Waxing Nostalgic in Monaco at RM Sotheby’s 2016 Auction
Vintage Bikes Sold at Auctionby TJ Hinton, on
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.
1974 Agrati-Garelli Katia MS (Lot #111)
SOLD – 702 Euros ($906.98)
For me, the most novel of the two wheelers has to be the 1974 Agrati-Garelli Katia Motor Scooter. While electric vehicles are relatively common nowadays, back in ’74 that wasn’t the case, and that lends it a “green” value we don’t see on many vintage vehicles. Essentially an electric moped complete with sweat-powered pedals for auxiliary propulsion, the A-G Katia uses a 24-volt DC system with a 1.4-horsepower electric motor as the main driving force. No doubt it doesn’t enjoy the range or short recharge times as do modern electric bikes, but someone at A-G was thinking way ahead of the curve, way back in the day.
1970 Suzuki T500 Titan III (Lot #110)
SOLD – 1,872 Euros ($2,118.73)
Next up is a ride that takes me right back to my childhood, the little Suzuki T500. This bike is the epitome of the UJM class of the times, and rides like this used to be all over the roads or running kicked-up exhausts and knobbies off-road al la scrambler style. A two-cycle, parallel-twin mill drives the Titan, and at 492 cc it represents the largest such configuration to appear on a bike. In original condition, the engine put out 47 horsepower and 39.78 pound-feet, and this little ride was listed as “very well preserved original condition” so I expect it still produces something close to that – not that it matters, it’s on its way to a collectors vault I’m sure.
1977 MV Agusta 750 S America (Lot #207)
SOLD – 105,300 Euros ($118,725.75)
To round out the motorcycle sales, an original and beautifully maintained MV Agusta 750 S “America” changed hands with only 3,800 original kilometers (2,361.2 miles) on the odometer. Actual displacement is 789.3 cc, and the four-cylinder, four-stroke Quattro Cylindri claims 75 ponies (new) to drive this unmistakable Italian steed. The RM test rider gave it a glowing review, though much like the Titan, I expect this bike to be headed to a climate-controlled, dust-free garage or vault somewhere. That’s certainly where I’d put it.