Francisco ‘Bambi’ Valera
‘Bambi’ with his daughter Cristina
Francisco Valera who was universally known as ‘Bambi’ was an employee of the Bultaco factory. Not just any employee on the assembly line, he was a factory technician or mechanic, who had input to the development and servicing of the factory bikes for racing, motocross and trial. ‘Bambi’ started working in the racing department at the Bultaco factory in the early 1960’s before a dealership network had been formed. ‘Bambi’ worked for Bultaco until the factory closed in 1984. In 1960 he rode in the 24 Hour race at Montjuich with another rider nicknamed ‘Tiger’ on a Bultaco ‘Tralla 101’ model winning their class and the Endurance Championship of Spain.
‘Bambi’ competing on a Bultaco ‘Tralla’ 101 race machine in the 1960 24 hours race at Montjuich circuit in Spain. His co-rider was another Bultaco employee nicknamed ‘Tiger’.
‘Bambi’ was a well known face at International motocross and enduro evnst over the years and knowing Bultacos inside out, so to speak, he knew all the tricks of how to make them more reliable and faster.
Grenoble, 1965 – Oriol Puig Bulto on a Bultaco Sherpa with ‘Bambi’ Valera watching. Oriol was a nephew of Snr. Bulto, the Bultaco company founder. Photo: Cristina Valera Fandos Archive.
Setting individual machines up to individual factory riders specifications for not only handling but also carburation and overall performance.
1970 at the ISDT at El Escorial, near Madrid. here we see ‘Bambi’ with Bultaco works riders, Fernando Munoz and Jorge Capapey
Now retired, ‘Bambi’ encourages his Grandson Oriol to ride motorcycles as much as possible and has a very nice Bultaco Chispa for him to ride.
‘Bambi’ with his grandson, Oriol Marse Valera and the Bultaco Chispa 49cc
‘Bambi’ with Narcis Casas, the Bultaco factory rider, who went on to develop the Gas Gas trial and Enduro machines. Seen here with a Bultaco Frontera 360 Enduro machine.
‘Bambi’ with former Spanish Motocross Bultaco rider, Domingo Gris
‘Bambi’ also rode Bultaco machinery during his time at the factory.
Francisco on an early Bultaco Sherpa, the model N which was the precursor to the Sherpa T. Here ‘Bambi’ is riding in the company trial on the ranch owned by F.X. Bulto called San Antonio.
‘Bambi’ indulges in some trick riding on Bultaco Mercurio road bike near the factory at San Adrian De Besos, Barcelona, Spain.
‘Bambi’ warming up a Bultaco racing TSS with Marcel Cama at the San Adrian De Besos factory.
‘Bambi’ with a Bultaco Pursang rear wheel at an International motocross around 1972.
Photo from the experimental and competition department at the Bultaco factory taken in 1975, with Yrjo Vesterinen’s Bultaco Sherpa model 133, a very rare machine, very few produced. The person nearest the camera is ‘Bambi’ Valera – Photo courtesy of Yrjo Vesterinen, photographer unknown.
Some souvenirs of Bambi’s from the 1970’s (Horst Leitner was Bultaco importer for Germany & Austria)
Always a Bultaco man, Bambi Valera pictured here in 2015 on a Bultaco, of course! – Photo: Cristina Valera Fandos
With many thanks to Cristina Valera Fandos for her assistance in providing information and photos for this short article on her father and special thanks to former World Trials Champion, Yrjo Vesterinen for his co-operation and assistance in preparing this article.
Text Copyright: Trials Guru/John Moffat – 2015.