Bultaco has a huge impact on the world of motorcycles, with road models like the Traila and Metralia gathering an army of fans while the TSS road racer, the Pursang motocrosser, the Matador enduro and of course the Sherpa T trials bike made their mark in national and international events. And it all started because of one man’s passion for motorcycle sport.

It’s said that money spent on racing has caused the downfall of many motorcycle factories, and this may well be true. But the story of the Spanish Bultaco factory proves that exactly the opposite can also happen. For if there had never been any racing, the Bultaco concern would not exist and that famous “thumbs up” sign would not be known the world over.

The saga of what is now Spain’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles goes back almost exactly ten years, to a day in May, 1958 when a board meeting of another well known Spanish maker of two-wheelers, Montesa, decided to abandon their racing program.

This decision was a bitter blow to Francisco Bulto, a tall slim aristocrat of a man who was at that time a director of Montesa. In fact, he had been one of the founders of the Montesa company when that factory had been established in 1946.