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Seanglen2000

Bultaco engine swaps

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I recently bought a bultaco alpina 350cc from bord na mona and it turns out the bikes numbers are different the frame is a 187 and the engine is a 138 the guy we bought it off of said it was like that when he got it in 1976 when he bought it off of harry lindsay in dublin so does anyone know how this happened or was it from factory

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Well I would have a good explanation if you had said your Alpina was a model 188 Alpina but not so good an explanation for a model 187 Alpina.

The models 187/188 Alpinas are the models that followed on from the models 137/138 Alpinas.

Bultaco are well known for bikes of one model coming with parts from another model, especially near the beginning and the end of the production run for the model. Their inventory control for components was not as sophisticated as some other manufacturers.

So it's easy to imagine that there could have been some model 138 motors left over when they ran out of model 137/138 frames and the best place to put them would have been in the next model Alpina. What seems unusual though is that they put a 138 (350cc motor) into a 187 (250cc) bike.

To help solve the mystery it would be valuable to know the (approximate) engine and frame numbers of your bike.

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I know the frame number is PB18700764 i dont know the exact number for the engine because it is being rebuilt but i know a bit that i remember JM13801260 i know its 60 something anyway thanks

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2 hours ago, Seanglen2000 said:

I know the frame number is PB18700764 i dont know the exact number for the engine because it is being rebuilt but i know a bit that i remember JM13801260 i know its 60 something anyway thanks

Well the frame is not particularly early in the 187 production run. I don't know how many 138s were made but I'll see if I can find out.

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I think it might have been harry lindsay he was an old racer from Dublin and was the dealer for bultaco but for bord na mona he didnt usually sell them alpinas just the sherpa t 

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I’m a wee bit confused, you say you bought the bike off Bord na Móna and yet in the next sentence you say you bought it of a guy that bought it from Lindsay Motorcycles in 1976. Am I getting this wrong!

Linidsay’s won a major contract to supply the Alpina’s to Bord na Móna in the early 1970’s. They only ever supplied the Alpina to Bord na Móna and never the Sherpa, which was strictly a competition Trials bike. My understanding is that they supplied over one thousand Alpina’s over the course of 8 years. I was always of the understanding that Bord na Móna publicly auctioned off all of their Bultaco Alpina’s in the mid 1980’s.

 I wouldn’t be surprised that the engine was changed here in Ireland. My recollection is that Bord na Móna bought over a thousand Alpina’s from Lindsay’s, along with masses of spare parts.

Edited by model80

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I said the guy that bought it because it was a bike that was never auctioned off or got the brown book changed the guy just brought it home and left it sit for atleast 10 years so im saying that the bike went to one of the drivers and thats why i said got it in 1976 because it was the bike he would drive and he kept it

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Simple answer.   The engine has been swapped out sometime in the past.  Simple as that.   It didn’t come from Bultaco with a 138 engine.  Someone put it in there when the original engine had to be replaced for whatever reason.  
Bultacos always left the factory with matching engine and frames.  Always !  In the uk in the 70’s it was commonplace to swap out engines and frames for tax reasons.  But this swap is more likely because the original 187 engine needed repair or replace and it was easy to install another know good motor.  

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And does any of ye now how to check number plates for bikes or irish license plates before the switch

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9 hours ago, Seanglen2000 said:

And does any of ye now how to check number plates for bikes or irish license plates before the switch

I’ll do my best to assist.

Send me a Message through this Forum 

Edited by model80

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Ye i just want to check was it robbed or how long its been off the road because i want to know how many miles it might have from bord na mona

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9 hours ago, Seanglen2000 said:

Ye i just want to check was it robbed or how long its been off the road because i want to know how many miles it might have from bord na mona

Lad, send me a PM and I can have a chat with you.

Back in the day, I worked in Lindsay’s and remember how the whole Bord na Móna thing worked.

Give me a shout. 👍

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7 minutes ago, model80 said:

Lad, send me a PM and I can have a chat with you.

Back in the day, I worked in Lindsay’s and remember how the whole Bord na Móna thing worked.

Give me a shout. 👍

It says you cannot recieved messages anyway around that

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14 minutes ago, Seanglen2000 said:

It says you cannot recieved messages anyway around that

I got it. Have sent you a reply.

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