Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Rickman

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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 madeit into 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 forks.

  • 1961-1964 By 1961 their machine, known as the Métisse (French fro 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 Métisse scrambler. That year they had their first involvement with road racing and built frames for an AJS 7R and a Matchless G50 and fitted them with disc brakes following the involvment of Lockheed on that aspect.
  • 1969 The Street Métisse appeared as a very sleek and road-racing-styled machine, usually fitted with a Triumph-twin engine unit.
  • 1970 There was also a model with a Royal Enfield Interceptor 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 Métisse 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.


  • Note:
    • 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. [1]


National Motorcycle Museum exhibits:-

  • 1960 Rickman Metisse MkII


Sources of Information

  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [2] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site
  • [3] Cyber Motor Cycles web site
  • [4] Miscellaneous A-Z Classic and Vintage Motorcycles web site
  • [5] The A-Z of Historic, Classic, Vintage and Veteran Motorcycles web site
  • Miller’s Price Guide to Classic Motorcycles