|The Bultaco Rapitán. Click to enlarge.|
A start-up is bringing the old Bultaco motorcycle brand back to the market with the planned launch of a line of electric two-wheelers. The new company unveiled the Rapitán and Rapitán Sport prototypes—close approximations to the Bultaco motorcycles that will be brought to market later in 2014.
The Rapitán & Rapitán Sport will be powered by a 40 kW air-cooled brushless induction motor delivering 125 N·m (92 lb-ft) of torque, and a Li-ion battery-based energy storage system. Maximum speed is 145 km/h (90 mph) and expected range is 200 km (124 miles) in the city; 110 km (68 miles) on the highway; and 140 km (87 miles) combined.
The original Bultaco, based in Spain, manufactured a line of two-stroke racing motorcycles from its founding in 1958 to its dissolution in 1983. The genesis of the new Bultaco was a project by LGN TECH Design S.L., an engineering firm specializing in mechanical and electronic design focused on developing its own patents. José Germán Pérez, Raúl Pérez, Juan Manuel Vinós, Gerald Pöllmann and Jorge Bonilla founded this company in 2010 with the support of the Technology Park of the University Carlos III in Spain.
After two years of development and research, LGN, now Bultaco Motors, participated in the 1st World Electrical Motorcycle Championship organized by FIM in 2011. With a motorcycle that was readied in three months, and competing with brands with a great deal more experience and superior models, Bultaco Motors came in 3rd in the first Magny-Cours race and 4th in the overall rankings. This original project then became Bultaco Motors, with the support of the Bultó family (Francesc Xavier Bultó Marquès was the founder of the original Bultaco).
The new Bultaco says it is targeting two types of buyers: motorcycle aficionados; and people with an interest in 21st-century solutions for integrated mobility and connectivity.
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.
The Bultaco Drive Train System (DTS) maximizes energy performance to be yielded from regenerative braking. The energy accumulation system combines a lithium-ion battery and ultra-capacitors.
The development of the drive system was carried out in collaboration with Viesca Engineering, company with a wide experience in the field of the high-speed rail. The software in the Bultaco Control Unit (BCU) enables the driver to manage the engine power, energy recovery, battery recharge and connection to mobile devices.