Bultaco Motorcycle Brand To Spring Back To Life As Maker Of Electric Two Wheelers
Bultaco is the Spanish brand and manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycles, which operated from 1958 to 1983.
After about 30 years hiatus, Bultaco has the chance to come back thanks to a project led by company LGN TECH Design S.L., whichs describe itself as an engineering firm specialized in mechanical and electronic design focused on developing its own patents. LGN (now Bultaco Motors) was founded in 2010 with the support of the Technology Park of the University Carlos III.
Paco Bultó Junior (son of Bultaco founder) stated:
“My father always said that the ideal scenario would be a constant torque engine with the same response as any system for a motorcycle without gearshifts. And at the end he said: as if we had an electrical engine.
After a few years of development and research, and even some tests in racing (LGN participated in the FIM e-Power organised by FIM in 2011), Bultaco Motors unveiled this month it first two prototypes – the Rapitán and Rapitán Sport.
The motorcycles were designed at Innovation Centre in Madrid, Spain and the production version will be manufactured in Barcelona from 2015 with an initial goal of 2,000 units per year.
Interesting is that Bultaco Motors has it own, developed in-house electrical propulsion system with induction motor. A range of drivetrains will be offered from 12 to 80 kW, but both Rapitán and Rapitán Sport have 40 kW of power and 125 Nm of torque.
Another thing are supercapacitors used for energy recovery during regenerative braking on top of the lithium-ion battery pack. Typically, power of regenerative braking at the rear wheel of the motorcycle probably isn’t too strong and the battery pack could handle it, but Bultaco Motors is saying that it has some new solution and needs more peak power for charging.
“Initially, the Bultaco range will include different kinds of vehicles driven by its in-house electrical propulsion system. These products were developed from scratch with the goal of getting the maximum advantages that this propulsion system can yield. Safe, tested elements were used in order not to compromise the reliability or durability of the performance in systems that provide outstanding performance.”
“The Bultaco Drive Train System (DTS), unlike other electrical two-wheeled vehicles, enables the maximum energy performance to be yielded from regenerative braking. This is possible because the technology applied to the chassis maximises the rear wheels’ adherence during braking, which enables a considerable electrical braking torque to be applied.”
“The energy accumulation system, which combines a lithium-ion battery and ultra-condensers, is yet another feature that ensures performance far superior to that of other comparable vehicles.”
“The development of the BEDTS has been carried out in collaboration with Viesca Engineering, company with a wide experience in the field of the highspeed rail. The software in the Bultaco Control Unit (BCU) is extraordinarily functional. It enables the driver to manage the engine power, energy recovery, battery recharge and connection to mobile devices.”
Energy capacity is undisclosed but range is expected to be 110 km (68 miles) on the highway and 200 km (124 miles) in the city or 140 km combined. Top speed will be 145 km/h or 90 mph. And the weight is about 189 kg or 416 lbs.
Sales will initially start in Spain, then also in France, Germany and the UK. U.S. will be one of the first markets too, which is fitting since one of the key designers of the Bultaco is former chief engineer of Motoczysz Nick Schoeps.
“The new generation of Bultaco will attract two kinds of clients; first, aficionados who love the sensations they can only get from a motorcycle, especially ones with a certain level of features, and secondly people with a positive attitude and an interest in new 21st-century solutions for integrated mobility and connectivity. To reach these clients, Bultaco will create a sales network, initially in Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.”
The staffing forecasted for 2015 consists of 150 people (direct and indirect employees). Then an even 500 staff in Spain after the first 2,000 units launch.
In the future, Bultaco may look to hybrid propulsion or maybe even plug-in hybrid.
More info can be found on the Bultaco website.