New Zealand motorcycle auction could start a second Gold Rush

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A New Zealand motorcycle auction this weekend is worthy of the attention of motorcycle collectors worldwide. A number of important motorcycles are effectively being heavily discounted because of the current NZ$-US$ exchange rate, meaning there are almost certainly some once-in-a-lifetime bargains to be had for collectors. Included in the sale are six Bultaco road racing machines including the bike used by Ginger Malloy to finish second in the 1970 World 500cc Championships (estimated US$47,500 to $54,000), a 1950 Vincent Black Shadow ($57,000 to $70,000), a 1974 Ducati 750 Sport ($45,000 to $55,000), a 1975 MV Agusta 750S ($57,000 to $63,000), a 1959 Manx Norton 500 ($38,000 to 50,000), a 1971 Norton Commando 750 Production Racer ($22,000 to $28,000), a 1979 Ducati 900SS NCR F1 ($54,000 - $70,000), a 1974 Benelli 750 SEI ($11,500 to $16,000), a 1978 Harley Davidson XLCR 1000 ($11,000 to $17,000) and a 1969 Honda CB750 with sandcast cases ($17,000 to $22,000).

The auction catalog from Webb's Classic Motorbikes Auction to be held Sunday September 27, 2015 is available online and American readers should note that New Zealand is close to the international dateline, and hence the auction's 11am Auckland start time occurs at 4pm Saturday in Los Angeles and 7pm Saturday in New York.

We've picked the eyes out of the auction offerings and they are as follows:

1940 MSS Velocette 495

Estimate: NZD$13,000 to $18,000 (US$8250 - $11,500)

The Velocette 499cc MSS was, in essence, a sports tourer that was introduced in the mid-1930s as the third in Velocette’s range of OHV high-cam, short pushrod singles. The 495cc long-stroke motor was fitted into a heavyweight frame developed from the racing machines, with a rigid rear end and Webb-type girder forks. It was easy to start, tractable and a good-natured, if heavy all-rounder capable of cruising at 70mph with shorts bursts over 80. Although Velocette was never a mass manufacturer, the MSS stayed in production from 1935 until 1968. This rare 1940 model is in immaculate original condition.

1976 BMW R90S

Estimate: NZD$12,000 to $18,000 ($7,500 to $11,500)

The BMW R90S was BMW's first attempt to change its brand image and although its specifications aren't all that impressive for the period, it excelled in production racing due to its reliability, gentle tire wear, low fuel consumption and fantastic handling. A genuine classic from the day it was released, this is another investment vehicle you can enjoy.

Lot 15

2004 Deus Grievous Angel 400

Estimate: NZD$16,000 to $20,000 ($10,000 to $12,500)

One of the earliest Deus Ex Machina bikes ever produced, the Yamaha-single-based "Grievous Angel" is a reinterpretation of the "bobber" style This example has been primarily on indoor display and has only 886 km on the odometer, though it is in great running order. Get this at anywhere near its estimate and you've got a "steal."

1978 Harley Davidson XLCR 1000

Estimate: NZD$18,000 to $27,000 (US$11,500 - $17,000)

Willie G Davidson’s café racer XLCR was only built in limited quantities for three years (1977-79) for a total of 3133 units produced and as such they've become much sought after by American collectors and are fetching excellent prices at auction. This one has only 15 miles on the clock, so expect it to go much higher than the estimate.

1969 Honda CB 750 "Sandcast"

Estimate: NZD$27,000 to $35,000 (US$17,000 to US$22,000)

The Honda CB750 is the bike that changed the face of motorcycling. It sold upwards of 400,000 units worldwide, but the influence it had in motorcycle design from the moment it was released was revolutionary. The very first "sandcast" model is the most desirable of them all. This bike might sell for a LOT more than it's estimate.

1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport 750

Estimate: NZD$20,000 to $28,000 (US$13,000 - $18,000)

The Moto Guzzi V7 was the company's first café racer, and provided the DNA for future sporting models including the Le Mans. In essence, this was the bike that established Moto Guzzi as a manufacturer of ultra-reliable superbikes. With 70bhp it was described in 1972 by the editor of Motorcycle Mechanics as "a BMW with a little bit extra’ and ‘the most expensive Superbike in Britain." Around 4,000 of this fine machine were built, this one is in running condition and has keys. Another investment that will pay handsome dividends in the medium term.

1974 Benelli 750 Sei

Estimate: NZD$18,000 to $25,000 (US$11,000 to $16,000)

The first six cylinder production motorcycle, the 750 SEI has yet to really take off in collectible circles, which is a mystery as the bike is a joy to ride, sounds as good as it's possible for a motorcycle to sound, and it's reliable into the bargain. An investment you can enjoy which is certain to pay dividends if you're in for the medium term.

1979 Ducati 900SS NCR F1

Estimate: NZD$85,000 to 110,000 (US$54,000 to $70,000)

You can read the full story of the NCR Ducati elsewhere on Gizmag. It's the stuff of legend. This example is in almost completely original condition, and comes with a continuous history. The record price at auction for this model is $175,500 which was achieved in January, 2014 at a Bonhams' Las Vegas auction. That bike is in the top 100 most expensive motorcycles ever sold. Quite clearly, if this bike sells within estimate, someone will have "bought well."

1971 Norton Commando 750 Production Racer

Estimate: NZD$35,000 to 45,000 (US$22,000 to $28,000)

The Commando Production Racer was the ultimate development of the Big British Twin motorcycle layout as well as being the fastest, best-handling, lightest and quickest Norton Commando you could buy. They were hand built by Peter Inchley’s famous "Long Shop" race department team estimates suggest somewhere between 100 and 120 were built, making this a very desirable motorcycle. The ultimate Commando proved its worth in British and European production racing during the early seventies, virtually owning the class.

1959 Manx Norton 500 Racer

Estimate: NZD$60,000 to 80,000 (US$38,000 to $50,000)

The world's best-known production racer, the Manx Norton was sold in 350cc and 500cc versions from 1947 to 1962. The Manx Norton's "Featherbed" frame was widely acknowledged as the finest handling frame you could buy. This bike was ridden by Buddy Parriot, a former AFM/ACA Champion and this is the bike on which he finished sixth in the 1964 Daytona US Grand Prix, therefore becoming the first American to gain FIM World Championship points! This bike is a piece of US racing history!

1975 MV Agusta 750S

Estimate: NZD$90,000 to 100,000 (US$57,000 - $63,000)

Fast becoming the most sought-after seventies motorcycle, the MV Agusta 750 Sport now regularly sells for more than US$100,000. It's beautiful, goes like a "scalded cat", sounds like a symphony, and the world record for the model was achieved by a 1972 model at Bonham's Stafford auction in April, 2014 - US$143,661 (sold for £85,500). Need we say more? if this bike sells for its reserve, it'll be at half price.

Auction Page

1974 Ducati 750 Sport

Estimate: NZD$70,000 to 85,000 (US$44,000 to $54,000)

The poor cousin of the Ducati 750 Super Sport is now becoming a highly sought-after collector motorcycle.

Auction Page

1950 Vincent Black Shadow

Estimate: NZD$90,000 - 110,000 (US$57,000 to $70,000)

The Vincent Black Shadow was the world's fastest standard motor-cycle in the post-war period and it dominates the list of the top 250 motorcycles sold at auction. This bike is a fantastic example of an iconic machine and ripe for the picking for international buyers given the exchange rates.

1971 BSA B50 MX 500


Estimate: NZD$8,000 to 12,000 (US$5,000 to $7,500)

The last model of BSA’s 500cc motocross bikes, the B50MX was based on the successful B44 Victor but with a full 500c engine.


1965 Rickman Triumph Metisse Street Scrambler

Estimate: NZD$12,000 to 16,000 (US$7500 to $10,000)

Rickman was famous for its frames, with its Metisse frames in particular regularly besting the official "works" bikes. In 1964 it entered into an agreement with Bultaco which saw the Spanish company supply two-stroke engines for Rickman to install in their own frames for U.K. sale, with Rickman allowing Bultaco to build licensed versions of the frames. This bike is one of the rare 1965 Spanish Metisse models, originally powered by a 250cc Bultaco single, but expertly retrofitted with a 500cc Triumph twin.

1967 BSA B44 Victor GP Moto-Crosser

Estimate: NZD$16,000 to 25,000 (US$9500 to $16,000)

One of three bikes built from parts that remained when the BSA factory race shop shut down and hence a close relative of the bikes which won the 500cc World Moto-Cross Championship for BSA in 1964 and 1965.

1968 British ISDT Team Cheney-Triumph 500

Estimate: NZD$14,000 to 19,000 (US$9000 to $12,000)

One of the dealer-sponsored ISDT Cheney-Triumphs used by the British Trophy Team at the 1968 International Six Days Trial (ISDT).

1969 Bultaco TSS 360

Estimate: NZD$75,000 to $85,000 (US$47,500 - $54,000)

Ridden by Ginger Molloy in the initial races of the 1970 World 500cc Road Racing Championship before Molloy secured a Kawasaki H1R three-cylinder two-stroke. Ultimately, Molloy finished second to Giacomo Agostini in the 1970 World Championship 500cc class with 62 points. An FIM medal will go with this bike.

1968 Bultaco TSS 250 6 speed production racer

Estimate: NZD$30,000 to $40,000 (US$19,000 to $25,000)

Purchased from a New Zealander who brought the bike back from Australia in pieces, it has been completely stripped down and rebuilt with anything requiring rectifying being done. Frame painted and alloy polished, the bike was started and tested. Please note, there is a fairing which will come with this bike.

1968 Bultaco 125 6 speed works racer

Estimate: NZD$60,000 to $70,000 (US$38,000 to $44,000)

Across 20 races in period, this bike finished no lower than eighth and placed third in the 1968 World Championship 125cc class in the hands of New Zealander Ginger Molloy. The bike is sold with Molloy's third place FIM medal.

1965 Bultaco TSS 250 Ramon Torras works racer

Estimate: NZD$50,000 to $60,000 (US$32,000 to $38,000)

The Bultaco factory machine campaigned by Ramon Torras in 1965, this bike was sold by Senor Bulto himself to Barry Smith when Smith was a Derbi works rider. Barry then took the bike back to Australia with him, from where it was sold into New Zealand.

1962 Bultaco TSS 250 works racer

Estimate: NZD$60,000 to $70,000 (US$38,000 to $44,000)

With a great race history in 1963 /64, this bike was updated for competitive racing in the 1990's, and it's well and truly been to the doctor. The complete description is worth reading if you are seeking to go classic racing.

1965 Bultaco TSS 250 6 speed racer

Estimate: NZD$27,000 to $35,000 (US$17,000 - $22,000)

Taken to New Zealand from Europe in the mid 1960s its been completely rebuilt but hasn't been raced in more than 40 years, but it has been started and tested. Note the bike is pictured without a fairing but is sold with the fairing.

1963 Ducati 250cc Racer


Estimate: NZD$9,000 to $12,000 (US$6,000 - $7,500)

Purchased from the deceased estate of a former Ducati dealer in the USA and stored for 12 years, this bike has undergone a complete restoration with upgrades where required. The engine was rebuilt by Ian Gowanloch, Australia' premier Ducati restoration and tuning specialist before he retired to his parts farm and has not been run since. The bike is ready to race, or sit in the lounge or reception as an art work in its own right.
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