Did you know that famed Spanish brand Bultaco once made a purpose-built flat track bike called the Astro? Bultaco fan Robbie Cadwallader attended our Vintage Flat Track Day March 18 and brought some fine examples. “I started riding Bultacos when I was 13 years old,” he said. “I raced them at all the local tracks, including Salinas, Fremont, and Hayward. I’ve been a Bultaco enthusiast for many years. I buy them in various conditions, restore them, and ride them.”
The bikes date from 1974 and have the model name 123 Astro. “Most all the Astros were exported to the United States—there were only 300 made. They were fast right out of the box and handled really well,” says Cadwallader. “They made four generations of this particular paint scheme, from ’74 to ’77. The first was called the Astro Pursang, which was basically a motocross bike that they put a 19-inch front wheel on, and dirt track tires.”
There’s even a race series, called the Astro Cup, which takes place at Grand Nationals. “And they go just as fast now as they did back then,” says Cadwallader.
Interestingly, Cadwallader is familiar with another, curious Bultaco dirt-tracker that happens to be part of the Moto Talbott collection. The rusting hulk you see here was created by famed tuner Erv Kanemoto, from a Bultaco Sherpa frame and a 250cc Metisse engine. The latter had a central exhaust port, and required that the frame be modified to include the “donut” you see here. “I raced against that bike!” says Cadwallader. We were honored to have Kanemoto visit Moto Talbott in the company of four-time world champ Eddie Lawson in June 2017.