Introduction to the Steve McQueen Desert Racer

Steve McQueen, often celebrated as ‘The King of Cool,’ was not just a Hollywood icon but also an accomplished racer. His love for motorcycles was evident in the way he spoke about and engaged with them. One of the most notable tributes to McQueen’s passion for biking is the Steve McQueen Desert Racer. This motorcycle, a replica of the Métisse Mk3, is a testament to his legacy and remains a coveted piece for enthusiasts.

The Legacy of Steve McQueen: Hollywood’s King of Cool

Steve McQueen’s name resonates with motorcycling enthusiasts and movie buffs alike. Known for his roles in films like “The Great Escape” and “Bullitt,” McQueen’s affinity for high-octane vehicles was not just a cinematic act—it was his lifestyle. His competitive spirit saw him excel in various motorsport events, including the British Touring Car Championship and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Métisse Mk3: A Historic Connection

The Métisse Mk3 is more than just a motorcycle; it’s a symbol of McQueen’s dedication to the sport. He owned a Mk3 and had it modified to meet his specific needs for desert racing. The modifications requested by McQueen were comprehensive, making the bike a perfect blend of performance and personal touch.


Detailed Specifications of the Steve McQueen Desert Racer

Engine and Performance

The Desert Racer boasts a refurbished original 1967 750cc parallel-twin Triumph Bonneville engine. This engine is renowned for its durability and power, making it a perfect choice for a tribute bike. The engine’s performance is enhanced by an Amal single concentric-type carburetor, ensuring smooth and efficient fuel delivery.

Frame and Suspension

The frame of the Desert Racer is nickel-plated chromoly, offering an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. This frame is complemented by stainless-steel rims and spokes, providing durability and resilience on rough terrains. The suspension system includes Ceriani and Girling replica components, known for their superior damping and stability.

Wheels and Brakes

The wheels of the Desert Racer feature stainless-steel rims and spokes, which are both strong and lightweight. The front brake is a seven-inch Triumph drum brake, providing ample stopping power. The rear brake system is equally robust, ensuring safety and control during high-speed runs.

Exhaust and Sound

One of the standout features of the Desert Racer is its twin upswept chrome exhaust pipes. These pipes not only enhance the bike’s aesthetics but also produce a distinct, throaty roar that is synonymous with classic Triumph engines.

Handlebar and Controls

The handlebars are chromed with alloy levers, offering a comfortable and responsive riding position. The bike also features sprung foot-pegs and a wireless digital clock/odometer, blending classic design with modern functionality.

The Auction: Owning a Piece of History

Currently, one of these iconic Desert Racers is up for auction. With the odometer indicating approximately 550 miles, this bike is practically new. The current bid sits at £5,100 ($6,444), and the auction ends on Friday. This is a rare opportunity to own a motorcycle that not only commemorates McQueen but also embodies the spirit of classic racing.

Road Registration and Usability

This particular Desert Racer was registered for road use with the DVLA in October 2017. While it is set up for daytime running, it lacks indicators and lights. However, it comes equipped with a headlight, horn, and rear light, making it possible to modify for more comprehensive road use.

Why the Desert Racer Stands Out

What makes the Steve McQueen Desert Racer truly special is the meticulous attention to detail and the authentic modifications that mirror McQueen’s original specifications. Every element of this bike, from the nickel-plated frame to the Ceriani suspension, is designed to deliver an unparalleled riding experience.

Steve McQueen’s Endorsement: A Seal of Authenticity

Endorsed by Steve McQueen’s estate and built by Métisse Motorcycles, the Desert Racer features Steve McQueen’s authorized signature on the fuel tank. This endorsement adds a layer of authenticity and connection to the late actor, making it a valuable collectible.

A Collector’s Dream: Limited Edition and Authenticity

With only 300 units built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of McQueen’s death, the Desert Racer is a true collector’s item. Each bike is a masterpiece, reflecting the craftsmanship and attention to detail that Métisse Motorcycles is known for.

The Perfect Tribute: Combining Style and Performance

The Steve McQueen Desert Racer is not just a bike; it’s a tribute to one of the most iconic motorcyclists in history. It combines style, performance, and historical significance, making it a must-have for any serious collector or enthusiast.

Conclusion: A Timeless Piece of Motorcycling History

In conclusion, the Steve McQueen Desert Racer is a timeless piece of motorcycling history. It embodies the spirit of adventure, the thrill of racing, and the legacy of one of Hollywood’s most iconic figures. Whether you’re a collector, a racer, or simply a fan of Steve McQueen, this bike is a treasure worth owning.

Join the Conversation

Does the Desert Racer do it for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Have you had the chance to ride one or own a piece of motorcycling history? We’d love to hear your experiences and stories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the Steve McQueen Desert Racer unique?

The Desert Racer is unique due to its meticulous replication of McQueen’s original modifications, its limited production run of 300 units, and its endorsement by McQueen’s estate.

How much is the current bid for the Desert Racer?

The current bid for the Desert Racer sits at £5,100 ($6,444), with the auction ending on Friday.

Can the Desert Racer be used on the road?

Yes, the Desert Racer was registered for road use with the DVLA in October 2017. However, it is set up for daytime running and lacks indicators and lights. Modifications can be made for more comprehensive road use.

What engine does the Desert Racer have?

The Desert Racer features a refurbished original 1967 750cc parallel-twin Triumph Bonneville engine.

How many Desert Racers were built?

Only 300 Desert Racers were built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Steve McQueen’s death, making it a rare and valuable collector’s item.

Final Thoughts

The Steve McQueen Desert Racer is more than just a motorcycle; it’s a piece of history, a testament to the legacy of a Hollywood icon, and a perfect blend of classic design and modern performance. Don’t miss your chance to own this remarkable bike and ride in the footsteps of ‘The King of Cool.’

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