Rare Velocette, White Shadow featured at Bonhams bike auction

Velocette carried Freddie Frith to world championship in 1949 | Bonhams photos
Velocette carried Freddie Frith to world championship in 1949 | Bonhams photos

The 1948 Velocette 348cc KTT MkVIII that carried Freddie Frith to the 1949 world motorcycle racing championship headlines a Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale auction, scheduled for April 23 at the Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show in England.

Also featured at the auction are several barn-found bikes and still-crated 1990s superbikes, as well as what Bonhams terms “affordable classics for every taste and budget.” Continue reading

At 68, he’s selling a collection to fund a new search

Clive Pearson spent 30 years collecting Ariel motorcycles | H&H Classics photos
Clive Pearson spent 30 years collecting Ariel motorcycles | H&H Classics photos

Clive Pearson of Leicester, England, has spent the past 30 years putting together a collection of 30 unrestored Ariel Arrows motorcycles and Ariel parts. Now 68, he is offering it all up at the H&H Classics auction February 22 at Donington Park so he can continue another quest.

No, Pearson isn’t retiring from his passion for collecting. He’s simply selling his collection of Ariels to fund his effort to locate and restore a Kettenkrad, a German tracked motorbike. Continue reading

Stunning sell-through rate boosts Mecum’s Vegas vintage motorcycle auction to $13.7 million

Sports-style arena was site of Mecum's sale of nearly 1,000 vintage motorcycles | Larry Edsall photos
Sports-style arena was site of Mecum’s sale of nearly 1,000 vintage motorcycles | Larry Edsall photos

With $13.7 million in sales and a stunning 92 percent sell-through rate, Mecum’s 26th annual Las Vegas motorcycle auction was the most successful ever. The auction house noted that the sales total was a 53 percent increase compared wth the same event a year ago. Continue reading

Car collectors uncover the secret of Henderson motorcycles

This man used a tablet computer to carefully film every inch of the 1912 Henderson Four | Larry Edsall photos
This man used a tablet computer to carefully film every inch of the 1912 Henderson Four | Larry Edsall photos

When it comes to the letter H in the motorcycle alphabet — which runs from Aprilia to Zundapp — Harley (as in Harley-Davidson) overwhelmingly dominates in terms of quantity. But the vintage bikes produced in the early 20th century by the brothers William and Thomas Henderson have become increasingly popular in the past few years at such events as Mecum Auctions’ 26th annual sale taking place this weekend at the South Pointe casino and exhibit hall in Las Vegas.

What’s driving up demand for those Hendersons (or should we say, who’s riding those Hendersons) are not traditional motorcycle enthusiasts who are adding Hendersons to their collections. Continue reading

Bonhams auction showcases British-built super sports

1924 Croft Cameron 996cc Super Eight has pre-sale value beyond a quarter-million dollars | Bonhams photos
1924 Croft Cameron 996cc Super Eight has pre-sale value beyond a quarter-million dollars | Bonhams photos

Super-sports motorcycles produced in England headline Bonhams’ Stafford sale scheduled for October 16.

More than 230 motorcycles are on the auction docket, ranging from a German-built 1907 Vindec Special 5hp with Graham Brothers sidecar to bikes such as the ex-works NCR Ducati 905cc that Roger Nicholls raced in the Isle of Man TT in 1977. Continue reading

Top motorcycles at Mecum offered by renowned scientist

Dr. J. Craig Venter with some of the vintage motorcycles in his collection | Mecum Auctions photos
Dr. J. Craig Venter with some of the vintage motorcycles in his collection | Mecum Auctions photos

Participants in the Mecum MidAmerica Motorcycle Auction in Monterey may not realize it, but some of the most-significant vintage bikes that will cross the block come from the collection of a famed scientist who led the first successful effort to sequence human DNA.

Dr. J. Craig Venter leads an institute where teams of scientists perform research in various fields of genomics, including human, microbial, plant, environmental and synthetic technologies. He also heads a company to develop products using synthetic genomics technology, and another called Human Longevity Inc. that’s focused on extending the human life span. Continue reading

Faces at the Races: Vintage motorcycles at Road America

Race bikes, show bikes and plenty of people at the vintage-motorcycle races and show at Road America | William Hall photos
Race bikes, show bikes and plenty of people at the vintage-motorcycle races and show at Road America | William Hall photos

You meet the most interesting people at a racetrack. Here are just a few we encountered during the recent AHRMA Vintage Motorcycle races and Rockerbox Motofest at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Continue reading

Bonhams, Mecum show strength of vintage bike market

A Vincent White Shadow is on the block at Bonhams motorcycle sale in Las Vegas | Andy Reid photos
A Vincent White Shadow is on the block at Bonhams motorcycle sale in Las Vegas | Andy Reid photos

It is interesting that in January, which is usually the dead of winter, when few motorcycle riders are even considering riding their bikes, the two largest motorcycle auctions in the U.S. are held in Las Vegas. This is what happens every year and the weather did not dissuade prospective buyers from raising their hands to try and get the bike, or bikes, of their dreams.

No matter what kind of bikes you are into, we have to believe that there was a model to pique your interest at auctions staged by Bonhams and Mecum (details after the first photo gallery below). They had hundreds of motorcycles on offer, from the early teens to some of the latest and most advanced superbikes built today. Continue reading

Lonati motorcycle collection brings $2.05 million as Bonhams launches Stafford auction

Lonati collection showcased American-made motorcycles | Bonhams photos
Lonati collection showcased American-made motorcycles | Bonhams photos

Bonhams opened its Stafford Sale on Saturday with a single-owner collection of 60 vintage American motorcycles selling at a 91 percent sell-through for a total of more than $2.05 million (£1,331,535). Continue reading