Doug Bottcher’s Bultaco Campera

A reader shares his mostly original Bultaco Campera with us, one of few imported into the U.S.

Reader Contribution by Doug Bottcher
article image
by Doug Bottcher
Doug’s Bultaco Campera before restoration.

Rider: Doug Bottcher, Sandpoint, Idaho
Age: 60
Occupation: Retired lineman

Doug’s story: Starting at age 10, I have had in my possession 22 motorcycles ranging in size from 50cc to 950cc. Three years ago my wife and I had 13 motorcycles in the garage, some vintage, some modern and all in working order. We currently have and ride a 1965 Bultaco Model 9 155cc Mercurio, a 1974 Bultaco Model 115 250cc Alpina, a 1980 Yamaha SR500 and a 1973 Bultaco Model 98 175 Alpina. This bike was purchased for me when I was 15 years old. I still have the original receipt for $816, purchased from Frank Thieme at Cycle Haus.

I raced a 370 Pursang when I was in high school. My love for Bultacos has kept me looking for them almost daily. This Bultaco Campera was a rare find. Very few Camperas were imported and even fewer found their way to the West Coast. I bought it on eBay from a guy in Colorado who said he found it in Wyoming leaned up in someone’s shed. With only 1,100 miles on the odometer it spent a lot of time leaning. After measuring the ring gap and overall condition I believe this mileage to be correct.

All parts are original with the exception of seat foam and cover, kickstart and shift lever rubber. The rims are straight and true with chrome in good shape. It was completely disassembled, the frame blasted, primed and painted. I took the shocks and tank to be painted by A-10 Auto. Allen has done beautiful work on my fiberglass tanks and this steel one is no exception. I replaced all the wiring and pulled it through the frame as was the way of Bultaco street bikes of the day. That was something else! New fork seals, engine gaskets, chain and tires were installed and we were ready to ride. After tickling the Zenith carb and flipping its choke lever the bike started on the second kick.

My wife and I get a lot of thumbs up when we ride the Campera and her Mercurio. I have had seven other Bultacos and this one is probably the most unique; although I could always make room for a nice Bultaco El Tigre!

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