Rickman and all things Metisse.

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Wildebeest90210, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. redjay

    redjay Adventurer

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    I bought a T100A in the U.K in 1969. If I remember correctly it was a 1959 model in black with the nacelle upfront and the bathtub at the rear.
    It was 40 quid. I spent a fortune on it and sold it for 45 quid.
    I bought a brand new Rickman 650 Bonneville in 74 from Tony Jefferies in Shipley. It was 800 quid.
    I put 750 Morgo barrels on it and sold it in 75 for 600 quid. Nothing but trouble. A Honda CB400F replaced it.
  2. Tallbloke

    Tallbloke Adventurer

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    8pm tonight on ITV4
    Steve McQueen - Motorcycle Movie Star
    Let the Metisse spotting commence!

    Redjay: Bought a Z650 in 1982 for £600. It handled like a drunken elephant compared to my Tiger 90. Sold it for £550. Bought a crashed Commando for £350, rode it round Europe without a problem.

    Bought my Rickman -MRD Metisse XT550 in 1987 for £600 as an abused non runner. Built new road-riding spec wheels and fettled various bits. It's the best handling bike I've ever ridden. The bike kept me in front of all the 'fast jappers' on my 'B' road territory for years because no-one could stay with the Rickman through the twisties. Even with only a 37 horsepower single propelling it. The T100A motor deal has fallen through. I'm going to rebuild the XT550 motor, again.

    Sorry you had a bad experience with yours. Mid-70s Meriden Bonnie motors were notoriously unreliable. You've missed out on something really special.
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  3. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    In 1975 I paid $400 for the Rickman, and a bit later $500 for the ex Ivan Miller Cheney, both minus engines. Engines were easy to find, although their histories were dubious.
  4. redjay

    redjay Adventurer

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    Tallbloke.
    Not all the problems were related to the engine. The Rickman alloy gas tank leaked at a weld, the gear linkage snapped where the adjustment nut was welded on.
    A gearbox issue was there was a nut on the end of the gearbox mainshaft that was not tabbed over at the factory which caused the shaft to float and the gearbox wrecked a few gears. The nickel plating on the Rickman frame was starting to rust after only a year.

    The final straw was the engine seized on the motorway. The bike was off the road more than on. I spent the summer going back and fro to Tony Jefferies in Shipley to get the parts to repair the Rickman. He was buying new Triumphs and stripping them down and building brand new Rickman Bonnevilles and selling off the rest of the Triumph parts for spares. When the Rickman was going well it was fun to ride, but after a year of unreliability I did not trust it anymore.
  5. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer

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    Recently Metisse (rather than Rickman) suffered 'Henry Cole South Africa' syndrome. He tried to tour SA on a Steve McQueen desert race replica and failed bad. Wrong bike for the job, poor prep and unfortunately quality ain't what it used to be.

    RICKMAN METISSE STEVE McQUEEN "DESERT RACER"
    Anyone watching Henry Cole doing The Worlds greatest motor cycles rides? seen em all up to press. Route 66, New Zealand, Australia, Scandinavia on some insane chops. So he decides to do South Africa, and goes to Rickman for a hand built copy of the Steve McQueen Metisse desert racer with Triumph twin motor.

    Shipped it over there and starts riding, almost immediately develops an oil leak and chunky rear tyre starts to fall apart. Covered about 750 miles and both
    rear shocks snapped of at the top mounts. Got it to a garage and sorted shocks, then found that the frame was cracked, and being as it was an oil in frame found out where the oil is coming from!

    He had to leave the bike behind and call on KTM for a favour and lend him one to continue. I would have gone ballistic to have that happen to a brand new bike. Not a very good advert for Rickman who I guess will have some explaining to do.


    A lot of people I meet while riding mine mention this, it didn't work well for Metisse. Mine is a Pat French frame and therefore shit hot! 20 years old and the plating is A1 and welds beautiful. I know Metisse no longer have their octogenarian bronze welder and Henry Cole and Co no longer use Metisse for their Gladstone frames, they followed the old chap. Metisse still knocking out the desert reps, they were doing 300 I think to finance the new twin which has also stalled somewhat due to costs of production motors (cast) Vs prototype (CNC) cases. I will take a trip over to Metisse sometime to see what's happening, they are local to me and report back. Adrian Moss (Rickman) continue in Stroud I think the quality is still good, if slightly grumpy. WASP has had a resurgence with a young chap building for the hipsters, will report on that some time soon.
    For now though news in my monthly bike comics, the same Metisse in two at once, bit of a fox pass! Classic Bike and CBG both feature this bike built by JMC classics for an Aussie customer, cost of £55K!!!!!!! Nice but ........ I think a Metisse (Faringdon) frame from Gerry with a Seeley arm and trident motor. Not sure who is running Seeley now?

    IMG_2794.JPG


    IMG_2795.JPG
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  6. Tallbloke

    Tallbloke Adventurer

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    My mate, Norton specialist Dale Middlehurst, had a bad crash when an IKON rear shock snapped on him. Not sure why KONI got out of the motorcycle suspension business, but I think that may have had something to do with unreliability of steel quality in the supply chain too. I buy units designed for heavier bikes, and put lighter springs on. A bit of extra weight and redundancy in mission-critical components is fine if you're not out to win medals. It makes the fluid work harder and gives a firmer, slightly over-damped ride, but I mostly like it that way.

    Totally agree that Pat French MRD frames are the business, though the nickel peeled off mine due to no copper backing - Pat was cross about that, his plater had ripped him off. I couldn't afford the re-nickel and polish job so I settled for silver powder coat. He only charged me £30 for that, as the peeling nickel wasn't my fault. I'd be very interested to compare the weight of my frame with an original Rickman MkIV. Pat said he used tubing with thicker walls at the joints. I can't remember the exact spec, but maybe Reynolds 7:3:2 rather than 5:3:1.

    RedJay: Tony Jefferies Shipley business went over to BMW...
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  7. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer

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    Todays autojumble purchase for my Metisse Monkey which I'll definitely do within the next 10 years!!!

    IMG_2797.JPG

    Rickman%20Pitbike%2001_zps4vxc2s3t.jpg
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  8. Thumpermeister

    Thumpermeister roost maker

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  9. roadholder

    roadholder Long timer

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  10. slowpoke28787

    slowpoke28787 Been here awhile

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    This bike is for sale at the Mecum Vegas auction. I will be interested in seeing what it brings. Haven't seen one come to market in a while. Sold my 1700 mile example a few years back and bought a 1968 Rickman Triumph CR.
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  11. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    Rich Thor Westlake.jpg

    The late great Rich Thorwaldson leading a desert race back in the early 70's on a BSA Westlake. Yeee Haw!
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  12. Thumpermeister

    Thumpermeister roost maker

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  13. Thumpermeister

    Thumpermeister roost maker

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  14. fixn2go

    fixn2go Colo. red dirt rider

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    Is there a picture of a Steen's / Rickman in this forum ?
  15. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    What would make a Rickman from Steen's different?
    I used to go in their shop and dream about buying a Mk III Matchless Metisse.
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  16. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    John Steen was a Rickman distributor, he also sold modified Hodakas and called them "Super Steen" or SS Hodaka. He also made the Allsport Steens "mini bikes" some with conventional forks some with leading link.

    Here is an interesting history of John Steen & all of the different things he was into: http://www.steenstacominibikes.com/steens_history.html

    SS Hodaka

    SS hodaka.jpg

    Allsport Steens:

    Alsport-Steen-Hodaka.jpg
    Alsport steen.jpg
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  17. Vintage pro

    Vintage pro Been here awhile

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    Some photo's of a Rickman 125 I built to finnish 2nd in the AHRMA National Championship Classic 125 Expert class in 2014/have'nt had much time since then. I was a Triumph BSA Rickman U.S. suport rider under Dennis Manning for Rickman in 1972/73/74. How many Husqvarna parts can you identify? As you can see it now has a reed valve for the sportsman class in AHRMA, with a one of a kind reed expansion chamber developed with computer software.

    Attached Files:

  18. Vintage pro

    Vintage pro Been here awhile

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    Back in 1968 I really wanted a Steens SS but instead got a 125 American Eagle 125 because of dealer was more acceptable.
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  19. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    I've got pics here I can't find of my old friend Donny Emler (and employer at FMF) when he rode both American Eagle & Rickman Zundapp powered bikes. He liked the Zundapp power best and one of his famous builds was the Pendapp, which was a Zundapp in a Penton frame. Here is a pic of the late Tim Hart on Donny's Pendapp:

    Tim Hart Pendapp.jpg
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  20. roadholder

    roadholder Long timer

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