Review: Bultaco Brinco

Bultaco returns with a range of electric bikes it hope will bridge the gap between the motorcycle and the bicycle

Bultaco Brinco R
Bultaco Brinco R

BULTACO closed its doors a few years before I was born but the Spanish marque, once famed for its trials bikes, is back with a new range of electrically assisted road and mountain bikes.

Called the Brinco, Bultaco’s new platform is split over road and off-road bikes. The R and RE look like the ugly offspring of downhill mountain bike and a small enduro bike.

But perhaps that’s a good thing because the R can only be used off-road or on private property because its unrestricted electric motor, which delivers 2000 watts of power, makes it too powerful to be classed as an electric bike and it can’t be registered as a motorcycle. Of the off-road Brincos, only the less-powerful RE is road legal because it conforms to Pedelec standards.

The less interesting and equally challenging-looking Brinco C and Brinco S are road legal, road biased Brincos, with lower suspension, and road tyres.

You can ride any of the Brincos like a twist and go scooter and/or pedal. Putting the R in Sport mode (there’s also Touring and Eco, which use less battery power) makes it easy to surprise other road users as you dart through traffic because you’ll easily reach 30mph and beyond if you’re putting some effort in with your legs. It’s good fun to be able to be able to fly around on something so small and agile, which makes easy work of hills.

I spent the most time on the Brinco R and even though it weighs 39kg and feels leaden at a standstill, it’s agile and easy to flick around once rolling.

The front suspension is adjustable, as is the rear shock but a test ride around Bermondsey and Peckham wasn’t the ideal place to get a sense of how good the R and RE’s suspension is or what they’re like in their natural habitat – a green lane or some local trails.

Messing about off-road is where Bultaco hopes to capture the imagination of motorcyclists and the R and RE could easily sit next to an mx or enduro bike in the garage – bridging the gap between bicycles and motorbikes.

The Brinco R and RE could be the things to provide an entry into motorbikes for kids and because it’s lower maintenance and less noisy than an enduro bike, it could easily be the weapon of choice for blasting round local green lanes or trails on a Sunday morning without getting on everyone's nerves, that’s if you can stomach forking out £3,995 for the R and £4,495 for the RE.

Contact: Bultaco

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