The Great British Adventure

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Rickman Metisse Mk3: A Great British Bike
18 July | Classics

As popular today as it was with Steve McQueen, we take the legendary Rickman Metisse Mk3 for a ride.

Rickman MetisseIf it's good enough for Steve McQueen, it's good enough for anyone, whether you're talking clothes, cars, or motorcycles. That icon of discerning, effortless style was a fan of the Rickman Metisse, a now-legendary British-born two-wheeler which first emerged in the late 1950s.

Back then, it was a technically-superior bike, full of innovative advances. And while it may no longer be at the cutting-edge in tech terms, what remains unchanged is the esteem in which the bike is held. Not only is each model still hugely sought-after, they are still every bit as eye-catching and memorable to look at, as when they first rolled off the production line.

But most important of all, they're still a joy to ride. We took one out for a spin recently: a Mk3 model, dating from the mid-1960s, as famous for its racing success and it's cult status with the likes of McQueen. This, after all, is a bike which won motocross events like the Moto Cross des Nations, not to mention countless 250cc and 500cc Grand Prix at home and abroad.

We took one out across the roads in a remote part of Scotland - we had to travel that far to get our hands (and the rest of our bodies) on one - and the first things to hit home were the handling and the sound.

Built for racing, the bike is a joy to handle. It corners like a dream. It's responsive and subtle. It feels somehow both incredibly lively and completely controllable at once. It is bike which seems to be forever encouraging you to go that little bit faster. It was all we could do to restrain ourselves and stay well-behaved.

We managed it, but no thanks to the symphony in metal that is the engine noise. It howls, it growls - it even screeches occasionally - and every rumble and roar is felt. It feels like a vital and relevant machine in 2016; quite how it must have felt in the 1960s is mind-boggling.

After an hour or so on the Mk3, it's clear why, despite the growing popularity and improved engineering from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers that took place throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the status of Metisse bikes remained so high. There is a hand-built, expertly-engineered quality to them - an intangible but very real feeling that love and obsession, rather than automated, computerised precision, has helped build each one.

Brothers Derek and Don Rickman - both successful motocross riders, and the men responsible for starting the Metisse story - would almost certainly agree. As they would with our instruction: to seek out one of these memorable bikes at the earliest opportunity.


At Farer, we are passionate about creating products that make the perfect companion for life’s adventures. Our watches are named after iconic British explorers - the most inspiring individuals who perfectly define the true spirit of Farer.


Finance available on orders between £300 and £2000.

Finance optionInterest Free Finance 0% (6 Months)
Purchase Price£420.00
Deposit to pay£42.00
Amount of Credit£378.00
Monthly payments£63.00
Amount of intrest£0.00
Number of Monthly Payments6
Total Amount Payable£420.00
Rate of Interest (Fixed per annum)0% (Fixed)
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We act as a credit broker and not a lender and can introduce you to Close Brothers Retail Finance. Terms and Conditions apply. Finance subject to status. Applicants must be 18 or over and resident in the UK. Finance provided by Close Brothers Retail Finance, a trading style of Close Brothers Limited – a subsidiary of Close Brothers Group Plc. Registered Office: 10 Crown Place, London, EC2A 4FT.



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