Métisse Triumph Steve McQueen Replica

Alan Cathcart road tests the Métisse Triumph Steve McQueen Replica - the spitting image of the Triumph 650-powered Métisse Mark III Desert Racer McQueen bought in 1966 and rode offroad extensively.

| May/June 2009

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    The Métisse Triumph Steve McQueen Desert Racer.
    Kyoichi Nakamura

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Métisse Triumph Steve McQueen Replica 

Claimed power: 47hp @ 6,700rpm
Top speed: 90mph (est.)
Engine type: 649cc, air-cooled OHV parallel twin
Weight: (dry) 135kg (297lbs)
Price: Approx. $18,500


Two decades after his untimely death in 1980, the world’s ongoing fascination with movie star Steve McQueen — and his connection to motorcycles — lives on.

As the iconic Hollywood biker whose movie exploits — matched by his riding skills, especially offroad — marked him as special, the star of the Great Escape retains a special fascination for generations of bike enthusiasts. Prices paid for McQueen memorabilia at Bonhams auctions the last few years underscore the interest in anything connected with the man. How about $70,200 for the pair of blue-tinted Persol sunglasses he wore in the Thomas Crown Affair, or his black Belstaff riding jacket, which sold for $32,760 (estimated at $4,000)? Against those figures, the approximately $18,500 Métisse Motorcycles is asking for an exact replica of McQueen’s favorite motorcycle seems almost a bargain.

The bike in question was a Triumph-powered Métisse Mark III Desert Racer McQueen bought in 1966 and rode offroad extensively, including many grueling competition miles. Each of the 300 individually numbered replicas of this bike will come authenticated with a facsimile of McQueen’s autograph on the fuel tank, thanks to the approval of McQueen’s son Chad. He’s followed in his dad’s tire tracks as an offroader himself, and has taken delivery of bike no. 000 (which he plans to ride rather than look at) as part of the deal. McQueen’s original bike no longer exists, and is thought to have been broken up. MC  


Matt B
6/2/2009 8:43:46 AM

Great article. The bike is a real beauty. Faithful to the look of the day. I'm sure they'll have no problem selling all 300.

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