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Lee halsall

Hi, looking for advise on buying an Alpina project

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Hi folks , just signed up to ask before plunging in and buying . I had a 1968 Sherpa T around 1972 ,I remember it being a very nice ride compared to the British stuff I'd been riding , foolishly sold it .

Now I have retired ,I'm looking for another Bultaco but quite fancy an Alpina .I only ever saw articles in American Dirt Bike mags ,never saw one in the flesh but always hankered after one .

As I understand it , Alpinas up to 75 are basically Sherpa Ts but with closer ratio gearboxes ,something that would suit my end use of unhurried trial riding . After 75 ,I believe they have a Pursang crank and left hand gearchange as well as longer swinging arm , is this right ?

I spotted a right hand gearchange 350 ( 325) on ebay so that tells me it's pre 75, although advertised as a 75 ,is there a big improvement with the revised post 75 bike ?

Quite a lot of the ebay bike is missing , headlight ,mudguards speedo and rear spark arrestor , Mudguards appear to be alloy ,so I can source them and make the front mounting ,hoe about the rest ,hard to come by?

 Any advise gratefully received 

 Lee

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Lee, there are a couple of Alpinas on ebay at the moment neither of which are 350. The one in Ireland is listed as a 166 but it deffinately is not, much earlier frame, might even be a Sherpa, and is also 250. The 137 looks nice but unless it has had an engine change should be a 250. I have a part built 137 and an almost finished 188 (77). The 137 frame is very light, my only concern would be the fibreglass tank and most likely if the bike has stoop for any length of time it will need new main bearings. Not especially difficult to do but no doubt the parts list will accumulate as you pull it apart. Another thing to be wary of are the brake drums, the drums faces are chrome plated aluminium and eventually the chrome wears through resulting in having to strip the wheels and have someone fit new iron liners which adds a lot of cost.

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Thanks for that , I didn't know about the brake drums .  One I'm looking at on ebay is item no 283451765625, it checks out as a 74   325 with frame no JB 11601622. a few missing bits but I could drive down to the borders and pick it up which would save me £200 shipping . Is the 137 at Tim Blakemore racing , if so ,yes ,it is a 250 ,that's  a bit too much given I have to add shipping ,but it is very nice and almost complete .

I am very temped by  the 137, I understand that the later 350 had a lot of improvements , does the 250 also ? 

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Ahh yes found it, looks like all the difficult to get parts are all there.I am not sure that there was a massive difference between any of the 5 speeds in terms of performance or reliabilty. I am sure somebody here would be better qualified to judge. The motors are all in a low state of tune so differences are marginal. Whatever you buy it will cost you more than you anticipate to bring upto scratch! Or at least thats my experience.

Useful link to model differences

https://www.motoguapa.com/BULTACO/ArxiusBultaco1.html

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New brake drum liners can be fitted without stripping the wheels, about £100 plus postage for the pair. 

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The only 325cc "350" Alpina was the very first "350" model and that is the M99 from 1972/73. All the "350" Alpina models that followed the M99 are 350cc (with the longer stroke). The M99 is the only "350" Alpina that shares frame and steering geometry with the Sherpa T of the same period. All Alpinas after the M99 "350" and M85 "250" share triple clamps with the Pursang/Frontera instead of the Sherpa T triple clamps. Some Alpina models also have a longer wheelbase than the Sherpa T of the same period, courtesy of a lengthened swingarm (M137, M138).

Every model Alpina is a delight to ride. They all have light handling and incredibly good steering. The Alpina models after the M99/M85 have a bigger and much stronger front brake (shared with the Frontera).

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Just for a bit of history on Bultaco a couple of years back while in Girona, I had lunch with Narcis Casas who co-founded the Gas Gas business, and who used to sell a huge amount of Bultaco's from his shop. He told me both he and Josep Pibernet used to ride in the Spanish Enduro national champs, on Sherpa trial bikes in the early days. Narcis came up with the idea of converting a Sherpa into a more potent type of enduro bike and so he put together the first Frontera prototype and raced this to many sucesses. Pretty sure that between Narcis and Piber, they won several Spanish national champs and sold a stack of Bultaco's too. The first prototype that Narcis put together was given to the brilliant bike museum in Basella who were restoring it to as new condition. Bye, Peter B.

After thinking about it, the model Narcis came up with was the Frontera, not the Alpina as I had originally thought, sorry, memory lapse! He used a Pursang frame with a trials motor, altered the steering head angle and a few other things. The original bike was presented to the owner of the moto museum Basella to commemorate his 80th birthday.

Edited by peterb
Memory

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All of great interest thanks for all the input .

so, feetupfun , the 116 with right hand gear change is the long stroke 350 ? Do you think there will be a problem registering with DVLA given that it is an import but the seller has no paperwork but told me it was on the NOVA system ?

 B40RT , can you post a link to where the brake drums can be relined please ?

thanks for your input ,it’s very encouraging 

Lee

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6 hours ago, Lee halsall said:

All of great interest thanks for all the input .

so, feetupfun , the 116 with right hand gear change is the long stroke 350 ? Do you think there will be a problem registering with DVLA given that it is an import but the seller has no paperwork but told me it was on the NOVA system ?

 B40RT , can you post a link to where the brake drums can be relined please ?

thanks for your input ,it’s very encouraging 

Lee

Messaged you.

Unless its a recent import, there's a very good chance it's already registered. Search on here as the subject has been covered. 

Edited by b40rt

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On 4/19/2019 at 7:26 PM, Lee halsall said:

so, feetupfun , the 116 with right hand gear change is the long stroke 350 ?

Lee

The 116 is the first 350cc Alpina model and it has a longer stroke than the 99 Alpina. The 99 may have been marketed as a 350 but is 325cc.

Bultaco introduced "choice of shifting side" during the following series of Alpina (137/138). Some 137/138 are RH shift and some are LH/RH shift.

Edited by feetupfun
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I  have a fairly good idea what I'm looking for now , a later (1976 onward ) Alpina ,thanks for the input .I decided on a later model to keep my gearchange on the left ,just got to find a suitable bike to restore now .

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A further confusion , I have the chance of a 250 Matador ,big silencer on the left ,looks like a Mk 4 . Any problems , are components Sherpa or frontera ? are they more valuable than the Alpina generally ?

Thanks 

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6 minutes ago, Lee halsall said:

A further confusion , I have the chance of a 250 Matador ,big silencer on the left ,looks like a Mk 4 . Any problems , are components Sherpa or frontera ? are they more valuable than the Alpina generally ?

Thanks 

Some (not many) MK4 Matador components are shared with Alpina and Frontera. I would say they are no more or less valuable than any other early 1970s Bultaco.

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