This week's collection comes from Jack Martin III:
"Here are a few pictures of a jewel of a motocross bike, a ’71 Rickman Micro Metisse. This bike is now a part of Tom White’s collection and will soon be on display at his The Early Years of Motocross Museum (www.earlyyearsofmx.com).
I had originally purchased this little beauty off of eBay to restore for Curtis Keller to ride at vintage races in Texas. Curtis is the older son of Carl Keller, one of the best vintage racers in the Lone Star State and the man who got me back into motorcycles after a nearly 30 year hiatus. After buying a CZ250 from a friend of Carl, I had been on the lookout for a Rickman for some time. I appreciated the tremendous role the Rickman brothers had played in the development of race ready motocross bikes for the common rider and had a friend who absolutely flew on one of these in the days before the little Elsinore blew everything else off of the tracks of South Texas. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found one in Houston, only 2 ½ hours away. Unfortunately, tragedy intervened and Curtis was severely injured in a practice crash at Swan Motocross Park in Tyler, only three days after I picked up the bike and just days short of his 13th birthday. Curtis survived over two months in a coma and is now doing well, all things considered, but he won’t be riding again any time soon.
The plan then became to restore the little Rickman and auction it off with the proceeds to be donated towards Curtis’ recovery. Unfortunately, while the bike appeared to be in fantastic original condition, the top end was shot; a broken ring having gouged the Zundapp’s chrome cylinder. Top end parts proved to be impossible to find and the planned restoration ground to a halt.
While looking for parts, I came upon Tom’s The Early Years of Motocross Museum website. While I was amazed by Tom’s incredible collection of motocross iron, I was also touched by the story of Tom and his son, Brad, who suffered a severe brain injury in a motorcycling accident. I thought that Tom might be able to provide some insight for Carl in dealing with Curtis’s injuries and contacted him. Tom was very gracious and provided Carl with advice and encouragement.
Last September, Carl and I went to the Motocross of Nations at Budds Creek
. As we were leaving the track after the two most incredible days of racing I had ever witnessed (and I was at Weinert's first Trans-Am win by an American and the "Let Brock Bye" race), we bumped into Tom. Carl and Tom got a chance to meet face to face and I came to realize there was a proper home for the Micro Metisse. These pictures were taken the night I shipped it to Tom in California.
I would really like to write a proper history of the bike for display with it at the museum. I recently learned from the AMA's museum website that the Rickman brothers were commissioned by the BSA distributor for the U.S. to develop the line of two stroke production Metisses (powered by engines from Montesa (250), Zundapp (125) and Hodaka (100) to fill out its motocross line.
Aside from that, I know little about the development of these bikes. If anyone has a copy of "The Rickman Story
", a book about the Rickman brothers that was published in England in 2002, I would really like to borrow it for research purposes. Also, I would love to contact the Rickmans for this purpose and would appreciate it if anyone could forward me an address or other contact information for either Don and Derek or both. You can contact me at [email protected]
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