A Whiskey to honour the 50th anniversary of Burt Munro’s land-speed record on an Indian
This is good news for ardent fans of Whiskey, just like me. And if you are a motorcycle enthusiast also (why else would you be reading this here?), know that this is the best way you could spend your $184.71 on.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of New Zealand’s Southland legend Burt Munro’s greatest production land-speed record, the New Zealand Whisky Collection, along with John Munro (Burt’s son) have created a batch of limited edition whiskey called the “Spirit of Munro”. (The name was given to Munro’s record-setting motorcycle.)
Bonhams created history with the most expensive sale of a motorcycle in its auction
The highest amount paid for a motorcycle at an auction until now was for a 1915 Cyclone board racer owned by Steve McQueen, which was sold last year by Mid-America auctions for $825,500 in 2015. Shattering this figure is the sale of yet another piece of history that broke speed records then, and now, by being the most expensive bike sold at auction.
Auction house Bonhams put up the sale of their acquired 1951 Vincent 998cc Black Lightning. It is not just any Vincent, but the one which broke the Australian Land Speed Record piloted by Jack Ehret. And it was sold for a whopping $929,000.
This could be the most expensive bike sold at auction
Auction house Bonhams will put up the sale of their acquired 1951 Vincent 998cc Black Lightning on January 25 at the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction. It is not just any Vincent, but the one which broke the Australian Land Speed Record piloted by Jack Ehret.
This could be the most expensive unrestored motorcycle sold at an auction, while the previous Black Lightning was sold at $293,423 back in 2008. That is not even the most expensive figure. That goes to the 1931 Brough Superior BS4, which was sold last year by Bonhams for £331,900 ($460,000).
John Lennon’s 1969 monkey bike up for auction
Auction house H&H Classics will put up the sale of their acquired 1969 Honda Z50A. A bike that was once used by John Lennon, the legendary English singer, songwriter, musician, and peace activist who also co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music.
The auction will be held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, a town in the West Midlands of England. Experts believe the bike will fetch at least £30,000 (more than $40,000).
Famous Movie And TV Bikes Headed To The Auction Block
On Saturday, May 27 in Midland, Texas, the Dan Kruse Classics auction house has a whole fistful of small- and big-screen motorcycles going up for grabs. If you’ve ever wanted a piece of entertainment history for your own use or as an investment for your estate, this auction is definitely something you’ll want to check out. Among the rides up for grabs at this, the Fourth Annual Midland-Odessa Classic Car Auction, we have the Johnny Blaze stunt bike from “Ghost Rider,” a ’99 Buell with a custom flame job over the white tank, subframe and flyscreen. (Yeah, I know. I was disappointed to discover that it wasn’t the chopper he rode out of Hell, but wheels made of fire and chain-link front forks probably look better than they ride.) Also on the block is the 1950’s vintage Zündapp from “Mad Men,” the ’05 Sucker Punch Sally “Mayan” chopper from “Sons of Anarchy,” and that ain’t all. “Priest” is well represented with the Priest’s Suzuki Gladius and The Familiar’s Bike, a Kawi KLX.
Continue reading for more on the auction.
Piaggio News O’ Plenty
Sit up and pay attention, folks. We have some news from the Catawiki auction site. It seems that the world’s oldest Vespa is up for grabs. Owner Ruote-Da-Sogno has its 1946 “Serie 0” Vespa on the block. Not only is this the oldest, working-condition Vespa in the world, but it comes from a 60-unit, pre-production run so it started out as a rare bird to begin with. The age just makes it even more valuable as evidenced by the almost $175,000 bidding price at the time of this writing. Estimates by the auctioneer place the anticipated sale price at something between $268,000 and $348,000, and we still have a few days left — expect those bids to creep up significantly before this is done. This here is the real deal folks. Hand-beaten body panels work with the hand-soldered frame for an authenticity and craftsmanship you just can’t find nowadays. This awesome opportunity to own a rare, old Vespa is timely as it corresponds with Piaggio’s 130th anniversary.
Continue reading for more from Piaggio on its 130th anniversary.
The Mecum Auctions folks are hitting the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa in Monterey, California over August 18th, 19th and 20th as part of their 2016 tour. This stop will play host to a number of rare and exciting motorcycles, many of which are past “vintage” status, and may represent once-in-a-lifetime acquisitions for some ambitious collectors out there.
To say that there is something for everyone may be going it a bit high as only the most well-heeled and motivated collectors hit the Mecum events, but most of the bases within that narrow subset are covered, from turn-of-the-century models up into the late ’60s. I picked a few high points from each era/category, but you will have to visit the official Mecum Auctions site to get the complete list.
Continue reading for my look at the auction.
Waxing Nostalgic in Monaco at RM Sotheby’s 2016 Auction
There are few things in life I appreciate more than a well-kept, classic bike, and it really isn’t even about the object in question, but the love (read: work and money) it took to maintain it over the years. When a vehicle reaches collectible status, it can find itself at prestigious, world-wide events such as the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monaco this past Saturday. As usual, the globe-trotting auction house put on a top-notch show, with dozens of entries of various vintages in attendance. Join me while I take a look specifically at the motorcycles that changed hands this weekend.
Continue reading for my look at the bikes from RM Sotheby’s auction.
The Bonhams auction house will be selling a handful of celebrity-owned motorcycles, one of which belongs to Hollywood royalty Steve McQueen. The remaining bikes belong to former Top Gear host James May. The auction is scheduled to take place at the Staffordshire County Showground on October 18, 2015.
McQueen’s 1934 Indian 750 Sport Scout will be one of about 250 motorcycles that will be auctioned off at that day. For obvious reasons, it’s also expected to be one of the most prized lots of the bunch, thanks in large part to its attachment to McQueen. The bike itself is expected to sell for about £55,000 to £65,000, which is around $84,000 to $100,000 based on current exchange rates.
Meanwhile, James May will be sending a total of four bikes to the auction, highlighted by a Honda CB450 “Black Bomber” that has an estimated value of £4,800 to £5,600 ($7,300 to $8,700). The Black Bomber, regarded as one of the most well-received versions of the CB450, will be joined by a 1970 Honda PS50 sports moped that’s valued at £1,800–£2,400 ($2,700 to $3,600); a 1973 Honda XL70 Trail pegged at £2,000 to £2,500 ($3,050 to $3,800); and a Honda P50 moped with an estimated value of £400 to £600 ($600 to $900).
The estimated prices aren’t indicative on what the bikes will go for, but they do provide a nice price guide for anybody who may be interested in making a bid. McQueen’s Sport Scout, in particular, is pretty enticing even though the estimate is much higher than any of May’s bikes.
Continue reading to read more about the celebrity bikes headed to the Bonhams auction.
One of three Triumph Scramblers used in the filming of Jurassic World has been auctioned for a tidy sum of £28,000. That’s about $44,000 based on current exchange rates. It didn’t exactly fetch the $60,000 I thought it would, but given its association with Chris Pratt and the movie that just grossed $1.6 billion worldwide, I’d say that whoever won it for under $50,000 just scored a bargain price relative to how much it could cost in the future.
Unlike most high-class auctions we report on these pages, the Jurassic World Scrambler was actually auctioned off on eBay, which is a little surprising considering the stature of this particular motorcycle. But I hardly think the lucky winner of the auction is complaining about his huge score. Of the three Triumph Scramblers that were used in Jurassic World, this is the only one that was put up in the auction market. Pratt owns one of the other two while the other Scrambler is sitting comfortably inside Triumph’s museum in the UK.
The best thing about this auction is that proceeds from the sale will be sent directly to the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, Triumph Motorcycles’ official charity partner. According to the British motorcycle brand, the proceeds the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will receive will go directly to relief and research towards finding a cure for prostate cancer.
Only time will tell if the other two Scramblers will hit the market, but for now, the lucky winner of the Jurassic World Scrambler auction can take comfort knowing that he’s the only one in the world in possession of a customized Triumph Scrambler that ran along side a pack of raptors.
Not a bad story to tell the kids, huh?
Continue reading to read more about the Triumph Jurassic World Scrambler auction.
The fate of Erik Buell Racing remains in limbo despite having already agreed with Hero Motorcycles to sell of its consulting projects with the Indian motorcycle company for $2.8 million. That represents only a small part of EBR’s overall business so a majority of the company remains without an owner. That will likely change after a new auction date has been set to finally determine the fate of EBR.
The auction for the remaining assets of EBR has been set for August 5, 2015. If the past auction was any indication, the hope is that a buyer will finally buy the entirety of Erik Buell Racing and not break it up piece by piece. The latter scenario occurred when Hero Motorcycles’ bought out its existing tech and development projects with EBR. But what everyone’s waiting for is for the whole EBR pie to be sold so everyone can finally know what’s going to happen to the American motorcycle manufacturer.
There’s no telling what company will step up to the plate to buy Erik Buell Racing. There have been rumors circulating that Polaris Industries, which has a history of quick-trigger acquisitions in the bike industry, will add to its growing list of purchases by buying Erik Buell Racing.
Given how much shopping Polaris has been in over the past few years, it’s not unreasonable to think that the company will make a run for Erik Buell Racing and set it up as its horse in the ever-competitive American sports bike market. Polaris already counts Indian Motorcycles and Brammo as its latest acquisitions. It would definitely make sense for the company to use Indian Motorcycles as its cruiser and tourer platform to complement what it can do with Erik Buell Racing should it win the auction on August 5, 2015.
Nothing will be set in stone until the end of the auction so until then, all we can do is wait and see what will happen once the hammer is slammed.
Continue reading to read more about the new auction date for Erik Buell Racing.
Brough Superiors are considered one of the finest motorcycles in the world. Owning one is tantamount to having the best of the best and nobody will tell you otherwise. That’s a big reason why Brough Superiors are always treated as headline pieces in any auction and that’s exactly what they are at the Bonhams Stafford sale at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show on October 2015.
There just won’t be one Brough Superior at the auction. A handful are expected to hit the auction block, ensuring that a lot of wallets will bleed dry by the time the auction’s over. A 1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sport will be auctioned off. Sure, this particular bike’s been dismantled and is being offered for restoration. But even then, the bike is expected to reach anywhere from £120,000-160,000.
If you’re not the type who wants to restore a bike, you can opt for a 1936 Earls Court Motorcycle Show Brough Superior 990cc SS100. This baby carries an estimate price tag of £210,000-240,000. This particular bike received extensive mechanical refurbishment in 2013, while still maintaining its beautiful patina, ensuring that it retained its classy and luxurious look. That’s admittedly a lot of money for a bike, but then again, it’s a Brough Superior. Sometimes, the name sells on its own.
In the unfortunate event that you don’t have six figure sums to throw around, you can still score a 1931 Brough Superior OHV 680 project, estimated at a more palatable £15,000-20,000.
There’s nothing normal about these Brough Superiors so anybody who is interested in winning these highly sought-after auction pieces should expect to pay exorbitant sums for them. That’s just the kind of cache that Brough Superiors have.
The Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale is scheduled to take place on October 18, 2015 at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show in the UK.
Continue reading to read more about the Brough Superiors that are being auctioned off by Bonhams.