This is my 1969 Bultaco El Tigre. Never heard of it? I'm not surprised, these are pretty rare beasties. Built only one year, and only for the US market, production totaled only a few hundred. Mechanically identical to the Mk.II Metralla, the El Tigre was Bultaco's take on the then popular street scrambler concept. Ironically, scramblers were built as faux dirt bikes, a genre dominated by Bultaco in the 60's. They were the adventure bikes of their era, not perhaps in capability but certainly in poseur value.

I bought this bike in late 2015 from a restorer/collector who specialized in Metrallas. He did a great job on it, requiring only spit and polish for show purposes. El Tigres are difficult to find, and even more so in this condition. Limited number sold, less survived, and parts are near impossible to find.

Here are a few photos of it soon after arrival at MotoEuro. Note the cool license plate I picked up.


First show, first win!

I showed the El Tigre at the 17th annual Riding Into History where it won the European Vintage class.

The following week I took it up to Birmingham, AL for the first AMCA Lucas National at Barber Motorsport Park. 

The judging is to a completely different standard. Whereas RIH is a concours and thus values rarity, desirability and provenance, AMCA judges score the bike to its type standard on a 100 point basis.

The judges had a very tough time with the El Tigre, no one having ever seen one before. They loved the way it looked, the quality of the restoration, etc., and it won a Junior 1st, the highest award it was eligible for. But found a few things that need to be corrected. I have to replace a nylon tie with an aluminum cable tie, get some original style valve stem caps, and there is an incorrect seat bolt on one side. 

All told that reduced the score to 98.25 points. Still it's a great score, and one I can pretty easily improve on.

Update March 2017: I entered the bike in the AMCA Sunshine Chapter National. This time it won a Senior 1st and scored 99.0 due to a paint smudge (dirt spot) on the tank and a slightly damaged screw slot on the carburetor. I must say that is pretty extreme nit-picking. I think I'm through with chasing AMCA points, at least with the El Tigre.


A period magazine ad. This same graphic was also used for the more common Metralla ad. Bultaco, like Norton, knew lovely girls attracted young riders.