Alexandra Kometovna

Petite Métisse. The 1965 Rickman Bultaco 250CC

Alexandra Kometovna
Petite Métisse. The 1965 Rickman Bultaco 250CC

photography by LIONEL KORETZKY

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In 1963, British motocross riders Don and Derek Rickman built a new kind of dirt bike using a Spanish-made Bultaco engine. The brothers sold frame kits on the side, and knew there was a market for it. They even had a name: The Rickman Bultaco 250cc Petite Métisse, French for “small mongrel.” In order to convince the Catalonian motorcycle manufacturer to sell them more engines, however, they had to turn over the plans and agree not to export their bike to the States, where Bultaco was making inroads. Once they had the engines, the Rickmans found a loophole: they could ship them in parts! Today, there are five known examples of their pirated Bultaco in the U.S., like the one you see here, all of them in British racing green. Should the fact that it’s the product of a great betrayal make it any less sweet? — Christopher Tennant

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Photographed at the Bultaco Motorcycle Museum, Craryville, New York, January 2015.