The 1969 film Easy Rider is synonymous with chopper motorcycles, and for a good reason. Wyatt’s (Peter Fonda) Captain America chopper and Billy’s (Dennis Hopper) flame emblazoned bike hog most of the screen time, but they’re not the only motorbikes the protagonists pilot. Before the pair ever throw a leg over the American V-twins, they’re seen riding a CZ motocrosser and a Bultaco Pursang 250 MKII. Now, the latter is up for auction at Bonhams.
Valued between $60,000 to $70,000, the 1968 unit has been repainted and restored to its filming condition. The bike’s file history also contains the original invoice from Bultaco to Peter Fonda’s Pando Company for ‘movie use’. The example for sale is one of two Pursangs that Fonda’s production company purchased for the Easy Rider filming.
In 1968, the Pursang was Bultaco’s flagship motocrosser. The air-cooled, 250cc engine made the Pursang a powerful competition model. The two-stroke single pumped out an impressive (for its time) 34 horsepower and was considered one the most powerful in its class. The Spanish brand soon added 125cc, 360cc, and 370cc variants. The 1968 boat-tail Pursang suited America’s off-road enthusiasts and competitors.
As a motorcycle enthusiast himself, there’s no wonder Fonda chose the Bultaco for the opening scene of Easy Rider. In the sequence, Wyatt and Billy ride the Pursang and CZ to the La Contenta Bar to conduct ‘the deal’ that sets the story in motion. From that point on, the two characters only ride Harley-Davidson choppers and the motocross bikes aren’t seen again. Despite the lack of limelight, the Bultaco Pursang will always be immortalized by Easy Rider.