1968 Rickman Metisse Roadracer for Sale
This 1968 Rickman Metisse caught my eye last week. The Rickman brothers began their bike-building business in the 50’s and 60’s by designing frames to cradle the typically ill-handling bikes of the era. Early machines were built for offroad racing, but their designs expanded to include roadracing and even streetbikes.
Their innovative frames were stiff and light, constructed of distinctive nickel-plated tubing that, on some machines, even contained the engine oil to improve cooling and save the weight of a separate oil tank. The bikes were typically sold as kits that included Rickman’s signature frame and any bodywork: builders needed their own donor bike to supply engine and electrical.
A pretty wide variety of engines found their way into Rickmans over the years, including the Norton twin found here. The finished machines were light and handled well. And the Rickman brothers clearly had a sense of humor: while “Metisse” sounds very exotic and sophisticated, it actually translates roughly to “mongrel.”
From the original eBay listing: 1968 Rickman Metisse Road Racer for Sale
I have a 1968 Rickman Metisse Road Racer with certificate of authenticity issued by MRD Rickman.
The motorcycle is a genuine Rickman MK111 oil bearing Road Race frame, not to be confused with lower specification frames made for general street use. Manufactured in 1968 by Rickman Bros , during the period of brothers Derek and Don’s ownership of the company.
In 1982 the motorcycle underwent a total rebuild with the intention of returning it to the track for the upcoming season. Like many things the rebuild took longer than was originally planned and consequently the motorcycle was ultimately outdated by the time it was completed and as such never raced in its current form.
It has a Norton Commando 750cc motor with matching numbers to frame that was built and fitted to the frame by Norman White at his Thruxton shop in England. The motor uses twin Amal Mk11 carburetors along with Lucas electronic ignition. Belt Drive primary to AMC gearbox. Marzocchi suspension front and rear with CMA 4 leading shoe front brake and Yamaha TZ rear.18” Akkront aluminum rims with stainless steel spokes and fitted out with Yokohama race tires. Cuppini controls
The motorcycle is in fantastic condition, having spent most of its life since 1982 on display.
The listing refers to this as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and, while sellers typically overstate the value and rarity of their wares on offer, this machine might be one worthy of the phrase with the oil-bearing frame and relatively unusual Norton powerplant. But the bidders seem to be thinking otherwise: there’s only one day left and bidding is only up to $9,100 with the reserve not yet met.