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Motorbikes from Spain, there are more than you think

Motorbikes from Spain, there are more than you think

If a good acquaintance suddenly appears with the dream motor from your youth. Then nostalgia suddenly hits hard.


Ben van Helden is a goldsmith's trainer and motorcycle enthusiast. And in his wide motorcycle love, he was suddenly struck by the wildly simple beauty of a Sanglas 400 cc single-pitter. He now has such a machine. And he rides on it full of enthusiasm. Sanglas was Spanish and became famous through the supply of police and army engines. Single-cylinder engines from 400 cc.

There were quite a few Spanish brands

Spain has much more motorcycle history than Sanglas alone. Brands like Ossa, Derbi, Bultaco and Montesa, these are motorcycle brands that have won a lot of prizes on unpaved tracks and circuits. The Bultaco Metralla (grenade cartets) was a 250 cc - at the time middle class - single-cylinder two-stroke with an unlikely sporty touch. It was literally a 'road racer'. The MkII models are already very rare, very sought after and shockingly priced. But the MK 2 Kit America doesn't even pretend it could be civilized.

Less - or hardly any - well-known Spanish brands are quite a few: Aleu, AMS, ARC, Avello, BH, BJR, Clua, Cofersa, Coronat, Darlan Ducson, Edeta, Elig, Evysca, Gilera, Gimson, Gorrion, Huracan, Kobas, Lambretta (!), Merlin, Monfort, Motobic, Motor Hispania, Mototrans (known from the licensed Mototrans Ducati's) Movesa, Mymsa, Narclka, Pony, Reddis, Rieju (now builds 'mopeds') Roa, Rovena, Ruter, Dandrain , Serveta, Setter, Torrot, Villof, Vespa (!), Yamaha-Semsa (Yamaha Spain. Yamaha bought Sanglas to bypass import taxes and immediately canceled the single-cylinder) and the unsuccessful Yankee.

From butterfly light to wildly brutal

So those are quite a few brands, with most operating in the light, utility segment. The Yankee was a spectacular exception. That 500 cc two-stroke win was offered in 10 after a development time of almost 1977 years. The impetus for that heavier model was, just like at Ducati and Laverda (and partly financed) by the American importer. The Yankee delivered 60 horsepower from 488 cc! It must have been made a few thousand and for years we have been trying to separate one for an article from a collection. To be continued ... We hope ...

A large part of the Spanish motor successes were in the nick of time. In 1976 there were 9 Bultacos in the KNMV motorcycle yearbook. Of these, only the Mercurio 155 cc was a road machine. The five types of Osaa entered all ran on off-road tires.

There was even a Dutch importer

The Sanglas 400 introduced by Jan de Bruin from Driebruggen in that year cost a proud 3.990 guilder. And the great thing is that Jan is still Sanglas passionado.

There are enthusiasts

For Butacos, Montesas, Ossas (and Yankees!), Mototrans Ducati's plus Sanglassen, there is now a reasonable group of enthusiasts. The prices of those machines were somewhat lower, but they are now quite in line with the 'mainstream' classics from other countries. Due to their relative scarcity, they were able to make a strong start in terms of price. You usually need to be in Spain or the USA for the parts supply for that type of engine. The parts supply of Metrallas, Sanglassen and Yankees falls between 'among friends' to' almost unavailable. And with regard to the numbers produced, it seems more than unlikely that there will be an entrepreneur in the future who will make 'reference' parts.

Want to know more about Bens Sanglas? Just look at his site: www.bensbikes.nl


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