1966 Bultaco Mercurio 175

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There seems to be a trend with listings, were the seller leaves it all up to the buyer to figure out exactly what you are bidding on. This 1966 Bultaco Mercurio is given just a brief description, and left at that. There are those out there that know what a Mercurio is, and what it means as a Bultaco, but I would guess that 8 out of 10 of you have no idea what this is. And it doesn’t help with the BMW gas tank on it.


From the seller

hello, selling my 1966 bultaco mercurio 175. it as a cool gas tank user on vintage bmw and seat they are fiberglass. trick wheels and hubs, 4 speed trans, runs good, there is no title. built this bike 5 years ago

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What I was able to find out about the Mercurio is not much of anything. There appears to be some information on Spanish sites, but for English speakers there is very little information. It appears to be a 2-stroke, 175cc with a single cylinder and carburetor. Other then that, I am going to leave it to you the reader, and the buyers who do deeper research on this 1966 Bultaco Mercurio. On a side note, I am sure there would be BMW owners who would line up to purchase the tank currently on this Bultaco if you wanted to go for a different look. BB

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6 Responses

  1. Interesting; the Mercurio was the only Bultaco street bike sold in the US, before the Metralla (but it does have Metralla hubs), with a very typical/ordinary rounded gas tank. The tank on it now is clearly NOT a Heinrich steel BMW aftermarket tank – this one is fiberglass, with no toolbox built in, and a Monza filler. The bike is meant to look like a 70s endurance racer…60s endurance bikes didn’t use twin headlamps. It’s all about a style…I’d like to see it done up 60s style though, with a pad on the tank, small fairing, and expansion chamber.

  2. Brian says:

    Do you think that the Bultaco will get a little more attention in the near future?
    I think that they are a little under appreciated.

  3. Brian, lightweight bikes get no respect, unless they’re related to World Championship machines, like MV Agusta, or have technical interest, like anything OHC or DOHC or hi-cam like Parilla. Lets revel in the fact you can still pick up a nice Metralla for under $10k…

  4. Brian says:

    A question for everyone, but Paul with your years of riding, everyday riding, what is the smallest displacement you would feel comfortable as a rider? On the flip side, what displacement would then become a collectable/display (an I have it, but don’t ride it)

  5. Thats a really variable wuestio: my personal rule of thumb for a ‘riding’ bike is a minimum top speed of 75mph: it’s not about displacement but the ability to stay at least on par with cars that matters to me. But I have very specific riding habits – I don’t do much ‘city’ riding anymore, but get outta town as quickly as I can, to enjoy a more relaxed situation. I’m lucky to have spent most of my riding life around San Francisco…
    As for wl trophies, I’ve never kept them, so can’t comment.

  6. Frank says:

    I agree with Paul that you should make your determination based upon ability, not engine size. Some of the 1960s Hondas and Yamahas had 90-150cc engines but could hit reasonable highway speeds, and the 250cc Bultaco Metralla was the fastest 250 in the world for awhile at 100+mph.
    I owned a ’66 Mercurio (175cc) back in The Day. They were the garden variety 2-stoke which everybody could afford ($500 new) and everyone wanted. Mine would do 80 or 75 with my GF behind me. Spain issued 155cc Mercs as a government vehicle; postal delivery, dispatch riders, bureaucrat lunch transports, police bikes, etc. They were very dependable.
    The USA 175cc engine was far better, made 18hp and the very light bike (200lb) was easy to throw around, stop, and park. This was a do-anything bike, very forgiving, excellent road manners, and easy to fix when I dropped it. My sole criticism of the Mercurio was the fire-fly lighting system, which would go dark at idle and make you a blacked-out target in the night. The Campera was the dual-use version of this Mercurio, but had beefier suspension, better wheels (36 spokes, vs 28 on the Merc), 16hp but more torque from the upswept exhaust. Either bike is desirable today (I have a Campera now, still miss my Mercurio).
    But this ‘creation’ bears little resemblance to any Bultaco I’m familiar with. The bike offered here is a ‘bitser’, podged-together with parts from several machines (including the front wheel from the excellent Bultaco Metralla). The engine is Bul, and the front forks, but I recognize little else. No paperwork might mean ‘illegal for street use’ or ‘made from stolen parts’. Buyer beware.