1965 Rickman Metisse Mk III Scrambler

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by JagLite, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    The custom made steering stem arrived and has been installed.

    I am using the front end from a '76 Honda MR250 since it looks period correct to me and was available.
    Unfortunately, the triple clamps use a welded in stem bolt so I bought a set of Honda XR500 clamps and had to have a new stem bolt made that would fit the Rickman bearings. That was an unexpected expense. I may have to buy a small hobby lathe/mill for my projects. Or find a better machine shop!

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    I also mounted the front tire using the Zip-Tie method. This was the first time I have used Zippys to mount a tire and I do agree with those who have tried it, that it is much easier this way than one bead at a time and trying to keep the tube in place. I used a small screwdriver to release the locking tab on the ties so I can reuse them again and again.

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    I plan to mount the rear tire this weekend and then put the forks in, wheels on, and have a roller! :clap
    #41
  2. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    The plan was to slip in the '77 Husky rear wheel and the '76 Honda forks and wheel and have a roller.

    First up, the rear wheel with new tire.
    Hmmmm, I see that I should NOT have bought a 130 width tire...
    They didn't have tires that wide in '65 so the frame is not designed for it.
    The tire fits, barely if perfectly centered.
    Except that I need to move the hub over so the chain & sprocket will clear the shocks.
    So, new spokes at the least as the ones in it are bent and several are loose.
    The first loose spoke I tried to tension snapped at the nipple.
    I will need to get spacers made and bushings for the swingarm/axle difference.
    Then there is the brake fit problem too. hmmm...
    I will keep searching for a BSA B50 wheel.

    Next, slip the forks into the clamps and fit the fender.
    hmmmmm, I guess they didn't have side knobs on front tires in '76 either.
    The tire just barely clears the forks seal covers.
    That means the fender has to be cut for clearance.
    And the tabs on the fork legs have to be cut off.

    A jig saw and a sanding belt cut in half became my mill and lathe to cut and clean the legs.
    And an angle grinder to shave the cut nubs down.

    Then a drill and Dremel tool to cut the clearance holes in the fender.
    The modified parts were ready and back upstairs to the living room for installation.

    Finally......



    It's a ROLLER!!! :freaky :clap

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    Yes, I will be changing out those handlebars for more correct ones. I just happened to have these takeoffs from another bike.
    #42
  3. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    This is shaping up to be an amazing-looking bike. Great work so far.
    #43
  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Looking good! I'm following this, it's right up my alley. Just a lovely worthwhile build. Good on you and the Mrs, living room build :deal
    #44
  5. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    I want to thank you again for the Speedandsport link.
    I have already placed an order that is on its way and today I sent Matt an email with my progress report and problems asking for his suggestions.

    Matt called me right away and is very helpful indeed!
    He agrees that anything CAN be made to work, with enough money, but not everything should be done that way.
    He is going to set me up with a proper rear wheel and perhaps a better front end too.

    I told him I am taking a lesson from wasting too much money on the wrong stuff.
    I can't afford more "education" by trying to save money... :eek1

    I bought a set of Betor triple clamps on eBay yesterday for $30.
    Where were they all the time I was searching for correct 35mm clamps????
    Argh....
    But I bought them just in case the Honda clamps don't prove to be ideal.
    Which they aren't since they have the offset for a leading axle fork...

    Anyway, Matt at Speed and Sport is great and I will most likely be sending him a lot of money as I can afford to. :freaky

    Your bike is a beauty. I believe it is a Cheney? I seem to remember that the Rickman was quite common and the Cheney was a step up from there. Very limited numbers? Lighter weight? I have seen one in person but that was in the mid '70's. Do you race vintage?
    #45
  6. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    Damn! I'd give your left nut to have that roller in my livin' room...
    #46
  7. dfisher

    dfisher n00b

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    Not to be critical but.... I am sensing a need for some steering stops and a looming issue with the rear brake anchor/actuating lever location.
    #47
  8. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    Good eyes!
    I installed the steering stops (they are just above the lower clamp) but since the fork clamps have much less offset I had to install the stops in the only way they hit the frame tube.

    You are very correct about the rear wheel brake problem.
    It does seem to me that trying to use the Husky rear wheel is not going to be workable.
    While anything can be made to work (almost) it isn't cost effective with the various problems.
    I am hoping that Matt at Speed & Sport can help me with a proper rear wheel.

    Other progress is that I bought a '75 Can-Am 250 parts bike for the Betor forks and front wheel.
    I have torn the forks down and they are good to use as are the fork clamps.
    Next is to see if the new stem (that cost more than the Can-Am!) will work with the Betor clamps, or if the stock Betor stem will mate with the new bearings in the steering head.

    Here is the parts bike AFTER I spent two hours de-greasing and scrubbing the filthy beast.
    It is amazing to me that people who want to sell something don't clean it up to look its best.

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    The bike has almost new tires on it too!
    Except that they were new 10 years ago and have been sitting outside flat for those years and the sidewalls are all cracked. What a waste.

    I removed the front tire and cleaned the wheel up and it looked pretty good until I put the axle back in and spun it. :eek1
    It spins like a potato chip. :cry That is one bent up rim. Argh!

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    The Magura levers look good to use also, and the handlebars are straight (amazing!) and look correct for the Rickman to me so I will use them. The Can-Am also supplied the Magura trap door throttle to use.

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    This picture shows the Honda front end with the Can-Am handlebars and new levers I bought.
    Will most likely use the Magura levers now that I have them though.

    So, I may get new spokes and put the Honda rim on the Can-Am hub to mate with the Betor forks with the new springs I got from Rickman (that did not fit in the Honda forks) that fit perfectly and use the Betor clamps. That will give me the proper offset for correct trail. New spokes would make a world of difference in looks as well as the fact that I could actually true the rim without spokes breaking from rust in the nipple. :cry
    #48
  9. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Wow! You scored some nice bits off the Can Am.

    Probably be able to sell what's left too.

    Check Buchanan's for heavy duty rustless spokes. I like the shot blasted stainless steel ones, they look like cad plate but never rust.
    #49
  10. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Couple of wheels on Ebay right now in my area (Los Angeles).

    Just Ebay search BSA wheel. Put in within 50 miles of 91711. Should come up quickly.
    #50
  11. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Jaglite,
    Love love love Rickmans!
    Bless you.
    In 1973 when I was 9 yrs old I had moved up from my mini enduro 60 to a DT 125 Yami and there was a Yamaha dealership in Lawndale Ca on Hawthorne Blvd { don't know why I can't remeber the name of that shop, chime in if anyone remebers} and they were also Rickman dealer. They had a Rickman there that looked the same as a Metisse body work and frame wise but it had a Puch or Zundapp or something 125cc in it. I wanted it bad but my dad was not going to spend that kind of cash on a punk 9 yr old and he hated Euro motors for reliability compared to his beloved Japanese bikes.

    Then one day we walk in to buy parts for his bullet proof Yamaha that had seized {:huh ozymoron I guess} and they had some custom built Rickman that had a Yamaha DT 125 motor in it....:cry PLEASEEEEEEEEE daddy, I want it, buy it for me.

    He thought about it right up till he saw the price tag....don't remeber how much but I know it was alot more than a standard Yami.

    Keep it up Jag.

    If I may put my $0.02 in I do not really like that top triple tree there. Those canted back bar clamps just look wrong to me for a Rickman. I think you are figuring it out that sometime trying to finagle some odd part to fit is more than just buying the right part the first time....Glad to see some Betor forks on there and not the Crappy Jappy Showa junk. JMHO though.
    #51
  12. Bambi

    Bambi Been here awhile

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    Hi there,
    just for the record: those Rickmans with the small engines were called Micro Metisse.
    And yes, yes, yes I love Metisses since I saw the first one. And it carried a Triumph Twin which is the best combination I think!
    Good luck with the build and kind regards, Bambi
    #52
  13. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Bambi,
    Thanks for the info. I had never heard micro metisse before. I do not know if the one I wanted said that on it, but I can not remember much more than I wanted THAT one.

    I would also agree BIG time that the big twin Metisse is by far the coolest of the Rickmans, but when you are 9 or 10 is even starting one was tough, a 125 was just right....for another year or 2...:wink:

    Now the only one I would spend any REAL money on would be a 650 Trumpet Metisse.
    #53
  14. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    I agree with you there.
    I never cared for the rearset bar mounts but they were considered the "hot ticket" back in the mid '60's.
    Steve McQueen had them on his Rickman as did many others.
    They used a BSA top clamp for the rearset bar mounts.
    Metisse Motorcycles uses the same BSA top clamp on their overpriced replicas.
    Take a look at the pictures:
    http://www.metisse-motorcycles.com/stevemcqueen.htm

    I will be using the Betor clamps though as I like having the bars farther forward.
    I am 6'-4" and need all the room I can get.

    The Micro Metisse came from the factory with a 125 Sacks (?) engine, or as a rolling chassis for any engine you could fit.
    I was racing mx in '72 on my new Honda SL100 that cost $425 new out the door.
    The Rickman dealer close by had a new Micro Metisse roller on the show room floor and it was $550 with NO engine.
    So, yes, they were very expensive. :cry

    One fellow racer had a Honda SL125 (4 stroke) engine in a Micro Metisse and it looked so good and sounded so neat! :clap
    Rickman Motorcycles sells the parts for the Micro as well as the full size bikes.
    http://www.rickman-motorcycles.com/parts-and-prices.php

    Thanks for the comments everyone! :D
    #54
  15. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    #55
  16. r77toy

    r77toy Been here awhile

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    Harry D Foster Yamaha.
    #56
  17. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Thanks 77. I knew someone would remember. We had a buddy that worked at T&O Yamaha in Lomita so we got most of our stuff there, but Harry D was a bit closer and a great back up resource if T&O didn't have something.

    Jag,
    I am glad you were not offended at my comment. I am 6'0" so not real tall, but I almost always change my triple clamps on my MX bikes to move the bars up and forward. Those clamps to lower and pull back the bars just seem uncomfortable to me.
    But I do think that with the riding style neccesary back then of carrying the front on jumps and using throttle to drop it slower maybe the bars being back a bit helped that kind of body position required to ride that style.

    It was a big change for me to learn the newer riding style of landing on the front wheel at full throttle to drive out of a jump.
    I took a few years off from MX racing from the mid 80s and got back to it in the mid 90s and man what a difference in Forks and that has changed riding styles alot.

    When I was young the forks, even the best of Cerriani or whatever else, were still a bit noodley and if you landed on the front wheel there was a chance the wheel would deflect and you were swappin ends. In the 90s when forks got USD and MUCH stiffer in the flex area it was completely different. That precise throttle control to arch the jump just right and land on the rear wheel and put all of the power down that you could but not loop out and bring the front down slowly was very different than now days. Now you want to land on the front wheel {within reason} and at full throttle which drives out the landing and keeps the rear suspension loaded. Took me a while to get that style down, but it is faster I think than before, but less stylish than rear wheel steering and wheelies everywhere.

    Sorry for any hijack. Please build on and keep the beautiful pics coming. Seems like you really have a handle on the project now.
    PS: not sure I would spend the money on a micro Metisse if I could afford that, I would just spend the extra bucks and build the trumpet powered big boy like you.
    #57
  18. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    That was the magic of the Rickman - power standing off jumps and huge full lock slides out of turns. The new tracks can't be ridden like that, and your way is much faster of course. You don't buy a Rickman if you want to ride modern tracks in the modern style.
    #58
  19. syntec4

    syntec4 Long timer

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    This is a good thread. Keep going :clap

    i spotted this one racing this year at Cholmondley.

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    #59
  20. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    Thanks Syntec!
    That is a beautiful action shot of a Rickman at work.
    I always smile when I read how dangerous a low mount front fender (mudguard) is and that no dirt bike should have one.
    Yet all the early scrambles bikes had them and often raced in mud.

    I have a Yamaha TW200 that has a low front fender and often get flack for not changing it.
    I do agree that it is much more likely to clog up but i rarely ride in deep mud anyway.

    A Rickman, like any heavy dirt bike with very limited suspension, just can't be ridden like a modern mx bike.
    I think there is a lot of appeal to the old machines.
    I have a lot of interest and appreciation for airplanes with radial engines.
    Modern jets are so far advanced in every way but they don't interest me at all.

    Modern bikes are just phenomenal in power, handling, braking, and quality.
    And that is what I like to ride most of the time, but sometimes it is a treat to relive the days when the "4 stroke dinosaurs ruled the land and thunder shook the ground".

    I am going to get that put on a tee shirt.
    #60