Electric Motorcycles Bultaco Motorcycles to Return With Electric Rapitan Models

Bultaco Motorcycles to Return With Electric Rapitan Models

Bultaco Motorcycle News

The Bultaco name is set to return. The original Spanish company – known for its two-stroke motorcycles – lasted from 1958 through 1983, but despite one try to revive the name in 1998, the Bultaco name become one of yore.

But things are about to change. A few years ago, some investors got together, and decided to bring the Bultaco name back. But this time as an electric-motorcycle company.

And the first two models set for production will be the Rapitan and the Rapitan Sport. The name translates from Spanish to “Whoa,” and there will likely be many whoas when the bikes reach showroom floors.

The announcement arrived during a presentation in London on the May 17 – the anniversary of the founding of the brand and the birth of its creator, Don Paco Bulto.

Both Rapitan models will be powered by Bultaco PowerCore eMK1 electric engines that will be produced in-house at Bultaco’s headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

The Rapitans utilize the Bultaco Drive Train System (DTS), which “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 maximizes the rear wheels’ adherence during braking, which enables a considerable electrical braking torque to be applied.”

The engine will produce 53.6 horsepower and 92.1 ft/lb of torque. By no means a powerhouse, but the 416.6-lb. Bultaco claims the Rapitan will reach 90 mph. As for range, Bultaco says the Rapitan models will last 124 miles in the city, and 68 on the highway.

As for charging times, it will take 3.5 – 5 hours at home, or 45 minutes to an hour at a quick-charging station.

Both bikes feature a tubular space ACS frame with tubular swing-arm. Suspension duties are handled by a Dual Lever Evolution setup up front with 3.93 inches of travel, and an Asymmetric mono-shock with 4.52 inches of travel out back. The seat height will be 31.5 inches, and there is internal storage to fit a full-face helmet.

“What began as a thesis project has become a company with the size and solidity needed to create a new generation of Bultaco motorcycles,” says Juan Manuel Vinós, Bultaco CEO and cofounder.

The origins of the new Bultaco lie in a project by LGN TECH Design S.L., an engineering firm specialized 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, Bultaco reports.

The images above are of Rapitan prototypes. Bultaco, which expects to have 150 employes in 2015, says the models should be ready for production by year’s end. Bultaco is forecasting an initial production run of 2,000 units by the end of 2015. Bultaco is also  “contemplating the possibility of supplying parts to other manufacturers.”

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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