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Rickman motorcycles were produced from 1961 to 1976, by brothers
Don and Derek Rickman, who started their company in 1957 and formally
incorporated Rickman Bros Ltd. in 1962.
The brothers had had many successful years in scrambles but wanted better
machines to ride. As a result they combined the Triumph
twin engine with BSA frame to form the
Tribsa, fitted with Norton
1961-1964 By 1961 their machine, known as the Metisse (French for
mongrel or crossbreed), had been developed to have their own light and
elegant frame, nickel plated with glass-fibre tank, seat base, tail unit
and air-filter panels. The brothers then offered their design to the industry
who turned it down, so they manufactured complete machines and kits themselves.
A choice of engines could be used, the most usual being Triumph,
BSA and Matchless.
The standard of manufacture and finish was top class, so the machines were
highly popular and a competition success.
1965 Other projects had come the brothers' way, including the Bultaco
Metisse scrambler. That year they had their first involvement with
road racing and built frames for an AJS7R and a MatchlessG50 and fitted them with disc brakes following the involvment of
Lockheed on that aspect.
1969 The Street Metisse appeared as a very sleek and road-racing-styled
machine, usually fitted with a Triumph-twin
1970 There was also a model with a Royal
EnfieldInterceptor engine. A quantity of those motorcycles
were made and sold in the UK as the Rickman Enfield.
A lightweight was built for the American market, powered by a 125cc Zundapp
engine unit. After that came a version with a 250cc Montesa engine. Some
machines were also sold to police forces. Further versions of the Street
Metisse were designed to carry the larger Japanese engines. Following
on from that they produced accessories such as fairings, top boxes and
crash bars. The original scrambles design was passed on.
1976 At about that time, the production of Rickman motorcycle came
to a stop, although the other products continued.
At one time the Rickman brothers built BMX bicycles, and
later went into kit cars. Of their accessories, many remain in production.
Rickman Motorcycles have a dedicated web site.