Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Rickman Specials by Robert Simpson
Robert Simpson wrote in when he saw some pictures I posted of his bikes in earlier posts. I've never met him personally but I've seen his bikes up close (when I photographed them at Daytona) and they are simply outstanding.
A little timeline for you.
The Black Honda, stock 1973 rolling chassis with Dunstall hand and foot controls and Read Titan bodywork came to me originally thought to be all Dunstall. I started that bike, then the orange Rickman, which I had been pestering the previous owner for almost 20 years, came my way, crashed, but not bent. That one took a year to complete. Attachment above shows photo of me with the Rickman Brothers at last years AMA Concourse event. Got back to the Read Titan bike, finished it, then got a call from Craig Vetter, who raced the green Rickman back in the day. He gave the AMA museum that bike back in the 90's when they inducted him into the Hall of Fame. He wanted the bike restored for the upcoming "Cafe Specials" display at Mid O in July, as well as a show at the ACE Cafe in London in September. I spent all Winter getting it ready for the RIH event, which it never made it to as you know. Craig Vetter has been tracking the restoration on his website if your interested. www.craigvetter.com Go to "motorcycle design" then find the link to "Vetter Rickman racing", follow that to the bottom of the page and see "restoration".
Nickel is gorgeous, if it's not too badly corroded. I was fortunate in not having to replate either frame. I'm told chrome is too brittle for real bikes, but not show bikes. I'm also not sure how easy it is to get nickel done these days due to environmental issues.
I feel your pain concerning 2 stroke triples. I grew up in a Kaw/Suzuki shop in the late 60's/early 70's. I just sold a 69 H-1, already regretting that. Still own my original 1971 T350 and 1972 GT-750 Suzuki's as well as a Canadian Model RZ350. Given the increased interest in 2 stroke triples, this is one trend I might actually be ahead of.
Keep up the good work.