 Bultacos have a through gear-shaft so I was able to put a left side gear-change on and a right side brake pedal, the linkage is rare so I had to weld up something bodgy while burning the midnight oil, but one is now in the post from over the pond. At the moment the rear wheel is still the original 18" rim with a K180, but the only wheel builder I've found who will build a 19" rim onto this unusual hub has a six week lead time, which is larger than the gap between the rounds I want to attend.

Best it has made on the dyno yet is 24hp, shop manual says it be up at about 34hp... That was with the old PE where we were wrestling with a much too large pilot, and a worn out needle. Hopefully with some love and careful tuning I'll get it up into at least the 30s.

The little Bultaco's first round was Hells Race at Lelystad where I came 22nd out of 26 in Rookies, and 21st out of 23 in the Vintage Class. I was very pleased with both, despite only making 2 of 3 heats in each class because of clutch trouble, carburettor trouble, and spark plug trouble, and timing cover trouble. Best of all I didn't fall off, and made a ton of continental friends.

Hopefully that was of some interest, see you at the races!

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