Friday, October 25, 2013

Take a Retro Tour on a rare Rickman Metisse

Retro Tours takes you for a ride on their Rickman Metisse.
As if owning a dozen Royal Enfield motorcycles of his own wasn't enough, a reader named Brian recently rented a ride on a Royal Enfield powered Rickman Metisse.

"Last weekend I went out to Kennett Square, Pa. to take part in this guy Joel's Retro Tours," Brian wrote. "The main reason I went there was because he has a Rickman Interceptor (to ride)... I couldn't pass up the chance to ride it!

Metisse is powerful, fast and rare.
"Joel Samick and his wife Lynn are super nice folks... By the way the Rickman was super cool!"

Back in 1970, after Royal Enfield went out of business in Britain, the Rickman Metisse was the happy result of a few left over Royal Enfield Interceptor motors being tucked into a light, modern frame. They are fast, rare and valuable.

Rickman was marketed "for the Connoisseur."
The Retro Tours website provides specifics:

"Although the bars clip onto the fork tubes, they reach way up and back, producing an upright, feet-forward riding position. Weird, but hey, it’s British. Besides, the damn thing works.

Touring on a Rickman Metisse.
"Riding it is exciting, with the all-up weight of 375 pounds being lunged forward by the torquey motor. The suspension is firm but top-notch, and steering is impeccable. The frame is gorgeous, with nickel plating and perfect hand-formed gas welds, but its real beauty lies in the way this thing handles. Lockheed brakes haul everything down RIGHT NOW, with terrific feel and sensitivity. Alloy rims carrying Dunlop K81s help keep things planted. The engine dominates with its big, thudding power curve. Even with handlebar end weights to quell vibration, a few hours in the saddle will still let you know how a real man feels on a real machine."

Retro Tours offers the Metisse and a wide variety of other 1970s-era motorcycles (riders swap mounts in the course of a tour but one of them is your "baby").

Insurance, overnight accommodations and breakfast is $75 a day. Other meals, gas, oil and tolls are extra "and you may be asked to assist with repairs." Here is the fee schedule.

They assume you'll be flying into Philadelphia, Pa. or Wilmington, Del. The bikes aren't the only attraction of these multi-day tours. According to one recent ride report the website:

"The pleasure of sharing our passion for riding classic motorcycles and the freedom of the open back roads makes every Retro Tour special. Yes, it’s about the machines but it’s also about the people and the shared experience: camaraderie."

The final Retro Tour of this year is Nov. 9-10. You can view the schedule of rides here. The 2014 schedule should be out the second week in December and the first scheduled ride of the season is generally in the end of April.

A side note: Brian's own collection of Royal Enfields includes another rare motorcycle: a sharp looking Royal Enfield Turbo Twin. I featured this very motorcycle when it was for sale in 2009.

Brian, who lives in Central New Jersey, wrote that he has put about 4,000 miles on the Turbo Twin and competes on it in the MotoGiro event in the Northeast. He used to take his classic Continental GT but prefers the Turbo Twin.

"The Turbo Twin is very comfortable and runs flawlessly," he writes.
Brian and his Turbo Twin at MotoGiro.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10/25/2013

    A guy who I was a Apprentice with in my youth had a Royal Enfield Turbo twin like this it was mint condition, I have never seen one for years neat bikes though back in the day...


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