Ruttman Vulture

Mini Bike & Go-Kart Parts

Here's a Ruttman Vulture I picked up the other day, I think it's around a '70-'72 model. I spent all of Saturday night and most of Sunday morning tearing it down and cleaning everything. I bought it as a roller but I wanted some instant gratification so I tossed my GX120 that I bought new in 1995 on it. I always thought it was a GX160, I never really paid attention up until now. I had this engine on my '68 Lil Indian back in the day and it has never missed a beat. the engine has been sitting in my barn for the last 8-10 years, pulled the float bowl, sprayed some WD40 through the jets to blow out any crud that may have found its way there, checked the oil, added some gas and she fired right up. I plan to make it a Toad some day but for now, it'll be a pretty cool rider once I get the throttle and brake hooked up.

Are these Ruttman frames same size as the lil Indian?
For the most part they are, Ruttman had a little wider variety though. You could get a Ruttman with 4", 5" and 6" tires within the same frame group. The 5" and 6" tire bikes shared the same frame whereas the 4" tire models used the same frame with lower fender brackets. The "Toad" and the "Vulture" were both 4" tire bikes, the "Vulture" had fenders, a longer seat and standard 4Hp Tecumseh. The "Toad" had a short seat, no fenders and standard 3Hp engine, 4Hp optional.
Cool, that's a gold nugget of information.
The best part about Ruttman bikes is that they are about half as much to restore as a Lil Indian. A Lil Indian clutch cover and brake caliper will set you back around $500-$700 for the pair. A complete NEW! Ruttman brake assembly which includes the brake, clutch cover, brake lever and cable runs $65. Some parts are interchangeable too, the seat on this one is actually from a Lil Indian 2-piece frame, you can also use the forks from a Ruttman on most Lil Indians and vice-versa. The "Toad" was the lowest model you could get, at the time they weren't the biggest sellers, everyones gotta have more power or go faster!, thus the "Toad" was the last out the dealers door. Now the "Toad" is one of the more sought after bikes because there are fewer of them. Most of the "Toads" you see listed started their life as a "Vulture", get a shorter seat, some sort of green paint job and delete the fenders and you have a "Toad" with the optional 4Hp. engine... Ooooo, RARE!.