On this planet of classic desert sleds, the Rickman Triumph Métisse reigns supreme. It was a fairly legit scrambler in its day, and in addition considered one of best-looking bikes from that period.
For VTR Customs boss Dani Weidmann, although, there’s an excellent deeper connection. Again within the 80s, 17-year-old Dani took an apprenticeship at an organization referred to as Meier & Lutziger—the Swiss importer of Rickman frames and components. Dani fell in love with the fashionable design of those throwback sleds.
When the VTR Customs crew had been not too long ago capturing the breeze over espresso—and reminiscing in regards to the previous—the concept of constructing a Métisse reproduction popped up. And since VTR is the custom arm of the BMW supplier Stucki2Rad, it could possibly be primarily based on the BMW R nineT. Similar to that, the ‘Bétisse’ was born.
“Since we knew very properly how the ‘Bétisse’ ought to look,” Dani tells us, “the design was executed in a short time. A gasoline tank, seat and tail mixture within the basic Métisse fashion.”
The unique Métisse physique kits had been fiberglass—however VTR want working with aluminum. So their head tech and ‘alloy godfather’ Cello Brauchli whipped up a full complement of hand-made physique components.
“I feel Cello prayed to God that, sooner or later, we’re gonna have easier concepts,” quips Dani. “After producing the Spitfire, we nonetheless concern he may kill us sooner or later.”
Cello nailed the traces; hints of the unique Rickman design are unmistakable. Nevertheless it took some under-the-hood work to get proper too. The design referred to as for a straight fly line entrance to again, however because of strict Swiss rules, the principle body couldn’t be modded.
So VTR took inspiration from one other R nineT custom they’d seen, and constructed a bolt-on subframe to run the size of the bike.
It’s superbly crafted, and in addition accommodates a custom-built air consumption that replaces the inventory unit, on the precise. Look on the opposite aspect, and also you’ll spot an identical air field cowl. The brand new association additionally referred to as for a severe wiring cleanups.
The unique airbox remains to be in play, however the exhaust is totally bespoke. It options custom two-into-one headers, terminating in a modified Akrapovič connector and finish can.
“This can be a pure ‘racing solely’ answer,” says Dani. (The bike comes with a further, road authorized system from Hattech.)
The crew deviated from the supply materials on the livery a bit. An OG British Racing Inexperienced paint job was on the playing cards, but it surely felt too on-the-nose. So VTR opted for child blue, polished alloy, and gold highlights, with reproduction ‘Bétisse’ logos. Paint store Freuler over in Benken sorted it out for the blokes.
The body needed to be interval right although, and that meant nickel-plating it. However Swiss legal guidelines bought in the way in which once more (one thing alongside the traces of influencing the body’s structural integrity).
So VTR nervously switched to a nickel-esque powder coating as a substitute—and breathed a sigh of aid when the outcomes got here again.
One obviously fashionable contact nonetheless remained: the R nineT’s motor and drivetrain are all black. So the blokes took the model new BMW, and stripped it proper all the way down to refinish it.
“Essentially the most shitty job,” Dani tells us, “was the sandblasting and glass pearl ending of the engine. Stefano did this, so as to not stress Cello out much more.”
From there on out, it was a case of dressing the Bétisse in the precise ending equipment. VTR began with BMW’s personal Possibility 719 billet equipment, together with foot controls, valve covers and the motor’s entrance ‘breastplate.’ They picked the clear alloy end, however painted the cylinder heads black themselves, with some contrasting traces and lettering.
The cockpit was handled to a set of Renthal MX bars, new grips, and Magura grasp cylinders. Inspiration for the headlight got here straight out of the 60s, with a intentionally “ugly, frog eyes and massive plate look.” Out again, a pair of Kellermann tail gentle LEDs had been sunk into tunnels within the rear part.
Traditional grime bikes didn’t sit as excessive as their fashionable counterparts, so VTR debated at size whether or not they need to jack up the R nineT Scrambler’s suspension. In the long run, they fitted a brand new shock and forks from Wilbers, with a 7 cm raise at each ends.
Then they added an 80s hit, with a pair of gold wheels from Kineo. They’re wrapped in Continental TKC80 tires, measuring 120/70 19” in entrance, and 170/60 17” out again.
Ultimate touches embody a small, hand-made fender up entrance, and leather-based upholstery on the seat by VTR’s upholsterer, Yves Knobel.
It didn’t shock us to be taught that the Bétisse was offered earlier than it was even completed. “It’s discovered a house alongside another VTR Customs, inside a daily consumer’s storage,” Dani tells us. We simply hope it doesn’t keep within the storage too lengthy.
Should you’re hoping to order your personal Bétisse, we have now some dangerous information. Not one of the components can be found in equipment or full type—every little thing was made particularly for this construct.
“Considered one of our consumer guarantees,” says Dani, “is that we construct single and distinctive bikes, and that no copies will ever be reproduced by us.”
VTR Customs | Fb | Instagram | Pictures by Marc Holstein