The Bultaco ‘Moto-bike’ – The Brinco
Published June 30, 2015
The motorcycling world has been rocked with some fairly awesome headlines over the last few years; we’ve seen tremendous leaps in engineering and manufacturing quality and most importantly of all: we’ve some since long dead marques revived from the ashes. Bultaco is one marque that we’ve been waiting to see return for a long time but we don’t think anyone saw this little beauty coming: it’s called the Brinco and it’s an electric bicycle with a bit of ‘oompf’. We’ve seen a few of these electric bicycle numbers but none as sleek, practical or as cheap as this one. And by cheap we mean €4,800 – significantly less than the Trefecta DRT’s $25,000 pricetag!
So we’ve seen the stylish Meijs Motorman, the retro Vintage Electric E-Tracker flying the flag for the electric bicycle market and we’ve seen the Harley Livewire and Zero FX (to name but a few) charging to the top of the most coveted electric motorcycle list so what makes this different? Well, it’s powered by Bultaco’s very own electric rig that’s been scaled down to fit into the frame of a combination of the two genres. They’re calling it a ‘moto-bike’ – it’s an electric assist bike that can tackle the trails as well as the street…and it looks pretty fun.
It doesn’t have the gusto of a full electric motorcycle but it’s far more capable than most of it’s commuter bicycle brethren. The Brinco is designed to accommodate a rear wheel-mounted 2-kW motor powered with a lightweight and unassuming 1.3kWh lithium ion battery. The motor boasts a fairly hefty 44 lb-ft’s worth of torque, which can be maintained and distributed through three different riding modes. Specifically, it’s Eco mode can give you around 50 miles of electric assisted pedaling power; the Tour mode offers around 31 miles worth of range, sure it’s not as far but it gives you a less strenuous ride and finally, there’s the Sport mode that offers a speedy ride that gets faster the more your give it. The Brinco also has nine speeds worth of gears that can be put into ‘overdrive’ – a mode that offers you 18 gears instead, should you need them.
Range is always the crucial factor in these things though and if you’re feeling really lazy, the Brinco can only give your around 18 miles of pedal free travel but the pay off is a nice 37 mph top speed – which is not too shabby at all. 18 miles is pretty poor when compared to some of Bultaco’s market competitors but in all honesty, anyone who buys this kind of thing won’t be looking for serious range or touring capabilities – they’ll most likely be commuting from home to the office, so forget the figures. If you’re looking to nitpick though, Bultaco have got plans to offer a second battery with a quick and easy swap mechanism for die hard tourers – the battery itself is easily accessed and only takes a few seconds to remove and charges back to full in around 3 hours – which is pretty handy.
The frame and swing arm are made from lightweight aluminum; the saddle is fully adjustable and the front and rear wheels are fitted with quality disc brakes. The wheels, and this is worth mentioning, because the Brinco boasts 24 inch wheels, unlike most mountain bikes, and they wear some beefy 3 inch wide tires.
And of course, because this is a ‘new’ bike, it’s fitted with all kinds of techno gadgetry and paraphernalia to keep the nerds happy. There’s an LED computer mounted upfront to keep you informed of your speed, distance, battery life and motor temperature; there’s also a keyless ‘ignition’ that activates via a wireless signal from a special bracelet that you have to wear. Yeah, it’s also got an accompanying App and all that nonsense to keep you in the loop about anything you might want to know about your bikes performance etc etc. Technologies too smart for people these days.
So there it is, a far superior commuter ride, with off-roading capabilities that won’t make you look like a fool. Bultaco, you have my thumbs up.