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Old 08-18-2012, 07:08 PM   #16
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You are living my dream. As a teenager in the late '60's I too was blown away by the Rickman's at the MX meetings. Compared to the homebuilt British singles and Spanish 2 strokes the Rickman's were a different world, apart from the sound of a twin, they were ridden with the front wheel in the air, and when it wasn't they were in a full lock slide....I wanted one. At one MX meeting as we were leaving I saw a Rickman Metisse in the carpark - road legal !!! Now I really wanted one.

In 1975 the Rickman's were so outclassed they were just hasbeens, an uncompetitive bike of no use. And so I found a 1964 Metisse, one I remember racing a few years earlier, and bought it minus engine for $400. It was a 500cc unit Triumph, so found a 1973 Daytone engine and fitted that.

My bike had BSA yokes and Cerinai's with a Metal Profile front brake, and a Velocette rear wheel. Because I couldn't gear it up for road use I fitted a Triumph conical rear wheel - then by using the standard rear sprocket and the bigger Rocket Three sprocket I had road and off road gearing. I cut the sprockets in half so I could change them without removing the rear wheel. I also cut the high pipes into TT pipes for road use - my road use was gravel roads, and this was the fastest bike I've user used on gravel.

I've spent the last 35 years trying to find a bike that could match a Rickman Metisse, but I think there is only one bike capable of that - and you have it. If I won Lotto, I'd be doing just what you are.

This is my bike in 1977 - road legal apart from a speedo, I was too much of a tight arse to fit a speedo drive to the rear wheel. Oh, and no side stand - power poles, trees, cars....there was always something to lean against.


motu screwed with this post 08-18-2012 at 07:14 PM
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:33 AM   #17
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The Triumph/BSA conical hub rear wheels fitted to late 60s early 70s road bikes are pretty much the same as the B50 ones. Avoid vintage magnesium hubs, as cracking is a distinct possibility, especially when used on bikes a lot heavier that the ones they were fitted to originally. Finally if you have a GRP fuel tank, it would be a good idea to sell it before you use it and get an alloy one, as the person making the GRP doesnt use the correct production process, and while some might be problem free, others are likely to fail very quickly.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #18
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Garage Co

...you might try Yoshi at the Garage Company in L.A. (http://garagecompany.com/).
I was down there last week. he's got a blue Rickman TR on the floor, and the dude has a warehouse of bike parts.
No guarantee on the price or availability......pretty sure everything has a price though.

http://yoshisgarage.com/parts

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
The Triumph/BSA conical hub rear wheels fitted to late 60s early 70s road bikes are pretty much the same as the B50 ones. Avoid vintage magnesium hubs, as cracking is a distinct possibility, especially when used on bikes a lot heavier that the ones they were fitted to originally. Finally if you have a GRP fuel tank, it would be a good idea to sell it before you use it and get an alloy one, as the person making the GRP doesnt use the correct production process, and while some might be problem free, others are likely to fail very quickly.
Thanks for the input.
I have tried two Triumph street bike rear wheels so far and neither was a conical hub but that is another option, thanks.
I won't be riding it hard so I can keep an eye on the rear hub if I do use the Husky. No big jumps, just dirt roads for me.
I have done my last doubles.....

The Rickman will only come in about 50 Lbs more than the Husky I got the wheel from, and I weigh a bit less than the average they must have designed the wheel for to have a large safety factor.

And I am still searching for the B50 rear wheel anyway.

Thanks Rapid Dog for the link, I have sent them a request and will see what they have.

All fiberglass gas tanks MUST be sealed now because of what they put in the gas. Rickman sent instructions with the kit to use Caswell gas tank sealer. They also specify to NOT use alcohol in the tanks. The gas mixes common now are causing all kinds of problems in vehicle fuel systems. Fortunately they don't use Ethanol in our gas here due to the weather, they mix other stuff in... could be worse, I don't know. But, our gas doesn't go bad after sitting for 6 months during winter so it must be better than most states have to deal with.

I have thought about getting the aluminum tank but it is too nice to risk denting so I could put it on when stored in the house, and the glass tank on with gas for riding... But, the aluminum tank is out of my limited budget anyway.

I appreciate any and all input!
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:35 PM   #20
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I have a friend who may well have a B50 rear wheel hub, and if you ever need one he also makes alloy tanks for the Mettisse.

Sealing GRP tanks is only ever a short term remedy, and failure is certainly likely over time. There is no good reason for GRP tanks to fail when used with modern fuels, and I would guess the reason Adrian Moss suggests a tank sealer, is due to the fact his tanks are not being made using the correct materials and production methods.

If MTBE is still being used in your area, then even the Moss GRP tanks should be OK as damage will only occur when ethanol or methanol is being used in the fuel.

As a matter of interest your Rickman frame was made by Robby Rhind Tutt, who runs Wasp Motorcycles, and has bene making frames for many years.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:09 PM   #21
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Wow......that is all.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:21 PM   #22
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I also had a Cheney Triumph, and it had Rickman hubs....guess they don't make those anymore.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
I have a friend who may well have a B50 rear wheel hub, and if you ever need one he also makes alloy tanks for the Mettisse.
Can you ask him about the wheel? Thanks


Sealing GRP tanks is only ever a short term remedy, and failure is certainly likely over time. There is no good reason for GRP tanks to fail when used with modern fuels, and I would guess the reason Adrian Moss suggests a tank sealer, is due to the fact his tanks are not being made using the correct materials and production methods.
I believe that Avon still makes the fiberglass for the Rickmans and I am pretty sure they still use polyester resin.
If they used epoxy resin they would have no problems.
I just made a tank for my street tracker and I used epoxy resin so I would not even worry about it.
Hmmm. I could just coat the inside of the Rickman tank with my epoxy.
I will do that.


If MTBE is still being used in your area, then even the Moss GRP tanks should be OK as damage will only occur when ethanol or methanol is being used in the fuel.

As a matter of interest your Rickman frame was made by Robby Rhind Tutt, who runs Wasp Motorcycles, and has bene making frames for many years. That is neat to know who actually welded it together.
Here is a picture of a Triumph Metisse that is much closer to what I am building.

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Old 08-22-2012, 01:05 AM   #24
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The B50 apparently uses exactly the same conical rear hub as BSA/Triumph of the late 60s early seventies, and my friend advises he bought 15 of them when he was last in the US, so I guess its something that is quite easy to find in the US? If you cant find one then he can certainly help, but I would guess shipping cost might be more than the cost of a hub in the US?


The former Avon-Mitchenal company do still make GRP for Wasp motorcycles, but to the best of my knowledge the tanks they are making still degrade when alcohol fuels are being used. Tanks supplied by Adrian Moss are made in a garden shed, and the guy making them has been experiencing failures for several years. Main reason these failures are still occurring, is due to the chemically resistant resins required only being available in 205kg barrels, which cost 1000+ and only have a 6 month shelf life. Add to this the fact that there is a requirement for post curing, and you have the reasons why small scale GRP producers are still making tanks which dont work with modern fuels.

Bisphenol A epoxy resins are not resistant to alcohol fuels, and while novalac epoxys do have much greater chemical resistance, they are very brittle which makes them not particularly suitable for either tank sealing or for actually laminating tanks. A system which is ideal for making tanks is Derakane 470 which is a novalac vinyl ester, that has all the advantages of a novalac epoxy, yet is a lot less brittle and far more fit for purpose than epoxy (which is also more costly!)
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:17 AM   #25
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The Rickman was always a brazed frame, or maybe I should call it bronze welded in case Twin shocker jumps in on me. Hard to see with your frame because it's so shiny, but looks like still is.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:15 PM   #26
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All Rickman frames were brazed/bronze welded, using gas fluxer oxy/acetylene torches. The Wasp ones are made in the same way, with the only major difference being that the Wasp ones use 4130 tube made in the US, rather than Reynolds 531 used on the original 60s bikes.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:23 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
The B50 apparently uses exactly the same conical rear hub as BSA/Triumph of the late 60s early seventies, and my friend advises he bought 15 of them when he was last in the US, so I guess its something that is quite easy to find in the US? If you cant find one then he can certainly help, but I would guess shipping cost might be more than the cost of a hub in the US?
I haven't tried outside the US yet but am not having any success in the US either...
I should amend that, I have found one but the seller wants way to much money for my budget.
I have looked at various late 60's and early 70's and had not noticed that any of them had a conical hub.
I will widen out my search, thanks.


The former Avon-Mitchenal company do still make GRP for Wasp motorcycles, but to the best of my knowledge the tanks they are making still degrade when alcohol fuels are being used. Tanks supplied by Adrian Moss are made in a garden shed, and the guy making them has been experiencing failures for several years. Main reason these failures are still occurring, is due to the chemically resistant resins required only being available in 205kg barrels, which cost 1000+ and only have a 6 month shelf life. Add to this the fact that there is a requirement for post curing, and you have the reasons why small scale GRP producers are still making tanks which dont work with modern fuels. Yikes! I am using System Three epoxy for my various boat, car, and bike projects. I checked and it works fine to make gas tanks they assured me, but I didn't ask about Ethanol. But we don't have it in our gas here anyway so I hope it will be no problem.

Bisphenol A epoxy resins are not resistant to alcohol fuels, and while novalac epoxys do have much greater chemical resistance, they are very brittle which makes them not particularly suitable for either tank sealing or for actually laminating tanks. A system which is ideal for making tanks is Derakane 470 which is a novalac vinyl ester, that has all the advantages of a novalac epoxy, yet is a lot less brittle and far more fit for purpose than epoxy (which is also more costly!) You are truly a fountain of knowledge! Thanks for all the information. The last time I picked up a gallon of epoxy at our local supplier, he suggested vinylester resin as it has some benefits for my uses over epoxy and is far supplier to polyester resins. I haven't tried it yet though.
Now that you mention it, I do seem to remember reading somewhere that the fiberglass parts are made in a garden shed using the original molds. Not that Avon was still making the parts.

When I started my Suzuki DR 650 street tracker build I first looked at buying a fiberglass gas tank made for dirt track bikes and I noticed that the companies selling them all stated the tanks must be sealed if using any alcohol in the fuel. I ended up making my own mold and tank so it would be the shape and size I wanted. hopefully I will be safe using the gas we get here. One reason I use the System Three epoxy is that it is very flexible and not brittle so I hope it will survive my usual riding adventures.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:31 AM   #28
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GRP used by Wasp is still made by the former Avon company, Adrian Moss GRP is made in a garden shed, there is no post curing, and I would be very surprised if the correct resin system is being used.

Easy way to check whether your epoxy tank will last is to contact the resin manufacture, and ask them if their product would be suitable for use with E85 fuel. If they say yes then ambient cured mouldings used with E15 should work fine. If they say no, then you will need to find some industrial novalac epoxy (not thinned down like the Caswell stuff), and after proper preparation, thin this using heat and use it to seal the tank.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:35 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
The B50 apparently uses exactly the same conical rear hub as BSA/Triumph of the late 60s early seventies, and my friend advises he bought 15 of them when he was last in the US, so I guess its something that is quite easy to find in the US?
Right you are sir!

Mostly anyway, I googled last night and see that the 7" conical hub part number is the same for the 71-74 Triumphs, well, the ones I checked anyway, the 650's. (the 69 Bonnie hub I almost bought locally is not conical so I passed) I also learned that they are 40 spoke wheels. Something I had not thought about. The two aluminum 18" rims I have are 36 spokes. Hmmmm....

So, IF I find a BSA/Triumph conical rear wheel it will have to have a good aluminum rim since buying a new rim and spokes to put on the old hub will also bust my budget. I see there is one corroded hub on eBay here for $49 (with 5 days to go) and several complete wheels, minus brakes, for $150 - $300. They all have steel rims in various states of decay. I didn't search BSA but I am guessing they all use the same conical hub. I see that sets of Buchannon's stainless spokes are on eBay for $120 too.

I also found I can buy a brand new Triumph (bare) conical hub for $149.
Since I would replace the bearings and seals in anything I bought, I would probably go for a new one.
But, now I will see if I can use the Husky wheel since I have it, it looks right to me, and I can use the money buying engine rebuild parts.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:16 PM   #30
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Eh? Bronze welding - brazing

Quote:
Originally Posted by motu View Post
The Rickman was always a brazed frame, or maybe I should call it bronze welded in case Twin shocker jumps in on me. Hard to see with your frame because it's so shiny, but looks like still is.
Here is a couple close ups of the brazing on my frame:





I haven't seen another Rickman in many years but my memory tells me that the welds on the ones I looked at longingly in the late 60's to 1971 (when I sailed away with my folks) were much smaller and neater. What do you recall? I remember talking about how the old welds looked so precise, almost like sewing stitches, so when I first saw my frame I wondered "what happened". Not many people are artists at welding. I was just a bit disappointed with the weld quality. Maybe my memory is faulty...? Actually, that is a joke. My memory is terrible! and getting worse each year.
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