When it was released, the Metralla Mk2 was the fastest two-stroke motorcycle you could buy. It held that title for a short time – you should check out Mat Oxley’s book Stealing Speed to learn why two-stroke development was at a fever pitch during this decade – but even as other companies built faster bikes, the Metralla was still fantastically impressive. They were able to put down 32 horsepower at a time when plenty of cars made less.
One of my favorite quotes about the Metralla is from a April 2010 article in Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car: “Riding it is like throwing a smoke bomb into a hornets’ nest, then climbing on. Every time I ride the bike, I think to myself, ‘Really? Guys rode these skinny-tired, drum-braked, springy-suspensioned things in anger?’ Major respect for those brave souls who had no idea what sport bikes would be like a scant 25 years later.” Top speed was 103 miles per hour and the bike weighs just 250 pounds!
Petrolicious recently released a gorgeous video featuring a Mk2 and its owner, a gentleman named Gilles Escuyer who also shows off a beautiful vintages trials Bultaco that he competes with. Just remember to turn subtitles on (assuming you don’t speak French)!