1967 Metisse Steve McQueen Desert Racer
A stunning example of the Metisse Framed Triumph T120, based heavily on the Steve McQueen recreation that Metisse made in 2008. The frame is a genuine 1967 Metisse complete with dating certificate and road registered with an age related plate. The Triumph T120 engine is freshly rebuilt to the specs used in the McQueen Metisse bikes having only covered around 100 miles. The bike is ready to go, having been checked over and serviced as a matter of course ready for her new owner.
British brothers Don and Derek Rickman were motocross champions and innovators. Both began their scrambles careers in the 1950s riding BSA Gold Stars, while the brothers’ first ‘special’ consisted of a BSA duplex frame, Triumph T100 engine, BSA gearbox and Norton forks. It was given the French name Metisse, translatable as ‘mongrel,’ reflecting the bike’s varied makeup. In 1959 came a purpose-built Metisse frame and within a decade their company would grow to become one of the biggest and best-known independent motorcycle frame-makers. An enormous success, the Mk III frame was produced in substantial quantities, proving popular for scrambles use, and as a desert racer in the Southwestern U.S. Eventually unable to compete with the Japanese factories, the Rickmans gave up frame making in the early 1980s, the rights to their designs passing to Pat French’s firm, MRD Metisse, which continued to cater for the increasing ‘classic’ market.
Adaptable to a wide variety of four-stroke singles and twins, the original MKIII frames seem tailor-made for the Triumph 650 twin, as seen here. Actor/desert racer Steve McQueen was a satisfied Rickman Metisse customer and is quoted as saying, Mine ‘is the best-handling bike I’ve ever owned. And the power – it’s like supersonic.’