Bultaco Albero cruises city center and hops cafes
Spanish motorcycle veteran Bultaco announced a return to manufacture in 2014, after more than a dozen years of silence, with plans to make electric motorcycles. First off the production line wasn't an all electric Rapitan though, it was the first "moto bike" – a cross between an electric motorcycle and a mountain bike called the Brinco R. This edged towards the city with the R-E, C and S variants the following year, and now the company has announced a model aimed squarely at urbanites. The upcoming Albero shares its technical soul with the Brinco, but has been redesigned specifically for city streets.
Bultaco was founded in 1958 and was responsible for Sherpa, Matador and Frontera motorbike models over the years that followed, while adding a number of Spanish and international race trophies to its display cabinet. Then in the early noughties, the company's production line fell silent. The famous "thumbs up" logo rose from the ashes in 2014, with the marque committing to an electric future.
The latest model in its moto bike series is the Albero, which builds on the same platform used for the Brinco electric bikes. It features a brushless AC motor at the rear that's available in two flavors – one rated at 2 kW and capable of a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph) and a 250 W variant that should get the moto-bike up to 25 km/h. There's an independent pedal mechanism and the hub motor is engaged by twist throttle, with three drive modes available.
In Sport mode, the Albero can zip along for up to 50 km (30 mi) before the 1.3 kWh Li-ion battery pack starts to splutter. Charging time is reported to be about 3 hours. Tour mode will extend that to 75 km, and rides of 100 km are possible in Eco mode. A backlit digital display will supply the rider with key info such as speed and remaining charge.
Elsewhere, the Albero rocks a 9 gear system, lightweight aluminum frame, adjustable front fork suspension with 130 mm of travel and a monoshock at the rear with 150 mm of travel. Hydraulic disc brakes front and rear provide stopping power, the moto bike rides on 24-inch wheels with 2.35-inch road tires, and the 1,100 lumen LED front light has an auto day/night sensor.
The Albero will start its bid for street domination after an appearance at next month's EICMA motorbike expo in Milan, Italy. Pricing and availability have not yet been revealed.