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Rickman Motorcycles

1965 Rickman Metisse 650 Mark III

Rickman-1965-Metisse-650-Mark-III.jpg
1965 Rickman Metisse 650 Mark III
Engine Number: NG38336
$18,000 - $22,000

Glorious Mongrel

In many ways, the quintessential British dirt bike, the 1965 Rickman Metisse, is an arresting machine. Stylistically in a class of its own with free-flowing fibreglass work, the T120 powerplant was skilfully knitted into the glorious Rickman Metisse nickel-plated frames that delivered a new age of performance for the serious privateer. It was established by Derek and Don Rickman, whose names graced some of the best-looking high achievers in the field and, as much as they produced frames for Triumph, BSA and Matchless, they also traversed into the elite classes with frames for the AJS 7R. Further still, the emergence of the Japanese super bikes such as the CB750 and the Kawasaki Z1 had the Rickman brothers building for a new generation of demanding riders. Innovation included building the first frames to use disc brakes front and rear (a joint venture with Lockheed), the use of large-diameter forks and oil carried in the frame to help dissipate heat and reduce weight. With this, it is somewhat disappointing to think that the Rickmans’ main challenge was a lack of supply of powerplants with the major factories refusing to sell them stand-alone powerplants – hence a kitset business model. One has to wonder what might have been if the incumbents had cooperated with the Rickman brothers at a time when the modern rider was obviously craving a high state of frame geometry and handling performance. The bike has Boyer Bransden electronic ignition and Bonneville cams. It is an easy starter: smooth, loud and fast. This bike was ridden by trail great Mick Andrews from New Zealand to several race wins during his visit to the US. This Rickman also won the AHRMA National in the Sportsman Open Twin Expert class in Tennessee in 1998 and 1999.

Auction March 2013
Image and text courtesy Webbs Auction House NZ
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