There are production racers… and there are production racers. One of the best examples of taking a road going bike to the extreme is the 1967 Bultaco Metralla II Kit America.
The Mk II version of the Metralla was introduced in 1966 and was a basic but highly competent 250cc road bike. Its 27.5hp (at 7,500rpm), dry weight of 102kg and a 5-speed gearbox enabled a top speed of 160kph. About 5,500 MkIIs were built from 1966 until 1974.
In 1967 Bultaco offered a race kit (called the Kit America in Spain), that included a tank, seat, clip-on bars, small fairing, rear mounted foot controls, ported barrel, a high compression head, modified piston, close-ratio gearbox, FEMSA electronic ignition, spark plug and expansion chamber exhaust pipe. This resulted in a “production” bike that had 32hp at 8,200rpm, weighed 98kg and a top speed of 175kph.
In the words of the factory “The kit can be easily installed by the customer himself, and all that is required is a set of spanners, a medium cut file, a drilling machine, three drills, and a dose of enthusiasm”!
Such was the Kit America’s competitiveness (and the loose rules for the IOM Production TT) that a three bike factory team was entered in the 1967 250 Production TT with Bill Smith winning (with an average speed of 88.63mph), Tommy Robb in second and Aussie Kevin Cass in sixth.
The bike shown here was photographed in Spain by Phil Aynsley in 2010.
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