Whatever Happened To...Mcqueen's Metisse Motorcycles?

England's Metisse Motorcycles Replicates The Iconic Movie Star's Classic Desert Sled

We associate many motorcycles with legendary actor Steve McQueen: the Triumph TR6 Trophy that co-starred in The Great Escape; another TR6-SC he raced in the 1964 ISDT; and, of course, the Husqvarna 400 Cross he roosted Malcolm Smith and Mert Lawwill with in On Any Sunday. If asked to pick his favorite, however, McQueen almost certainly would have chosen his Metisse-framed TR6. "This rig is the best-handling bike I've ever owned," he once said, describing his Bud Ekins-built Metisse in the November 1966 issue of Popular Science magazine.

At around the same time McQueen was tearing across the Mojave on his Metisse, up-and-coming UK scrambles racer Gerry Lisi likewise fell in love with the firm's proto-motocrossers. Lisi now owns Metisse Motorcycles (www.metisse-motorcycles.com), based in Oxfordshire, England, and he has chosen to honor his firm's rich history with a limited run of replica McQueen Metisses. Endorsed by Steve's son, Chad, the replicas are identical in every detail, including the nickel-plated "MkIII" frame, McQueen's preferred "Western-style" handlebars and the exact shade of battleship-gray paint. Vintage TR6 motors are refurbished with the correct Amal Monobloc carb, and unsilenced exhausts emit a gloriously guttural bark.

Metisse will make just 300 of the McQueen Replicas, each with the late movie star's signature reproduced on the tank, for $23,000 each. Considering the cost of actual McQueen memorabilia-his Wurlitzer jukebox sold for that same amount at auction-a McQueen Metisse is almost cheap, and certainly more fun to ride.