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Bike of the Month
October 2021
1971 Bultaco Pursang Mk5 350
By Rodd Lighthouse

For a short period in the mid to late 1960’s to the early 1970’s Bultaco were a major force in the dirt bike scene with their snappy, lightweight two stroke machines winning world championship events in motocross, enduro and trials. The Pursang, their motocross model, was introduced in approximately 1966 as a prototype with a 250cc displacement, and they continued in Bultaco's lineup to until 1980. Beginning in 1971, the Pursang lineup consisted of three displacement options, 125, 250 and 350, and in 1972, a 175 and 200 were added to Bultaco's offerings.


The Bultaco featured in this months Bike of the Month was a gift to my wife. Christy and I moved to Reno in 1999 because she had an opportunity to join an established optometry practice. The founder of the practice, local good guy and gearhead, Gary Arentz, was nearing retirement. Upon learning that his new replacement was a motorcycle rider and that her spouse was into vintage motorcycles, Gary gave his rust bucket, original owner, 1971 Bultaco Pursang MK5 350 to Christy.


Some Comstockers know that Gary was a talented individual with respect to restoring vehicles. He could upholster, paint, weld, buff, plate, etc. He could do it all. Gary offered to repaint and rebuild the Bultaco engine if I disassembled the bike. Not wanting to offend, I partially took him up on his offer. Gary did the paint (frame, tank, fenders and number boards). In short order, he returned all the painted parts, and did a fantastic job. My son and I did most of the rest of the work (buffing; rebuilding motor, wheels, forks and shocks; installing seat cover and foam; and reassembling). Chrome and nickel plating was done by ABC plating. Local Bultaco guru, Lynn Mobley, bored the cylinder, and Dad rebuilt the crankshaft. Miscellaneous Bultaco parts were sourced through Lynn Mobley and Hugh’s Bultaco, an expansion chamber was sourced through Circle F, and consumables were sourced locally.


The Bultaco turned out so nice that we were afraid to ride it and mess it up. Plus, we did not want to break the original Bultaco fiberglass fenders.

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