Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Anyone for Métisse?

Watchers of Henry Cole's World's Greatest Motorcycle journey in South Africa would have seen some incompetent mechanics overfilling the oil in tube oil system and surmising that the overflow was caused by a cracked frame.  The sceptre of negative publicity is I guess one of the reasons that KTM did not not provide Ewan and Charley with machines for their venture Long Way Round. (Another explanation is Austrians just behaving like Austrians).

I digress.  I really want to show some pictures taken during my recent visit to the his attempt to the Métisse factory.  The heritage of this company is a little convoluted but  essentially the story was started by the Rickman Brothers (read about their motorcycles here ------> LINK).

A rather incongruous setting in Oxfordshire for a factory but I guess it's in the South Midlands, near the grubby West Midlands where they used to make things out of metal pre Mrs Thatcher

The show room is work in progress

Traditionally Rickman was a frame builder but now Metisse have developed an engine and gearbox building on the mistakes made by Triumph

The quality of this new 997 Cafe Racer model* is quite outstanding - the frame is nickel plated as the factory standard

Royal patronage

A gear box output shaft of quality (more anon.)

A desert racer in assembly - Triumph engine

Rickman is mentioned on some machines

Steve McQueen Métisse Desert Racer, which are replicas of a motorcycle raced by actor Steve McQueen in 1966 and 1967. McQueen's bike, which used a Métisse frame, was built by the actor and his friend, stuntman Bud Ekins.

Nickel plated frame spoilt only by electrics and tie wraps!

Frame production for Henry Cole's new venture

Frame in jig

The back shed collection!

Desert Racer logo signed by Steve.
* I want one!


  1. Bud Ekins, wasn't that the guy who jumped the fence in The Great Escape?

    PS: I want one, too. Let's negotiate a discount, shall we?

  2. N that looks like a great visit, how on earth did you manage that? I trust you managed to smuggle a frame out for your next project.

  3. I don't want one in my living room!
    My friend's brother one took his bike apart in his bedroom... it was quite a sight.

    1. Did he ever get it together again or was some crucial bit lost in the duvet?

  4. Looks really interesting. Yes, I wondered how you got a visit there. Are you a member, perchance, of the Carswell Golf and Country Club?

  5. Not as such Walter, I belong to the BMW owners club and they, it seems, have connections!


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