Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bultaco M10, Sherpa T


I had the opportunity to photograph a piece of motorcycling history, a 1967, Bultaco, Sherpa T, owned by Allen Gracey. I met Allen at an MAVT sponsored trials event in Toughkenamin, PA. It was my first time competing in a trials event. Allen guided me to each section, explained the rules and gave me tips, but above all, he gave me encouragement. I did not place but I was pleased just to finish. I completed all four loops of the seven-section course.

Built in Spain by Francisco Bulto, the M10 ended the sixty-year reign of British, 4 strokes in the sport of observed trials. It’s popularity helped to spread the sport from England to the rest of Europe and the United States.

Unusual for the time, the Sherpa T was powered by a 244cc two stroke, engine with dual flywheels and a radial head mounted on a Rickman designed frame.

Aside from the machine its self, much of the success of the M10 was due to the fact that Bulto signed Sammy Miller to compete for him. In the first two years, Miller took 1st place in 58 of 80 events he entered.

I photographed the bike in Allen’s garage. I rolled the bike onto a white seamless and boomed two 4x6 foot Chimera softboxes over it. Each box had a Dyna-Lite 4040 head inside. Each head was connected to a 1000 pack at full power.

To me motorcycles are more than machines, they are functional art, thrilling and exhilerating sculpture.

Click here to see my Triumph, Thruxton photo.

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