|Looking for a Model 11 Bultaco
called all over the US, went to the Mid-Ohio and Barber swap meets, and
posted want ads. Nada. One day
scanning the Bultaco Facebook page, lo and behold, what appears but a Metisse for sale on Craigslist just a couple hours down the road right here in Florida.
With over 75 comments on the listing I did not feel confident it would still be available. But I called anyway, had a nice chat with the owner and made an
appointment to check it out the following morning.
As it turned out, the owner, a really
nice guy, was a serial restorer and collector of flat track type bikes. In
fact his OSSA Dick Mann Replica had won its class
Here are some "after" photos. As
initially completed, and at its debut in January, 2020 at the Dania Beach
Vintage Bike Show where it received
an Award of Merit behind my M170 Pursang, also shown.
Given the rarity of these old bikes, a lot of time is being spent on research to determine what is correct and what I need to do to properly finish the project. In particular was determining the correct yellow color originally used. It turns out Bultaco used many Ford paints on their bikes. For the Metisse, they chose the 60's color Springtime Yellow.
Another mystery is exactly what to call this motorcycle. Bultaco has variously referred to it a Scrambler TT, Bultaco Metisse, and Pursang. I do know they came in two flavors. This one is a TT, identified by the cylinder head and 19" front wheel. It has an advertised 36H vs. 32HP for the scrambler version.
Here's a photo as purchased. One other issue is that the front fender was one intended for the 21" wheel. Sourcing a correct 19" style fender turned out to be a little challenging, but one was found. Both were painted during the refinishing process in the event a 21' wheel were to be fitted.
There were a few period modifications on the bike that I decided to retain as they are part of the history of what is most certainly an old warhorse.
The July 1965 Cycle magazine road test is here, and a copy of the original factory catalog is below.
In April 2022, after 5 years of ownership the Metisse was sold to another Florida Bultaco enthusiast who will be its caretaker of the future.