Mid 60's Bultaco Matador Project
Hey all... I'm in the middle of restoring a mid 60's Bultaco Matador. Using the serial number the bikes been dated from 1964 to 1966, sure would be cool to really know how old it is.
My short term plan is to try and get this bike ready to ride vintage trials this coming summer. The bike actually belongs to a friend of mine, but since I'm building it for him, he said I could ride it for the next couple of years, if I wanted.
I'll try to get some pictures up as I get a little further along on this project
I have another 65' Matador in pieces, that I own, and hope to put it together when I get done with this one. That one I hope to do some trail riding with and maybe use it as my vintage dual sport bike.
Anyway this is my first ever attempt at restoring a motorcycle. I have most of the pieces and the motor was put together, but I had to open it up and clean it out because the main bearings were frozen. My plan is to take every last nut and bolt off, clean, powder coat, paint and polish and repair everything that is broken.
I got the motor completely apart, replaced the bearings, seals, gaskets and so on. Got everything all nice and clean and put it back together... Now it doesn't shift. Actually I don't know if it ever shifted, because it was frozen, but now when I push down or lift up the shifter, it feels like its shifting, but it's not. With the case open I was able to make everything work by hand, but when I put the case together the "wishbone" doesn't seem to turn the shifting wheel inside. Is there anybody out there that knows what I am talking about and might give me some ideas as to what is going on?
what model #?
is this a 5 speed?
if so, you have to be careful about the orientation of the middle shift fork. if you put it in backwards it will shift when the case is open, but not when closed.
did you try turning the output shaft while you shift it to help the dogs engage/shift drum move along? was the shift drum notched or have any damage? did you install the drum so it's lined up with the corrrect notch for the neutral detent?
if it's a 4 speed, i'm not familiar with them.....i know the 4 speed has a selector plate like the old single british bikes....
i'm sure you don't have a pic of the trans assembled with the case halves apart - that would help. when you say wishbone/shifting wheel- that sounds like a 4 speed - 5 speed has shift drum and spring loaded shift pawls
If the bike is a mid '60s then it is a 4 speed. I'm thinkin' the 5 speeds didn't come out till the late '60s around 68 or 9. I've got a '66 Matador in the basement . It's waiting till I retire to be rebuilt.
If this helps then fine. In 1964 I bought a El Monterdairo. (bad spelling)
I lived in Spain at the time. It was a 4 speed, 350 or 360 cc.
The owner of the shop said it was the biggest motor at the time for Bultaco & used a proven transmission. I think that means the trans was an old design & motor was a recent design.
as for proven transmission, i think the only thing proven about them is that you are proven to find neutral in between every gear :)
I had the 175cc version of your bike. It was a 1965 Campera and it was a 4-speed. The transmission must have been straight off a trials bike since it had 3 very low gears with a huge jump up to 4th.
Can't help with your problem since mine ran perfectly for the three years I had it so there was no reason to take it apart. I absolutely loved the tractability and torque of that engine and the suspension and handling were top-notch for the time. You'll enjoy it once you get it sorted out.
My understanding was that Bultaco basically made one engine but used different top ends for the different displacements and changed porting and flywheel weights for the different models.
Thanks for your replies so far... The motor is a 4 speed 250cc. I've been told that all the motors of that era had the same bottom end. There was a 175cc like the Campera that was mentioned and there was a 200cc as well. Pretty much change out the cylinder and you got the other sizes. Interchangeable parts, what a great idea!!
So it looks like I've solved one of my problems, the fork that comes off the shifter appears to have been bent about 1/8 inch and wasn't coming in contact with the "fingers" on the gear selector plate.
That leaves 2 more problems:
1. It is really hard to make it shift. I seem to be able to get it in all the gears, but I really have to fiddle with the shift lever to make it work. Sometimes it drops right in, but most of the time I have to move it back and forth before it will go to the next gear. I think there is a combination of things causing this, but it's kind of hard to pin-point what's really going on because to get everything in place so it will shift, you have to close it all up and you can't look inside to see what's going on. The slots in the gear shifter place are a bit worn and the pin that rides in the slot is worn as well, so I'm guessing things could hang up there. Also the shifting forks ends and the grooves they ride in are pretty worn as well, causing things to be a bit sticky.
2. The shafts are really hard to turn around. I have replaced all the bearings and it is well oiled, but when I stuck a drill on one end of the shaft to spin it around, it took a great deal of torque to get it to move.
BTW- I do have pictures of the inside, and was going to post them tonight, but left the camera in the workshop so can't get it till tomorrow.
I have some spare parts so will look through them to see if I can find some parts that are not as well worn to see if that will help with the shifting, but not sure what to do with the "binding" of the shafts.
To make this post a little more interesting here are some pictures of the project.
For some reason I didn't shoot any before shots of the bike I am currently working on, but here are some pictures of my other bike I plan to build later. The current bike was in similar shape:
This is what I hope the finished bike will look like...
BTW - I'm actually going with a different color for the frame so I will probably look more like a Sherpa when I'm done. Here's a slightly newer one.
when you reassemble cases, you can pretty much tell if you got it wrong. if it's really difficult to get the last 1/4" - 1/2" of the cases together, something is wrong. for lack of a better description - it sometimes takes a little fiddling to get everything lined up, but once it's all correct, it will just go together easily like it was never apart, and was meant to be together.
Here's some pictures before I put it back together....
The main crank doesn't look as nice as the other parts, but that is the only part that runs smoothly.
Astonishing too me that you haven't had any problems with the rod bearings many get rough by the time, expecially the lower one.
Gearbox had no problems either, often the shims beetween the gearsprockets are worn?
Any special treatment to the engine cases, I like the dull finish.
I split the engine case back open yesterday and found that there was only one bearing at the bottom that was hard to turn around. I pulled the shaft out that was going through the bearing and re-seated the bearing.
The way it says to put the case together is to put everything into one side, including the bearings that will be in the other half of the case. then heat that other case up and slide everything together. That's the way I did it the first couple of times. So this time I put the bearings in both of the cases, then with a torch, heated the one bearing that was the tightest fit, and tapped everything together. I think this is what made the difference because doing it the "proper" way caused the bearings to not seat completely into the case, my way everything appears to be where it belongs. I also polished some of the ends of the shifting forks and the "cam" slot they ride in, plus I polished a cam that is used in the kick starter section.
Got the whole thing together and the result of all this is that everything seems to be working like it should.
Now on to the cylinder, head and piston...
Does anybody know how I can get a couple of "frozen" piston rings off an aluminum piston, without destroying the piston??
I would like to step back a little and bring this project up to date by giving you a little back story.
Last summer, my friend Dave, got me down to the vintage motorcycle trials and motor-cross. It was one of the most fun weekends I've had in a long time. I've always wanted to have a trials bike, but the stars never lined up correctly and it never happened. A few weeks later, at a second show, I knew I wanted to get a bike and was lucky enough to meet a guy who had what I was looking for. My hope was to find something I could restore, from the ground up, and that's just what he had. (see the pictures on a previous post). With the purchase of this "new" bike in process I got a surprise when Dave offered to give me a bike to ride, for as long as I wanted. All I had to do was "restore" it. So that's how I ended up with 2 65' Bultacos to restore.
OK... now how does somebody, who has never restored a bike, go about setting up a workshop and learn the skills to take on such a task. First let me say, I'm a pretty handy guy, having built many things over the years. I've also spent some time in a machine and sheet-metal shop, where I picked up a few skills. On top of that I have been a potter for about 40 years. So I'm pretty good with my hands and have a far amount of tools. So I figure, how hard could it be.
Here's a list of skills and tools I wanted to put together for this project:
1. Welding - I'm not a great welder, but over the years I've learned how to stick steel together with a torch or wire welder. Last year someone loaned me both a gas welding rig and a big MIG welder (check)
2. Painting - I've done a lot of spraying in my pottery business, but that is very different from what I would need for restoring bikes. However, I do have a small spray booth and a compressor (more on this later). I still need a lot of work on this.
3. Powder Coating - I've read a lot about powder coating and it seems like a really good idea, but I don't think I can afford to pay someone else to do it. So I found a gun that was better than the bottom end guns, but is not as expensive as a pro gun. I find the application is very similar to spaying pottery glaze and I have ended up using a pottery kiln to cure the powder coating (works really good).
4. Polishing Metal - It is amazing how bright you can shine up a piece of steel or aluminum. I'm still trying to figure this out, but I've had a couple of things turn out pretty nice. I did have to get a polishing wheel.
5. Media Blasting - Now here's a challenge. Blast cabinet, got a cheap one from Harbor Freight that is sort of OK, but leaks a lot. Also got a "tank blaster" to do things that won't fit in the cabinet and "soda" blaster for the carburetor and other "fine" parts.
I'll come back to some other tools and things later, but this is a good time to talk about problems.
1. My original compressor didn't make nearly enough pressure or volume to run a blaster, so I needed a new compressor. In the end I actually need to tie both my compressors together to get enough power to run the blaster.
2. Powder Coating and probably painting (I haven't gotten into this yet) require extremely "clean" air. That means NO water, NO oil, or any other little bits of things. I spent nearly a whole month trying to get my powder coating to work without "fish-eyes". I ended up installing 4-5 filters and water extractors but I finally have really clean air.
3. Polishing has something to do with magic!! I have been able to get a few things up to the level I want them but right when I think I have it figured out, the next piece doesn't work.
So over the last couple of months I have been learning how to polish, powder coat, weld, and blast, as well as tear a motor completely down and put it back together (well I'm in the process). Can't wait to have the motor up and running and then I get to learn about shocks and forks and wheel hubs and brakes and all the other things.
The cool thing about working on a Bultaco is that it is about as simple as it gets, but the final product should be an incredibly fun bike to ride.
If anybody is interested I will go into detail, with photos, to show the good and bad of my progress.
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