2010 Métisse 8v Mark 5

View from the Sidecar

| January/February 2010

2010 metisse 8v Mark 5 1

2010 Métisse 8v Mark 5.

2010 Métisse 8v Mark 5
Claimed power:
 97hp @ 8,000rpm
Top speed: 120mph (est.)
Engine type: 997cc DOHC air/oil-cooled parallel twin
Weight: 398lb (w/oil, no fuel)
Price: $26,500 (est.)
Availability: Early 2010

A quintessentially English golf club in the rolling Oxfordshire countryside is the unlikely home of a brand new British parallel twin motorcycle, the Métisse 8V Mark 5.

Although the Métisse name is usually associated with offroad competition machines, company founders and brothers Derek and Don Rickman made some exceptional road going bikes in their time. The first street legal Métisse (the name comes from the French word meaning mongrel) was produced in 1966 using a Triumph Bonneville engine. Gerry Lisi, who acquired Métisse from the Rickmans in 1999 and last year released the period-correct Steve McQueen Desert Racer (see the May/June 2009 issue), says he always intended to build road going machines using a contemporary Bonneville engine.

Despite an initial agreement with Triumph, the Hinckley firm decided product liability issues were too great and pulled out of the deal. Not to be thwarted, Lisi set about designing his own engine from the ground up, but still a parallel twin. He launched the project in 2003, employing F1 technology and an engine designer from the car racing world, and first fired up the new engine in 2008. The 997cc 8-valve DOHC twin recorded an impressive 97hp at 8,000rpm on the dyno — without an oil leak in sight and more power to come!

A complete prototype bike is now up and running and undergoing shakedown tests, and it looks like Lisi has achieved his goal. Combining classic style with modern running gear and a very modern engine, he now has a very cool bike that is expected to sell for around £16,000 (about $26,500 at current exchange rates) when the final version is announced.

Technically proficient

Lisi deliberately went with an air/oil-cooled engine to maintain a link with the past, but future versions can move to liquid cooling from the basis created with this engine. The barrels actually have a gap between them to aid cooling above the horizontally-split cases.

bike on highway

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