Tagged: Rickman

Nickel-Plated Rarity: 1978 Rickman CR900 for Sale

1975 Rickman CR900 R Front

Today’s Kawasaki-powered Rickman CR900’s most distinguishing feature, aside from its overall impressive condition, is that stunning paint. Colors like this can be difficult to photograph, but I think the seller has done an excellent job with this unusual paint.

1975 Rickman CR900 L Rear

The “900” obviously indicates the displacement, as the bike was powered by Kawasaki’s powerful 903cc Z1 engine, but stuffed into a gorgeous, stiff nickel-plated frame that significantly improved on the original machine’s merely adequate handling. Which makes sense, since handling improvements were Rickman’s stock in trade. 1975 Rickman CR900 L Front

Started by Don and Derek Rickman, the company began by building off-road racing bikes designed around existing engines and transmissions. By the 1960’s, they’d started building roadcourse and streetbikes, at first based around British twins but later using the new Japanese multis. This was a perfect marriage, since the Honda CB and Kawasaki Z1 were powerful and reliable, but didn’t really have the frames or suspension to make them competitive on track.

1975 Rickman CR900 L Fairing

It’s not really clear how many CR900’s were actually built: Rickman sold these as kits, sans engine, transmission, and electricals. And while you could buy them complete through various shops, many were built at home in the proverbial shed, making the exact numbers built difficult to discern.

1975 Rickman CR900 Cockpit

Regardless, Rickmans of any stripe are hard to find in this condition, regardless of powerplant choice.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

You maybe  looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet.  This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The  bike is titled as a 1978. The  I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.  

Almost all of the  Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. 

The  900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. 

The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman.  Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use.  The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and  have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value.

1975 Rickman CR900 Engine

Bidding is up north of $15,000 with four days left on the auction and plenty of interest. Rickman’s show up fairly regularly for sale, but this is the nicest I’ve ever seen. I’m not in the market for a vintage bike at the moment, but I bike like this would definitely be in the running if I had the cash…

-tad

1975 Rickman CR900 R Rear

Baby Blue Triple: 1974 Rickman CR BSA A75

1974 Rickman BSA R Front

We don’t normally like to post up unfinished bikes here on CSBFS, but this 1974 Rickman CR BSA A75 is rare enough that it’s worth a second look, and complete enough that I expect many of our readers wouldn’t be put off by the work needed to turn this into a stunning, and very rare British sport bike. Rickman’s of all stripes are relatively rare, and this baby blue machine looks like it will be stunning once finished. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, even major manufacturers were still experimenting with what characteristics made motorcycles handle well, and many production bikes left something to be desired in terms of roadholding, especially when riders started to really push them on track.

1974 Rickman BSA L Rear

Enter Rickman, a typical British “based out of a shed” outfit that stressed the effectiveness of their bikes over pedigree. They sold incomplete frame, suspension, and bodywork kits that could be completed by individuals at home or by shops that supplied engines, transmissions, wheels, and electrics. Early on, they often used British twins, but many bikes that show up on eBay are powered by Japanese four cylinders like the CB750.

1974 Rickman BSA R Rear

This one “keeps it in the family” and is powered by a BSA A75 three cylinder, a package very similar to the one found in the Triumph Trident we featured recently. Designed to allow BSA and Triumph to compete with the CB750, the 740cc overhead-valve triple used pushrods and a four-speed box at first, although a five speed was later added and should be the transmission in this bike. While the architecture of the new triple was primitive, compared to the CB750 against which it was competing, the engine was no slouch, producing a claimed 58hp that made the bike good for a 120mph top speed and was much smoother than the twin on which it was based, while offering plenty of character.

1974 Rickman BSA Dash

According to the seller, this might be the only BSA triple-powered Rickman in existence, although the kit-nature of Rickmans makes this very hard to verify. Suffice to say, it’s pretty unusual. While the bodywork might look fine as-is with a bit of patina, that nickel-plated frame needs some elbow grease to return to its former glory.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Rickman CR BSA A75 for Sale

Very rare Rickman BSA Triple CR road racer, built in limited numbers.  This bike was brought back from the UK by an Air Force Captain in 1976, but was actually built in 1974.  Believed to be a set of service cases ordered and built for the chassis.  I really wanted to restore the bike but do not think I will ever find the time so it’s time to pass it along to someone who can.

The bike is mostly complete as shown, But there will be some minor parts missing. What you see is what i have for the bike. I have started to disassemble the bike and have tried polishing the Nickel frame in a few spots and it comes up with a great shine, but wonderful patina, very easily.  I have the swing arm professionally polished to see how good a pro could get it and as you can see, it looks great!  The fiberglass is in good condition, especially for it’s age. but there are a couple of spots that need minor repair.  I did buy a NOS seat in the correct color that is included.  I believe the mileage is genuine as the tires on the bike were date code 1974 and had very little wear.  Borrani rims are straight and in very nice condition.  I have a few sundry new parts for it including a rear master cylinder rebuild kit which had to be bought from the UK.

Very rare and cool project for someone.  The Rickman book shows this bike delivered to Rivetts of London Ltd. in Leytonstone.  I used to visit this shop on a regular basis in this period so really feel a connection.  All the research I have done has not shown another Rickman CR built with a BSA A75 engine so it may just be that this is a 1 of 1 bike.

Sold as is for restoration.  Has a clean Missouri title.  I have many more pictures that can be sent on request. 

1974 Rickman BSA L Side

According to later updates on the listing, the seller has gotten some flack, claiming that the bike is not original. The whole point of these Rickman bikes was their mix-and-match nature built around customer preferences: based around a new frame that offered improved stiffness and high-spec suspension for tighter handling, the rest of the bike was very “kit-bike” mix-and-match, back before “kit” became a dirty word associated with Fiero-based Lamborghinis and oddly-proportioned “Cobras.” Rickman themselves even poked fun at this with their Metisse, which is French for “mongrel.”

There’s just one day left on the auction and bidding is up a bit north of $6,000, although the Reserve Has Not Yet Been Met. With luck, this bike will find a good home and will soon be returned to its former glory.

-tad

1974 Rickman BSA R Front

Rare Mongrel: 1953 Rickman Metisse Triumph/BSA Mark III

1953 Rickman Metisse R Side

The famous, sophisticated-sounding Metisse actually translates to “mongrel” in French, a testament to British humor, as well as ingenuity. This bike is different than our usual offerings: built for offroad use, it is powered by a Triumph engine with a BSA gearbox.

1953 Rickman Metisse R Side Engine

In the 60’s and 70’s, motorcycle design was still as much art as science: many innovative new designs came and went, and the physics that went into making a bike really handle were still not well understood, and many production motorcycles handled pretty poorly straight from the factory. Much of the problem was the primitive suspension available at the time, but a lack of frame stiffness and correct geometry played a huge role as well.

1953 Rickman Metisse Dash

Many small shops catering to serious riders created their own frames designed to work with existing engines to create sporting hybrids for road, track, and dirt use. Among these, Rickman was one of the most successful, offering first off-road and then road-going packages based around British twins and singles, and later Japanese four cylinder bikes. Their frames were constructed from distinctive lightweight, nickel-plated tubes and many featured internal oil-passages that replaced oil tanks and coolers.

1953 Rickman Metisse L Side Detail

From the original CraigsList posting: 1953 Rickman Metisse Triumph/BSA Mark III for sale

We have a unique, STREET LEGAL Rickman Metisse Triumph Mark III for sale! This is an oil-in-frame bike, powered by a 500cc Triumph twin. The engine also features an AMAL 386 Monoblock carb, Megacycle Cams, and a Lucas competition magneto that was recently rebuilt. For better shifting, the engine has also been mated with a rebuilt BSA SCR 4-speed gearbox, and the BSA primary case was machined to fit perfectly with the Triumph Crankcase. Bruce Holland Motorcycles in Boise, ID has rebuilt the motor & there is paperwork showing the details of the rebuild. This Rickman has original magnesium hubs in the front and rear, and are laced by Buchanan’s in Azusa to rare Dunlop spring steel rims. DOT approved Pirelli dual sport tires are currently installed on the wheels. A Sammy Miller kickstart lever unit is on the bike, which allows the lever to fold in closer to the frame, along with all new cables, grips, twist grip, levers & handlebars. The Rickman frame is nickel-plated & new, plus comes with a Certificate of Authenticity that states it was built specifically for the engine – allowing it to be titled as a 1953 model, instead of a special construction!

1953 Rickman Metisse Rear Wheel

The listed asking price is $17,000 for this rare bit of kit. True production numbers are a bit difficult to discern, as Rickman generally sold their bikes in kit form to be finished by the owners or local shops. But this looks to be in excellent shape and is definitely unusual. That the sellers are a specialist classic motorcyle shop in Orange, California to me only increases confidence.

-tad

1953 Rickman Metisse R Side Tank

Last of the Breed: 1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator R Front

While plenty of Rickman motorcycles have graced this site, this one’s a first for me: a CRE 1000 Predator. Rickman made their name building lightweight, nickel-plated frames to wrap around existing powertrain packages. Their bikes often featured internal oil-passages to eliminate the need for external oil tanks and coolers, saving weight. They exemplify the do-it-yourself spirit of 70’s motorcycling: there’s technically no such thing as a “stock” Rickman, since they were built up individually to customer specs or built by the customers from a kit, generally using donor bikes from Honda, Kawasaki, or Triumph.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Fairing

Japanese frame and suspension technology on their streetbikes had largely caught up by the 80’s, pushing companies like Rickman to the side, Rickman continued to make their Predator, a sport-touring machine, up until about 1984 that used a 1000cc Kawasaki engine. Rickman-framed Hondas, Kawasakis, and Triumphs show up for sale fairly regularly, and often at very reasonable prices, considering their performance advantages over the standard Hondas and Kawasakis from which they borrow their running gear.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Pegs

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator

Model year 1980

Super rare model, 2 owners from new The first owner ran the Rickman owners club for many years

Bike has extensive history file, frame was supplied to Maitland Racing who built the bike and supplied a tuned engine. Engine Z1000J motor fitted with a Wiseco 1105 big bore kit, electronic ignition, Goodrich oil cooler, full build sheet & dyno chart included. Dyno’d at 118bhp.

Converted to mono shock and 17″ wheels.

Starts and runs with no smoke or rattles, only known fault is the speedo requires attention currently fitted with a Sigma digital speedo.

Correctly registered (English documents) as Rickman.

Ride and collect! Bulletproof investment.

Bike is currently located in Italy, Roveredo in Piano, but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Rear Suspension

Although the frame is the big story with any Rickman and the key to their success, it’s hard to overlook the striking bodywork that includes a distinctive duck-tail unit and monoshock rear suspension, while 17″ wheels should make for a great selection of grippy high-performance modern rubber.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Cockpit

If you’ll notice, the speedo is currently stuck, hence the fitting of the little digital unit. But that shouldn’t really present much of a problem to solve, considering the fact that the unit itself is a stock Kawasaki part. Or just go with an aftermarket gauge: considering the quirky 80’s style of the bodywork, I’m sure no one would mind the fitment of a modern, digital dash.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Tail

All-in-all, a very distinctive vintage sportbike you can enjoy on a daily basis, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

-tad

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator L Side

Brains and Brawn: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

1978 Rickman Kawasaki L Side Front

Vintage bikes often appeal to riders of “a certain age” who grew up with these bikes and have a nostalgic soft-spot for them: vintage bikers naturally relate to vintage bikes. Some are just riders who love to tinker, while others just love the quirky looks and accessible performance of the machines from a simpler times and want the feel of a vintage motorcycle without all the “leaking oil on the floor” and “having to adjust the carburetors while idling at a stoplight” malarkey that sometimes goes along with vintage Triumphs and Nortons, making something like this Kawasaki-powered Rickman the perfect solution.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side Fairing

Don and Derek Rickman created a line of dirt-racing motorcycles in the 1950’s and 1960’s, packaging bespoke frames and suspension packages around engines and transmissions from other manufacturers. Their line eventually expanded to include roadcourse and street machines, and they’re most famous these days for their line of big-displacement four cylinder bikes built around engines from Honda and Kawasaki.

In the 60’s and 70’s, suspension tuning was something of a “black art”, and while Japanese motorcycles were famous for their refined engineering, their handling was generally not on par with the European brands. So companies like Rickman used took that existing engineering and improved it by creating a chassis that could handle the power effectively.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Front

Bikes were generally sold in kit form: Rickman supplied a new, lightweight nickel-plated frame and aerodynamic bodywork, the buyer supplied engine, electricals, and other assorted bits to put the whole thing together. The results speak for themselves and combine the best of old-world British craftsmanship and racing expertise with powerful, reliable engines from Japan.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

You maybe  looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet.  This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The  bike is titled as a 1978. The  I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.  

Almost all of the  Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. 

The  900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. 

The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman.  Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use.  The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and  have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value. I have the clear title in hand and can assist with shipping.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Controls

Although I’d take issue with the seller’s statements that this is “one of the rarest bikes on the planet” and “this bike performs as good as any modern bike today” it is an unusual machine in superlative condition and will definitely handle better than the Z1 from which it borrows its powerplant. I’m not really sure exactly how many Rickman Kawasakis were actually produced: in many cases, these were sold as kits, not complete bikes, and a whole menu of upgrades were available, making history a bit hard to verify. These are very cool and desirable bikes, but I think the seller may be aiming a bit high with this one: there is plenty of time left on the listing with a Buy it Now price of $25,000.

-tad

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side

Baby Blue: 1975 Rickman-Metisse Triumph 650 CR

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR L Side Front

Although I’m not a huge fan of the hazy edges of the photos, this blue Rickman Metisse Triumph 650CR looks gorgeous. Rickman started out making frames for offroad race bikes and later expanded into roadracing, and their distinctive nickel-plated tubular frames improved handling of the often floppy factory bikes of the era. These frames were designed to save weight and significantly improve stiffness, with the hollow frame tubes functioning to both store and cool engine oil on some models. Rickman’s bikes were generally sold in kit-form, with the customer supplying engines, transmissions, and wiring to complete the bike.

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR R Cockpit

The company had a sense of humor as well: the name “Metisse” translates to “mongrel.” But, like most mongrels, the resulting creature is often healthier than the purebred animals that donated their DNA, and the Rickman Metisse attempted to combine the engineering of established manufacturers with the handling of a racebike, often with striking results.

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR Dash

While later machines were often based around bikes from Japan, there was still room in their lineup for British machines, as this example shows. While a Triumph-powered sportbike may have been a bit moribund in 1975, this would still have turned serious heads. A Honda-powered Metisse probably would have been faster, but with a torquey parallel-twin and great looks, this combines the best of the era, wrapped up in bluer-than-blue bodywork.

1965 Rickman Metisse 650CR R Front

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Rickman Metisse Triumph 650CR

This is the last of 52 genuine Rickman-Metisse CR (Competition Replica) built by the Rickman factory in England. Rickman produced these as street-legal versions of their Isle of Man Production TT winning machine. Actual date of manufacture is September 1974. Registered as 1975 model. It is not a cobbled-together kit. Correct Rickman hubs, brakes, 41mm racing forks, all original hardware. Powered by a balanced and blueprinted Triumph T120R 650cc motor. Only 2700 original miles.

Original, unrestored, stunning. Nickel plating on frame showing some fading in some places, as expected over 40 years. Tiny ding on top of R/H silencer. A few minor chips in edges of fiberglass but not readily visible. Fuel tank showing some surface bumps/texturing in places, but was Caswell-coated inside by previous owner. I run VP110 ethanol-free gasoline in the bike. Starts first kick and runs/shifts perfectly. Handles incredibly well with new modern Avon tyres.

Please do not ask me my reserve. You find that out by bidding. You either hit it or you don’t. Clear California title in my name. Currently on non-op. No DMV back fees due. Blue California plate for display only and not associated with machine. I’ve described this beautiful bike to the best of my knowledge and ability. Sold as-is. Potential bidders welcome to make appointment to view in person, but no test rides. You will not be disappointed with its performance! The crown jewel to any British bike collection.

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR R Engine Detail

The bidding is currently at $12,600 with active interest and a couple days left on the auction. This is a great-looking, well cared for machine. About the only gripe I have is with the obviously not-period-correct grips, although they are at least color-matched… A set of Tomaselli grips would be an inexpensive way to fix that and stay with a period look and brand.

-tad

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR L Side

 

Marvelous Mutt: 1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph for Sale

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph L w Fairing

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, if you weren’t happy with the handling of your stock motorcycle, you could contact a number of different specialist frame companies for your racebike or road-legal custom. Among these, the name “Rickman” ranks among the very best, right up with Spondon and Egli, producing frames and bodywork for buyers who wanted something truly exotic.

Early on, they focused on offroad racing, but their catalog eventually encompassed roadracing and street bikes as well, starting with the engine and transmission from the Triumph Bonneville like this particular example.

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph R Rear

Rickman’s signature frames were constructed from lightweight, nickel-plated tubes that provided a stiff foundation for improved suspension, and many featured internal oil-passages that replaced oil tanks and coolers. The completed hybrids were amusingly named “Metisse,” French for “mongrel.”

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph L Front

For the most part, the company produced kits instead of complete motorcycles, supplying frames and bodywork: engines, transmissions, wheels, and electrics not included. A wide variety of engines were fitted snuggly into Rickman frames over the years, but Japanese big-bore machines featured heavily in their later output. Like Bimota, they recognized that the handling of these machines could be improved, and the resulting bikes featured the best of both worlds: Japanese engineering and reliability combined with British innovation to create fast, nimble, and rare bikes that could compete on road or track.

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1968 Rickman Metisse Road Racer for Sale

The condition of this machine is highly original, un-restored, and preserved, having covered 828 miles since new. All of the numbers are factory correct and original. It is the 650 cc engine. The gearbox is also original to the machine. This Norton is completely original and has never been apart. I am the third owner from new, the first long-time owner being the legendary female motorcycle trailblazer Barbara Lee Weber of Chicago. It is in preserved, original, and almost showroom new condition.

The paint is the original red and is nearly flawless. The original decals are still applied to the gas tank. The plastic sidecovers are in excellent condition and are not in need of any type of repair.  

All of the original accessories, including the headlight and very hard to find tail light, are in operational condition and in excellent original condition.

The Rickman Triumph on the road is very easy to handle, and rides down the road very tight, with no shakes, shimmies, or rattles. It shifts and accelerates smoothly and holds the road as it should.  

There is absolutely NOTHING that needs to be done to this machine to ride it occasionally and enjoy it as a showpiece. Unlike other machines for sale on the internet, this one is ready to ride and not in need of any expensive service once you get it home.  

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph Engine Detail

There’s a ton of additional information, original documentation, and photographs over on eBay, so pop on over for a look. Bidding is pretty active on this one, with five days left and the Reserve Not Met at $9,100. If you’re looking for a Rickman, this is a very nice, unrestored example of their original road bike with as detailed a history as you’re ever likely to find.

-tad

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph R No Fairing

1976 Rickman BSA Rocket 3

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I want to apologize for the poor quality of pictures, but this 1976 Rickman BSA Rocket 3 is such a great project I wanted to share it. As regular readers will know, Rickman was a frame company that produced great frames to overcome any shortcoming of larger manufactures frames. Think your BSA frame was a little springy for its 750cc triple? Give Rickman a call.

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From the seller

VERY RARE RICKMAN BSA TRIPLE CR ROAD RACER, BUILT IN LIMITED NUMBERS.  THIS BIKE WAS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE UK BY AN AIRFORCE CAPTAIN IN 1976 AND IS TITLED AS 76 BUT WAS ACTUALLY BUILT IN 1974.

TITLED BY THE ENGINE NUMBER A75R 001 SERV, BELIVED TO BE A SET OF SERVICE CASES ORDERED AND BUILT FOR THE CHASSIS.  IVE ALWAYS WANTED TO RESTORE THE BIKE BUT DO NOT THINK I WILL EVER FIND THE TIME SO ILL PASS IT ALONG.

THE BIKE IS MOSTLY COMPLETE AS SHOWN, THE ENGINE WAS OUT WHEN I BOUGHT IT SO IVE SET IN IT THE CHASSIS IN THE INTEREST OF KEEPING EVERYTHING TOGETHER. WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT I HAVE FOR THE BIKE.

VERY RARE AND COOL PROJECT FOR SOMEONE.  THE RICKMAN BOOK SHOWS THIS BIKE DELIVERED TO RIVETTS? IM NOT SURE WHAT THAT IS MAYBE A SHOP IN THE UK

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By the time the British industry had produced a Triple for the public, the world had already seen the world changing CB750. So when the combined company of BSA/Triumph finally got their triple to market, instead of game changing, it became an also ran. The 741cc engine offered by both Triumph, as the Trident, and BSA as the Rocket 3 generated 58hp at 7500rpm. This was good for a top speed of 120mph. Not bad for an extra cylinder grafted onto and engine design from 1939.

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This 1976 BSA Rocket 3 in Rickman frame is a project waiting for the finish line. The pictures on the auction are out of focus, so I took the liberty of searching for some better picture of complete bikes. The small ones are the out of focus pictures by the sellers. The larger ones are completed bikes which the buyer can use to dream and outline their own build. BB

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1968 Rickman Metisse Roadracer for Sale

1968 Rickman Metisse L Side Dark

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.

1968 Rickman Metisse R Side

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.”

1968 Rickman Metisse L Side

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.

-tad

1968 Rickman Metisse R Side Rear

 

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Turbo for Sale

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 R Front

Hm, what’s this?  A Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer.  Read that again.  A Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer?

So this one’s pretty wild.  What started out as a pretty garden-variety Kawasaki Z900/1000…  Okay, really there probably was never much that was actually “garden-variety” about this bike.  Rickman was sort of like the British Bimota, a small company that took powerful engines from unruly and wayward-handling Japanese bikes and stuffed them into light, strong frames, wrapped them in new bodywork, and created what the original manufacturers could not: serious sport bikes.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L Rear

This relatively rare bike has been completely transformed, with nearly every component replaced and updated in some way.  The machine sports a nickel-plated Rickman frame and lightweight fairing, which are rare enough to begin with, but the lump was heavily upgraded with a serious bump in displacement to 1400cc and a turbo kit, with water-injection to keep the intake charge nice and cool and prevent pre-detonation.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Turbo

The original eBay ad contains a comprehensive [the entire build stuffed into one, very blue paragraph] listing of the build and the parts that were used, and the photos are very nice as well:

Rickman Kawasaki 1400 CRT Turbo Cafe Racer for Sale

The engine was completely rebuilt and the displacement increased to 1400cc by famous drag racing champion and engine builder Dale Walker from “Holeshot Performance” fame in Santa Cruz California. New parts installed during the engine rebuilding process : cam bearings, modified clutch hub, main bearing trust assembly, stainless intake valves, stainless over sized exhaust valves, valve seals, HD cam chain, HD head nuts, APE clutch kit, Dyna S ignition, gasket set, finished big block assembly, 1395cc Wiseco piston kit, HD clutch hub nut, HD set of valve springs, graphite head gasket, cam chain tensioner. Additionally the crankshaft was indexed, trued and welded, connecting rods bushed, the transmission gears were undercut, and the engine cases were powder coated blue. The head was turbo ported. A new SS Super Shorty E carburetor was added, which was jetted, set up and volume mated to a new larger then the original RAJAY turbo by HAHN Racecraft (HRC) from Oswego IL. A Mr. Turbo water injection system was installed to prevent pinging under high load. The exhaust header received a HPC coating which is guaranteed not to turn colour even under the highest exhaust temperatures. A custom flow thru exhaust pipe was fabricated-the sound is to die for.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 Cockpit

This lurid green monster even sports an instrument cluster from a Hesketh and some pretty trick gauges set into the fairing infill panels.  The parts list in the ad is extensive, if you can get through what reads like one, heavily-caffeinated fever-dream paragraph.

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L Fairing

No real bidding activity on this one so far and only four days left, which is a shame.  This thing seems like it’d be a blast to show or ride.

-tad

1977 Rickman Kawasaki 1400 L side