Bikes sold at auction

1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer : At first glance, it’s hard to believe that this is currently the most expensive bike ever sold at auction. But, it is 99 years old, a true track racer and one that in terms of build, technology and performance was way ahead of its time. It has overhead cams and 45hp on tap, remarkable for the time. And, it’s correct. That means that all of the parts match. That said, there aren’t that many parts to change, notice for instance the lack of brakes. Just 12 of these bikes have ever come up for sale and none of them have been as track focused as this one. No wonder it fetched $520,000 at auction in 2008 or $551,200 when adjusted for 2014. Photo:AFP
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| Updated on: 28 Apr 2014, 11:18 AM
1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer : At first glance, it’s hard to believe that this is currently the most expensive bike ever sold at auction. But, it is 99 years old, a true track racer and one that in terms of build, technology and performance was way ahead of its time. It has overhead cams and 45hp on tap, remarkable for the time. And, it’s correct. That means that all of the parts match. That said, there aren’t that many parts to change, notice for instance the lack of brakes. Just 12 of these bikes have ever come up for sale and none of them have been as track focused as this one. No wonder it fetched $520,000 at auction in 2008 or $551,200 when adjusted for 2014. Photo:AFP
1/10 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer : At first glance, it’s hard to believe that this is currently the most expensive bike ever sold at auction. But, it is 99 years old, a true track racer and one that in terms of build, technology and performance was way ahead of its time. It has overhead cams and 45hp on tap, remarkable for the time. And, it’s correct. That means that all of the parts match. That said, there aren’t that many parts to change, notice for instance the lack of brakes. Just 12 of these bikes have ever come up for sale and none of them have been as track focused as this one. No wonder it fetched $520,000 at auction in 2008 or $551,200 when adjusted for 2014. Photo:AFP
The ex-Murray Motorcycle Museum,1934 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 : US talk show host Jay Leno never tires of telling the story of how everyone called him crazy when he went out and spent $55,000 on a Brough Superior SS100 back in the 1980s. Three decades on, Leno’s the one that’s laughing, all the way to the bank. The bike is the most coveted among collectors and has a habit of selling for way in excess of $200,000 at auction. While the British had Brough Superior, the US had Crocker. Both companies were at the top of their games in the 1920s and 30s and both companies built technologically advanced, premium luxury bikes. However, Crocker’s road bikes are even rarer still, only a handful of these V-twins are out there. But the ones that were on the road were faster than anything else. Crocker used to guarantee its bikes were faster than a Harley or an Indian or your money back. This one went for $302,000 (€219,508) including premium in 2012. But why? Firstly, its creator, George Brough was a true showman and knew how to play the media to build both his and his creations’ reputation. Second, it was a very good and a very fast bike (it’s called the SS100 because it was guaranteed to do 100mph) particularly for the 1920s and 30s. And finally, it’s the quality. Mr Brough didn’t build the bikes, his factory simply assembled them from the best proprietary parts. This made them extremely expensive and extremely rare. Only 1000 Brough Superiors survive. This one sold for £242,300 (€292,738/ $39,0000) including. premium in April 2012. Photo:AFP
2/10 The ex-Murray Motorcycle Museum,1934 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 : US talk show host Jay Leno never tires of telling the story of how everyone called him crazy when he went out and spent $55,000 on a Brough Superior SS100 back in the 1980s. Three decades on, Leno’s the one that’s laughing, all the way to the bank. The bike is the most coveted among collectors and has a habit of selling for way in excess of $200,000 at auction. While the British had Brough Superior, the US had Crocker. Both companies were at the top of their games in the 1920s and 30s and both companies built technologically advanced, premium luxury bikes. However, Crocker’s road bikes are even rarer still, only a handful of these V-twins are out there. But the ones that were on the road were faster than anything else. Crocker used to guarantee its bikes were faster than a Harley or an Indian or your money back. This one went for $302,000 (€219,508) including premium in 2012. But why? Firstly, its creator, George Brough was a true showman and knew how to play the media to build both his and his creations’ reputation. Second, it was a very good and a very fast bike (it’s called the SS100 because it was guaranteed to do 100mph) particularly for the 1920s and 30s. And finally, it’s the quality. Mr Brough didn’t build the bikes, his factory simply assembled them from the best proprietary parts. This made them extremely expensive and extremely rare. Only 1000 Brough Superiors survive. This one sold for £242,300 (€292,738/ $39,0000) including. premium in April 2012. Photo:AFP
1940 Crocker 'Big Tank' V-Twin : While the British had Brough Superior, the US had Crocker. Both companies were at the top of their games in the 20s and 30s and both companies built technologically advanced, premium luxury bikes. However, Crocker’s road bikes are even rarer still, only a handful of these V twins are out there. But the ones that were on the road were faster than anything else. Crocker used to guarantee its bikes were faster than a Harley or an Indian or your money back. This one went for $302,000 (€219,508) including. premium in 2012. Photo:AFP
3/10 1940 Crocker 'Big Tank' V-Twin : While the British had Brough Superior, the US had Crocker. Both companies were at the top of their games in the 20s and 30s and both companies built technologically advanced, premium luxury bikes. However, Crocker’s road bikes are even rarer still, only a handful of these V twins are out there. But the ones that were on the road were faster than anything else. Crocker used to guarantee its bikes were faster than a Harley or an Indian or your money back. This one went for $302,000 (€219,508) including. premium in 2012. Photo:AFP
The ex-Brian Verrall,1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide : Most people have probably heard of the Vincent Black Shadow, a British motorcycle from the 1950s that invented the concept of the superbike. It’s a model in every bike lover’s dream garage. But the company behind it, HRD-Vincent, had been creating incredibly innovative, incredibly fast bikes for decades. The Series A Rapide was the first bike with full suspension, had a foot, rather than hand shifter for gear changes, a four-speed gearbox and a phenomenal V-Twin engine that was so powerful it eventually ate through the transmission. Only 78 were ever built, making it as rare as it is desirable and the most collectible bike the company ever built. This one cost £225,500 (€272,441/$363055) at auction in 2012. Photo:AFP
4/10 The ex-Brian Verrall,1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide : Most people have probably heard of the Vincent Black Shadow, a British motorcycle from the 1950s that invented the concept of the superbike. It’s a model in every bike lover’s dream garage. But the company behind it, HRD-Vincent, had been creating incredibly innovative, incredibly fast bikes for decades. The Series A Rapide was the first bike with full suspension, had a foot, rather than hand shifter for gear changes, a four-speed gearbox and a phenomenal V-Twin engine that was so powerful it eventually ate through the transmission. Only 78 were ever built, making it as rare as it is desirable and the most collectible bike the company ever built. This one cost £225,500 (€272,441/$363055) at auction in 2012. Photo:AFP
1939 BMW RS 255 Kompressor : One guaranteed way to make a bike desirable to collectors is racing history. This supercharged BMW, ridden by George Meier, won the 1939 Senior TT. The victory was the culmination of more than a decade of development work by BMW and marked the first time in the race’s 32-year history that a non-British rider had taken the chequered flag. So a legendary bike and one of the first ever to use forced induction via a supercharger or Kompressor as it’s called by German car and bike builders. At $480,000 (€348,887), it is currently the second most expensive bike ever sold at public auction. Photo:AFP
5/10 1939 BMW RS 255 Kompressor : One guaranteed way to make a bike desirable to collectors is racing history. This supercharged BMW, ridden by George Meier, won the 1939 Senior TT. The victory was the culmination of more than a decade of development work by BMW and marked the first time in the race’s 32-year history that a non-British rider had taken the chequered flag. So a legendary bike and one of the first ever to use forced induction via a supercharger or Kompressor as it’s called by German car and bike builders. At $480,000 (€348,887), it is currently the second most expensive bike ever sold at public auction. Photo:AFP
Formerly the property of His Holiness pope Francis, 2013 Harley Davidson 1,585cc FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom : From the sublime to potentially ridiculous. There are only two Harley Davidsons in the all-time top 20 list of bikes sold at auction. One is a 1907 ‘Strap Tank’ single built for speedway racing (in 11th place, $352,000 in 2006) and the other is this, a Dyna Super Glide tourer that’s little over 12 months old. It fetched €241,500 ($327,000) at auction in February this year. That makes it the 14th most expensive bike in auction history. However, it has two things going for it. Firstly, it belonged to the Pope, and secondly, the proceeds from the sale were going to charity. Photo:AFP
6/10 Formerly the property of His Holiness pope Francis, 2013 Harley Davidson 1,585cc FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom : From the sublime to potentially ridiculous. There are only two Harley Davidsons in the all-time top 20 list of bikes sold at auction. One is a 1907 ‘Strap Tank’ single built for speedway racing (in 11th place, $352,000 in 2006) and the other is this, a Dyna Super Glide tourer that’s little over 12 months old. It fetched €241,500 ($327,000) at auction in February this year. That makes it the 14th most expensive bike in auction history. However, it has two things going for it. Firstly, it belonged to the Pope, and secondly, the proceeds from the sale were going to charity. Photo:AFP
The ex-Steve McQueen-owned, Von Dutch1929 Scott 596cc Super Squirrel : The Pontiff is by no means unique in his ability to drive up auction prices. There’s also the McQueen factor. If a motorbike belonged to the late actor it could go for up to 10 times the normal price. And, if one of his bikes also happens to have been restored by or customized by Kenny “Von Dutch” Howard, then the sky is potentially the limit. This old McQueen bike, with a unique Von Dutch paint job went for $276,000 (€197,892) back in 2009 and is number 26 on the all-time list. Photo:AFP
7/10 The ex-Steve McQueen-owned, Von Dutch1929 Scott 596cc Super Squirrel : The Pontiff is by no means unique in his ability to drive up auction prices. There’s also the McQueen factor. If a motorbike belonged to the late actor it could go for up to 10 times the normal price. And, if one of his bikes also happens to have been restored by or customized by Kenny “Von Dutch” Howard, then the sky is potentially the limit. This old McQueen bike, with a unique Von Dutch paint job went for $276,000 (€197,892) back in 2009 and is number 26 on the all-time list. Photo:AFP
2,679 kilometres from new, 1993 Honda NR750 : This wasn’t really the fastest production bike in the world when it debuted back in 1993 (top speed 160mph) but it was one of the most expensive and definitely the most desirable. A failed attempt at building a Grand Prix racer, rather than throwing away all of that hard work, Honda decided to showcase it in this bike. Only 200 were ever built and some of its engine features – it had eight valves per cylinder, two spark plugs per cylinder and twin fuel injectors – have never been imitated. However, its styling has. The Honda looked unique when it first hit the streets, but now all serious superbikes look very similar. It sold for €63,250 ($86,650) )including premium at auction in February. Photo:AFP
8/10 2,679 kilometres from new, 1993 Honda NR750 : This wasn’t really the fastest production bike in the world when it debuted back in 1993 (top speed 160mph) but it was one of the most expensive and definitely the most desirable. A failed attempt at building a Grand Prix racer, rather than throwing away all of that hard work, Honda decided to showcase it in this bike. Only 200 were ever built and some of its engine features – it had eight valves per cylinder, two spark plugs per cylinder and twin fuel injectors – have never been imitated. However, its styling has. The Honda looked unique when it first hit the streets, but now all serious superbikes look very similar. It sold for €63,250 ($86,650) )including premium at auction in February. Photo:AFP
1978 Ducati 900 NCR : As already mentioned, bikes with a racing pedigree also rev up the prices at auction. This model cemented its place in racing legend when Mike Hailwood rode one to victory at the Isle of Man in 1978 despite being in his late 30s at the time. Ducatis are great machines, but when tuning outfit NCR get their hands on them, they become something all the more miraculous and desirable as was the case with this model. As well as the folklore surrounding this model, the reason it went for $175,500 (€127,562) in Las Vegas in January is because it’s straight from the Silverstone museum. It has never raced and is still in showroom condition. Photo:AFP
9/10 1978 Ducati 900 NCR : As already mentioned, bikes with a racing pedigree also rev up the prices at auction. This model cemented its place in racing legend when Mike Hailwood rode one to victory at the Isle of Man in 1978 despite being in his late 30s at the time. Ducatis are great machines, but when tuning outfit NCR get their hands on them, they become something all the more miraculous and desirable as was the case with this model. As well as the folklore surrounding this model, the reason it went for $175,500 (€127,562) in Las Vegas in January is because it’s straight from the Silverstone museum. It has never raced and is still in showroom condition. Photo:AFP
The ex-Roland Martin, Brooklands,1927 Zenith-JAP 8/45hp Championship Motorcycle Combination : Like most British motorcycle companies, Zenith went under in the first half of the 20th century. However, in its heyday it held a number of world records, including the first bike ever to lap at 100mph in the rain! A Zenith also set the world motorcycle speed record - 124.6mph – in 1928 and this particular bike, from 1927, complete with racing sidecar - known as a combination – was created by Roland Martin who had his own workshop at the Brooklands course and would modify racers’ machines while developing his own innovations. This machine was his test bed for everything. This gives it a unique place in racing history, as does the fact that it is only one of three Zeniths in the world fitted with a KTOR engine. All of which makes it the 16th most expensive bike ever to sell at auction, raising £177,500 ($312,986/€221875) in 2008. Photo:AFP
10/10 The ex-Roland Martin, Brooklands,1927 Zenith-JAP 8/45hp Championship Motorcycle Combination : Like most British motorcycle companies, Zenith went under in the first half of the 20th century. However, in its heyday it held a number of world records, including the first bike ever to lap at 100mph in the rain! A Zenith also set the world motorcycle speed record - 124.6mph – in 1928 and this particular bike, from 1927, complete with racing sidecar - known as a combination – was created by Roland Martin who had his own workshop at the Brooklands course and would modify racers’ machines while developing his own innovations. This machine was his test bed for everything. This gives it a unique place in racing history, as does the fact that it is only one of three Zeniths in the world fitted with a KTOR engine. All of which makes it the 16th most expensive bike ever to sell at auction, raising £177,500 ($312,986/€221875) in 2008. Photo:AFP
First Published Date: 02 Apr 2014, 03:29 PM IST
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