Then in March 1959 without any advance publicity, the secret was out. MCN proclaimed to their readership of 77,000 the “Rickman Bulbarrow Bombshell” The first motorcycle which had been built over the winter months in great secrecy.
Don & Derek Richman had thoughts of naming this motorcycle “Mongrel”, but after searching through a French dictionary the magic word Métis/Métisse was found. So Métisse it was and specifically the female of the species. Enduring, worldwide and world-class.
Soon their distinctive designs allowed them to expand their business, which proved to be so successful that in 1973 they received the prestigious Queen’s Award to Industry.
In 1980 the Rickman brothers ceased motorcycle manufacture and around that time the original tooling and the remainder of the stock was sold off.
In 1982 a talented and enthusiastic engineer called Pat French purchased all of the company’s assets and set about making Mk IV framed machines. When the pre-65 classic scramble series started, the Mk IV did not qualify for these events as it was manufactured after the cut-off date. This meant that the Mk III Metisse came back into production, fitting neatly into the regulations.
Production continued until the mid-90’s when the economic recession forced a decrease in production due to lack of demand. To maintain its existence Métisse enthusiast Gerry Lisi put forward a partnership proposal to see the company through its difficult time. A new factory was constructed at Carswell, Oxfordshire and the partnership continued up to Pat’s retirement.
In October 2007 Derek and Don Rickman were honoured in the American Motorcycle Hall of Fame for their contribution to motorcycle competition and manufacture.