Five separate auctions over the next week will see one of the greatest assortments of elite collectible motorcycles ever assembled go under the auctioneer's hammer, including a 1937 Brough Superior SS100 expected to fetch more than US$300,000 and a rare 1956 BMW Rennsport RS500 Type 256 expected to top US$250,000.

There are bargains amongst this lot to be had, and we've assembled what we think are the most interesting offerings in any-easy-to-browse format which can be clicked to take you through to the official auction page for anything that catches your eye.

UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS

More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.

UPGRADE

Numerous "projects" are contained below, where bikes have been found in completely original but dilapidated condition, or have been partially restored before circumstances intervened. There are also a few very desirable engines waiting to complete that period special that deserves the extra herbs a Zenith 998cc JTOR racing engine or a JAP four-cam can provide.

As seems to be perpetually the case at major auctions, there's another wildcard motorcycle which might achieve many multiples of its estimate and it's a former Steve McQueen steed, this one a 1934 Indian 750cc Sport Scout that was purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams' McQueen Sale in San Francisco in November 2006 for US$177,500. This means that just factoring in the movements of the market plus inflation, if this bike sells for it's estimated £55,000 to £65,000 (US$85,000 - $100,000), it'll be at a 50 percent discount. We've written about McQueen's "midas touch" many times and the king of cool's brand values are pure gold. He is still one of the world's highest earning celebrities a third of a century after his death, more than a dozen of his former motorcycles are in the 250 most valuable motorcycles in the world, and earlier this year, Steve's Cyclone became the most expensive motorcycle ever to sell at auction.

Since it's acquisition, the Scout has been registered in the UK and ridden occasionally but most of the time has been kept on display at the owner's office. Expect fireworks when this baby crosses the block.

We'll have a full report next week when we see how the marketplace receives these offerings.

If you wish to follow the auctions live, the two largest auctions will be held on consecutive days at Staffordshire County Showground (UK) and they are both being streamed over the internet by the world's most successful collectible motorcycle auction house, Bonhams.

They are the Lonati Collection of American Motorcycles (17 October, 2015 starting at 15:00 BST) and Bonham's annual Autumn Stafford Sale (18 October, 2015, starting at 12:00 BST), the latter including the Gary Ross Collection and the The Keeley Collection.

The third big auction this week is H&H Classic Auctions' Imperial War Museum Duxford Sale and there are some delectable offerings amongst the lots too. You can also watch the auctions live and bid remotely.

The fourth and fifth auctions mentioned took place this weekend, and have been mentioned for completeness of coverage as they contain only two and one motorcycles respectively, amongst what are primarily car auctions.

The RM Auctions' Hershey Collection sale had one motorcycle of note amongst the lots – the 1925 Henderson 1300cc De Luxe four with Goulding sidecar – sold for $57,750.

Similarly, the Coys of Kensington sale at Ascot Racecourse on 10 October contained a fascinating 1955 Moto Guzzi Ercole Motocarro which illustrates how closely cars and motorcycles (not to mention agricultural machinery) were related not all that long ago.

1937 Brough Superior 990CC SS100

Lot 191 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £210,000 - 240,000 ($320,000 - $370,000)

This is the bike that took pride of place on the Brough Superior stand at the 1937 Olympia Motorcycle Show, then the world's most highly-regarded marque and the world's most important motorcycle show. Only three owners from new, matching numbers ... if it sells, it will become one of the world's top ten most valuable motorcycles.

1956 BMW Rennsport RS500 Type 256

Lot 54 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £160,000 - 180,000 ($245,000 - $275,000)

One of only six factory Type 256 racing machines ever made, one of which finished second in the 1956 500cc World Championship in the hands of Walter Zellor, with other factory riders including Geoff Duke, Dickie Dale and Ernst Hiller. In current ownership for 40 years. Another bike which could fetch well beyond it's estimate.

1927 Brough Superior SS100 Alpine GS Project

Lot 201 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £120,000 - 160,000 ($185,000 -$245,000)

Don't let the "basket case" condition fool you, this pile of bits is pure gold. Bonham's auction description cites the SS100 Alpine Grand Sport as "the most desirable of Vintage-era motorcycles" and it should know, as it sold a fully restored version of this bike for £315,100 (US$492,973) less than twelve months ago. RM Auctions sold another SS100 Alpine Grand Sport for £280,800 (US$452,234) in October, 2012. Finish this job and you might well double your money.

1938 DKW SS 250 'Split Single'

Lot 36 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £80,000 - 100,000 ($120,000 - $150,000)

DKW was once the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, with 20,000 employees. The contraction forced by the Great Depression of the 1930s forced a merger between DKW, Audi (already owned by DKW), Horch and Wanderer to form Auto Union AG in 1932. With Auto Union cars flying the flag for the group in automotive Grands Prix, DKW did the same in motorcycle racing and Hermann Weber's supercharged, split-single, two-stroke was vested with the task.

The new 250cc class machine mounted the cylinder vertically with the supercharger's cylinder in front of the crankcases. By 1939, DKW had the largest motorcycle racing department in the world with 150 engineers and could boast many major successes, including the first German victory at the Isle of Man in the 1938 Junior TT (Ewald Kluge).

This example was purchased by the owner in 1997 from Holland and entrusted to German DKW specialist Bernd Kohler for restoration. At the time the frame was either damaged or had been modified and was rebuilt around the bottom tube to restore it to original specification. Although the majority of the major components were present and in good condition a number of new components were made to return the machine to running order including a replacement supercharger piston, rotary inlet valve, pistons and apparently a new crankshaft.

This extremely rare machine is believed to be one of only six built by the factory, is presented in good running order and accompanied by correspondence from the restorer together with photographs detailing the restoration of the engine and frame. This highly desirable racing machine is destined to become one of the most expensive two-strokes ever sold.

1910 Pierce 688cc Four

Lot 21 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £60,000 - 80,000 ($90,000 - $120,000)

One of motorcycle collecting's holy grail's, the Pierce was America's first four-cylinder motorcycle, manufactured by the upmarket Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company in Buffalo, New York. According to its makers, the Pierce would be "vibrationless, give motor car comfort and travel comfortably from a mere walking pace up to the speed of the motor car."

It was not just its multi-cylinder engine that made the Pierce unusual; the frame too was novel, being constructed from 3½-inch diameter steel tubes that housed fuel and oil, and, like the FN, final drive was by shaft. Early models employed direct drive, but from 1910 onwards a two-speed gearbox was standard. Fast and well made, the Pierce soon had a string of city-to-city endurance race wins to its credit. The cost of the Pierce motorcycle ultimately led to its downfall. It cost $400 when production ceased in 1913, at which time the base Ford Model T automobile cost $525. Pierce fours are very rare and this example has been restored to a high standard.

Some recent examples of this rare 1910 Pierce 688cc Four at auction include an original but completely unrestored 1909 Pierce Four which sold for US$161,000 at a Bonhams auction in San Francisco in November, 2007, a restored 1909 Pierce Four which sold for $115,500 in Las Vegas at the E.J. Cole Collection auction in March this year, and another restored 1911 Pierce Four which sold for £54,300 (US$89,638) at the Stafford Spring auction in April, 2011.

1938 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide

Lot 192 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £60,000 - 80,000 ($90,000 - $120,000)

Pre-WW2 Vincent Rapides are highly sought-after. Indeed, a 1939 Vincent-HRD Series-A Rapide sold for £275,900 (US$418,940) at Bonham's Spring Stafford sale earlier this year, another sold for £225,500 (US$366,775) at the Spring Stafford sale in 2012, and still another sold for £198,400 (US$357,291) in London in September, 2008.

Around 78 Series A Rapides were built prior to the war, a similar number to the American equivalent V-twin superbike, the Crocker, and they all invariably sell into the top 100 motorcycles if they ever reach public auction.

So why does this bike have such a conservative estimate?

It does not have its original frame, but instead has a replica frame, identical in form and quality to the one the motor left the factory in three-quarters of a century ago. Indeed, it's close to identical to it's original form, give or take an atom here and there. Just to ensure you don't know what it's worth, the entire bike underwent a restoration of exceptional quality just 26 miles ago.

What's it worth? As always, the answer is "whatever someone is prepared to pay" and auctions are an ideal way of determining the value of such items. Our bet is that it will fetch a lot more than it's estimate, maybe as much as three times it's estimate in fact. I will be watching when this bike crosses the block, as what it fetches may be a bellwether for the market heading into the important January Las Vegas auctions.

1967 Benelli GP 500 Replica

Lot 18 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £60,000 - 70,000 ($90,000 - $110,000)

Try as we might, we can't find out much about this bike or it's origins, though it is claimed to be "as raced Renzo Pasolini." Pasolini died in the same accident which claimed the life of Jarno Saarinen at Monza on 20 May 1973, so we're not sure if it the bike that Pasolini raced for Benelli or like the bike that Pasolini raced. The images indicate the bike is at very least a perfect replica of the real deal, and the only precedent we can find is a Benelli 350cc Beale Replica which sold for £55,400 ($104,343) at Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale in October, 2006. Watch the bidding on this one, as there is every chance of asymmetrical knowledge in the audience.

1958 Ducati GP 125

Lot 81 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £60,000 - 70,000 ($90,000 - $110,000)

Few details from H&H on this bike other than that it was an original Desmodromic bike built by the Ducati Race Department, features the double cradle frame and that it was raced in 1959 125 World Championship.

1934 Indian 750cc Sport Scout (Ex-Steve McQueen )

Lot 214 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £55,000 - 65,000 ($85,000 - $100,000)

We've already mentioned this bike in great detail in the introduction to this article. Most tellingly, it was purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams' McQueen Sale in San Francisco in November 2006 for US$177,500. This means that just factoring in the movements of the market plus inflation, if this bike sells for it's estimated £55,000 to £65,000 (US$85,000 - $100,000), it'll be at a 50 percent discount.

1951 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow

Lot 194 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £50,000 - 60,000 ($75,000 - $90,000)

The world record price at auction for a Black Shadow was set in April, 2012 at Bonham's Spring Stafford Sale by a 1955 model which fetched £124,700 ($202,824). The second highest price achieved by a Black Shadow was a 1952 model at $175,698 (£113,500) in April, 2013, and the third highest price was a 1954 model sold by Mecum MidAmerica which fetched $156,600 during Monterey Car in August, 2013. There are dozens more Black Shadows which you can find at our listing of the top 250 motorcycles sold at auction. To make the top 250, a motorcycle has to have sold for more than US$90,000.

This bike is much more than just any 1951 Vincent Black Shadow, this bike was once owned by John Surtees, the only person to have won world championships at the highest level for both cars (1964 World F1 Champ) and motorcycles (350cc title in 1958, 1959, 1960 and 500cc title in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960). You can't beat provenance like that, and although there's a discrepancy with the rear sub-frame, this bike could surprise with its result.

1897 Léon Bollée Voiturette


Lot 256 - RM Sotheby's Hershey (9-Oct-15)

Estimate: $70,000 - $90,000

Though the auction description calls this a car, we're classifying it as a motorcycle because the family tree was effectively still on the same branch for both species 118 years ago, particularly when you consider the tandem seating and horizontal 882cc single-cylinder engine. What's more, this was the fastest thing on European roads at that point, with one of these vehicles setting a world record for 100 kilometers in 1898, covering the distance in 1 hour and 58 minutes. Though that wouldn't break the city speed limit today, it was the fastest gasoline-powered vehicle on European roads at the time. Impeccably credentialed, this car was once part of the Harrah Automobile Collection, then the Blackhawk Collection where it remained on display in the Blackhawk museum for over a decade before joining its present owner's collection in 2000. This vehicle was sold over the weekend at RM-Sotheby's Hershey Sale for $126,500

1930 Indian Model 402 Combination


Lot 51 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £40,000 - 50,000 ($60,000 - $75,000)

The world record price for an Indian 402 was set by Coys which fetched £90,000 (US$153,959) for a 1931 Indian 402 in July, 2014. A beautiful and highly collectible motorcycle which incorporates so much American motorcycle history, with its basic architecture traceable to the Henderson four of 1912. This restored Indian Four combination is likely to rapidly appreciate in value over the coming years if it can be owned within its estimated price.

1938 DKW 250SS Supercharged Racer

Lot 189 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £40,000 - 50,000 ($60,000 - $75,000)

Believed to have once been owned by Dr. Joe Ehrlich and hence having possibly been badged as an EMC during its existence, the history of this DKW 250SS Supercharged Racing Motorcycle is incomplete but as the catalogue description so beautifully puts it, “this rare DKW 250SS represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of the most exotic production racing motorcycles of all time, ripe for sympathetic restoration.”

1934 Brough Superior 1,096CC 11-50HP Project

Lot 252 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £30,000 - 50,000 ($45,000 - $75,000)

A wonderful "barnfind" in need of some tender loving care but the end result will be more than worthwhile, as the record price at auction for a Brough Superior 1096cc 11-50 HP was achieved by a 1937 model at Bonham's Spring Stafford Sale earlier this year when it fetched £147,100 (US$223,364). Acquired by the current owner in 1991, this 1934 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50 hp appears to be totally original and complete, and should, despite its somewhat distressed condition, be a relatively straightforward restoration for the experienced practitioner.

1925 Henderson De Luxe with Goulding Sidecar

Lot 210 - RM Sotheby's Hershey (9-Oct-15)

Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000

This motorcycle was sold over the weekend by RM-Sotheby's at it's Hershey Sale, fetching US$57,750.

1955 NSU Sportmax

Lot 63 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £35,000 - 40,000 ($55,000 - $60,000)

NSU withdrew from racing at the end of the 1954 season, announcing the release of the new single cylinder 250cc Sportmax at the same time. The Sportmax produced 28 hp @ 9,000 rpm and gave many a privateer their first results over the coming years, including such luminaries as John Surtees and Mike Hailwood. The record price at auction for a 1955 NSU Sportmax is £69,440 (US$116,634) which sold at H&H Classic Auctions’ April, 2014 Duxford Imperial War Museum sale (though to be fair, that was the bike ridden by both Hailwood and Surtees).

1925 Coventry Eagle 976cc Flying-8

Lot 197 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £30,000 - 40,000 ($45,000 - $60,000)

One of only a relative handful of overhead-valve Flying-8s known to survive worldwide, the model represented Brough Superior's most credible rival in terms of quality, performance and price. The Flying-8 was powered by a 980cc JAP v-twin engine and built a fine sporting reputation thanks to its racing achievements, with its name derived from the engine's RAC rating of 8 horsepower.

Indeed, the estimate looks a little light in terms of recent sales of the model with a 1926 Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 selling for £106,780 ($162,140) at Bonham's Spring Stafford Sale earlier this year and the record price for the model is a 1928 model which sold at Bonham's 2011 Quail Lodge Sale during Monterey Car Week in 2011, when it fetched US$265,500.

1912 Pierce 592cc Single

Lot 25 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £30,000 - 40,000 ($45,000 - $60,000)

Another bike with an inexplicably low estimate, Pierce is a marque with a remarkable history and examples are extremely rare. Though Pierce is best known for its fours, the single is even rarer, and an original bike identical to this model but in need of a complete restoration sold for US$143,640 in January 2013 at a Las Vegas auction by MidAmerica (now Mecum MidAmerica). You can see a pic of that bike in 106th place of our top 250 bikes ever sold at auction. This particular bike is exquisitely restored and has four AMCA concours awards to its credit (images in the auction description). Go figure!

1916 Henderson 965cc Four

Lot 23 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £30,000 - 40,000 ($45,000 - $60,000)

1913 Matchless 3½hp TT Model

Lot 216 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £28,000 - 36,000 ($43,000 - $55,000)

1905 Indian 2¼hp 'Camel Back'

Lot 14 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £28,000 - 36,000 ($43,000 - $55,000)

Another potential bargain to be had as this bike appears to be completely original and accordingly in very good condition to begin a restoration. The "Camel Back's" heritage and place in American motorcycle history is well documented, having put the fledgling Indian motorcycle on the map. The record at auction for the model is US$133,500 set at Bonham's Las Vegas auction in 2011, with a dilapidated and unrestored 1906 model (Ex-E. Paul du Pont) selling for US$ 72,540 at Las Vegas in 2012.

1918 Thor 76.25ci Model U Twin

Lot 20 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £28,000 - 35,000 ($43,000 - $54,000)

Another rare and highly desirable motorcycle from the annals of American motorcycle history, the 76.25 cubic inch (1250cc) Model U V-twin was marketed by Thor as the most powerful motorcycle yet known, and this restored example is one of the many gems in the Lonatti Collection. The record at auction for the model was set earlier this year by Mecum Mid-America during the Las Vegas auctions when a 1914 model sold for $77,000 (price including buyers commission).

1971 Münch 1200 TTS 'Mammoth'

Lot 152 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £28,000 - 35,000 ($43,000 - $54,000)

Very large capacity motorcycles are commonplace these days but in 1971, Friedel Münch's Mammut was by far the largest capacity production motorcycle on the roads, and a favorite of roadtesters at that. It was extremely expensive and exclusive then, and it will only become moreso. As far as we can tell, there's never been one sold at auction before, though two have reached the auction block in America, one with an estimate of US$100,000 to $125,000 and the other with an estimate of US$90,000 to $110,000. Both were passed in, but we suspect this one will sell.

1916 Emblem 820cc Model 106 Lightweight Twin

Lot 22 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £25,000 - 35,000 ($40,000 - $54,000)

1930 Henderson 1301 Model KJ Streamline

Lot 56 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £28,000 - 34,000 ($43,000 - $53,000)

1951 Vincent Rapide

Lot 51 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £30,000 - 32,000 ($46,000 - $49,000)

1938 Indian 77.21ci Model 438 Four

Lot 52 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £26,000 - 32,000 ($39,000 - $49,000)

1962 Honda CR93

Lot 90 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £28,000 - 32,000 ($43,000 - $49,000)

1973 Suzuki TR500 (XR05) Racer

Lot 175 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £27,000 - 30,000 ($41,000 - $46,000)

1918 Reading-Standard 1,150cc 'Big Twin' Outfit

Lot 28 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £25,000 - 30,000 ($38,500 - $46,000)

1917 Excelsior 61ci Motorcycle Combination


Lot 27 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £25,000 - 30,000 ($38,500 - $46,000)

1933 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk

Lot 195 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £25,000 - 30,000 ($38,500 - $46,000)

1923 Brough Superior JAP 981CC
Four-cam Racing Engine

Lot 210 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000 ($31,000 - $46,000)

1939 Indian 45ci Dispatch Tow Trike

Lot 50 - Bonham's Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000 ($31,000 - $46,000)

1928 Zenith 998cc JTOR Racing engine

Lot 211 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000 ($31,000 - $46,000)

1923 Henderson 1,301cc Deluxe Four

Lot 24 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £24,000 - 28,000 ($37,000 - $43,000)

1928 Henderson 1,301cc Deluxe Four

Lot 57 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £24,000 - 28,000 ($37,000 - $43,000)

1924 Henderson 1,951cc Deluxe Six

Lot 58 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £24,000 - 28,000 ($37,000 - $43,000)

1954 Norton Manx 30M

Lot 27 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £25,000 - 26,000 ($38,500 - $40,000)

1922 Harley-Davidson 1,200cc JD Combination

Lot 6 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £22,000 - 26,000 ($34,000 - $40,000)

1929 Harley-Davidson 1,200cc Model JDH

'Two Cam' Racing Motorcycle

Lot 9 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £22,000 - 26,000 ($34,000 - $40,000)

1928 Harley-Davidson 1,200cc Model JD

Lot 11 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £22,000 - 26,000 ($34,000 - $40,000)

1923 Indian 61ci Chief Motorcycle Combination

Lot 48 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £20,000 - 25,000 ($31,000 - $38,500)

1940 Ariel 4G Square Four

Lot 223A - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £20,000 - 25,000 ($31,000 - $38,500)

1946 Harley-Davidson 74ci FL 'Knucklehead'

Lot 31 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £20,000 - 25,000 ($31,000 - $38,500)

1935 Harley-Davidson 1,200cc Model VD

Lot 34 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £20,000 - 25,000 ($31,000 - $38,500)

1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo

Lot 215 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £19,000 - 25,000 ($31,000 - $38,500)

1914 Indian 7hp Big Twin

Lot 15 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 25,000 ($23,000 - $38,500)

1928 Harley-Davidson 1,200cc JDH 'Two Cam'

Lot 10 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 25,000 ($23,000 - $38,500)

1928 Excelsior 750cc Super-X

Lot 30 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £18,000 - 24,000 ($28,000 - $37,000)

1930 Harley-Davidson 1,200cc Model V

Lot 32 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £18,000 - 24,000 ($28,000 - $37,000)

1913 Harley-Davidson Model 9B '5-35' Single

Lot 3 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £18,000 - 24,000 ($28,000 - $37,000)

1920 Harley-Davidson 1,000cc Model 20J

Lot 1 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £18,000 - 24,000 ($28,000 - $37,000)

1920 Harley-Davidson 'Board Track' Racer

Lot 5 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £18,000 - 24,000 ($28,000 - $37,000)

1930 Excelsior 750cc Super-X

Lot 29 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £18,000 - 24,000 ($28,000 - $37,000)

1913 Scott 532cc Two-Speed Standard

Lot 217 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £18,000 - 22,000 ($28,000 - $34,000)

1919 Harley-Davidson 1,000cc
Model 19F Motorcycle Combination

Lot 2 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £16,000 - 22,000 ($25,000 - $34,000)

1953 Norton 498cc Manx Racing Motorcycle

Lot 178 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £16,000 - 20,000 ($25,000 - $31,000)

1941 Indian 74ci Chief

Lot 54 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £16,000 - 20,000 ($25,000 - $31,000)

1911 Flying Merkel 498cc 'Racing' Motorcycle

Lot 26 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £16,000 - 20,000 ($25,000 - $31,000)

1931 Brough Superior Overhead 680 Black Alpine

Lot 202 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 20,000 ($23,000 - $31,000)

1919 Indian 7hp Powerplus

Lot 19 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 20,000 ($23,000 - $31,000)

1918 Indian 7hp Powerplus 'Board Track' Racer

Lot 18 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 20,000 ($23,000 - $31,000)

1960 Mead Norton 250cc Manx Racing Motorcycle

Lot 177 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 20,000 ($23,000 - $31,000)

1938 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Comet Project

Lot 193 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 18,000 ($23,000 - $27,500)

1942 Harley-Davidson 750cc XA Military Motorcycle

Lot 37 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £14,000 - 18,000 ($21,500 - $27,500)

1973 Triumph X-75 Hurricane

Lot 95 - H&H Imperial War Museum Duxford (13-Oct-15)

Estimate: £15,000 - 16,000 ($23,000 - $24,500)

BSA-Triumph's most iconic post-WWII motorcycle and the product of a comedy of errors which conspired to limit its production run and make it valuable too. Faced with the onslaught of much faster, much much more reliable, oil-leak-free motorcycles with modern styling from Japan, the company produced yet another 750 with vertically-split crankcases and pushrod valve actuation, albeit with three cylinders instead of two. The marketing-aware distributors in America knew better and commissioned designer Craig Vetter to create a customized BSA Rocket 3. BSA hated it, but when the bike appeared on the cover of Cycle World in 1970, and massive public interest demanded it, the company was lucky enough to have enough sets of inclined-cylinder BSA crankcases left for a limited run of 1,200 bikes under the Triumph badge, as BSA had gone bankrupt in the meantime. It took Vetter two years to get paid. The limited edition Hurricane is now the most valuable post-WWII British motorcycle. This 1972 Triumph 750 X75 Hurricane is expected to fetch between £15,000 and £16,000, but just six months ago at the Spring Stafford sale an identical bike fetched £20,700 and the following month (May, 2015), Mecum Mid-America sold one for $30,800.

1963 Honda CR93 Racing Motorcycle

Lot 176 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £14,000 - 16,000 ($21,500 - $24,500)

Only around 150 of these bikes were produced, but they were genuine production race machines with unfailing reliability and enough speed to win a string of races throughout the 1960s in privateer hands. This was the bike which began establishing credibility for the Japanese marque at a grass roots level. Another motorcycle almost certain to become a valuable collectible a decade or two from now, and fast and reliable enough for you to go vintage racing with a competitive machine in the meantime.

1996 Molnar 498cc Manx Racing Motorcycle

Lot 179 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £12,000 - 16,000 ($18,500 - $24,500)

1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Military

Lot 36 - Bonhams Lonatti Collection (17-Oct-15)

Estimate: £10,000 - 14,000 ($15,500 - $21,500)

1990 Norton 588cc F1

Lot 181 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £12,000 - 14,000 ($18,500 - $21,500)

1992 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000

Lot 154 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £9,000 - 11,000 ($14,000 - $17,000)

1955 Moto Guzzi Ercole Motocarro

Lot 110 - Coys Ascott Sale (10-Oct-05)

Estimate: £8,000 - 10,000 ($12,000 - $15,500)

2011 EVA Track T800 CDI Diesel Motorcycle

Lot 153 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £7,000 - 8,000 ($11,000 - $12,500)

Rare, reliable and frugal, we wrote up this motorcycle a decade ago, and now you can procure one at a fraction of its new price. Another bike which will appreciate over time due to its rarity. In the meantime, you can ride it to the ends of the earth and back. A sterling investment.

1965 Marusho 500 Lilac

Lot 136 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £5,000 - 6,000 ($7,500 - $9,000)

A definite classic in the making with only 600 ever produced and around 150 believed to still exist. Marusho's founder, Masashi Itō, was a former apprentice to Soichiro Honda and although he didn't experience quite the same success, his motorcycles were reliable and well engineered. A few decades from now, this will have been a fine investment.

1967 Honda CB450 'Black Bomber'

Lot 130 - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale (18-Oct-15)

Estimate: £4,800 - 5,600 ($6,100 - $7,700)

Is a collectible motorcycle just about being rare, or is it a landmark model that's also fun to ride because of its characteristics? If you're looking for rarity, the Black Bomber might not fit the bill, because Honda sold a lot of them. That's because they were fast, handled well, got good miles per gallon and they were ultra-reliable. For a few years indeed, this was the biggest, fastest Honda you could buy. It is a landmark machine, but has been overshadowed by the four-cylinder CB750 as an enthusiast machine because the anti-Japanese sentiment was still rife in motorcycling circles when the CB450 first appeared. I believe this is a very collectible machine in the making, and throw in the additional fact that it is being sold by a modern popular culture figure in the form of Top Gear's James May, and this bike is a steal if it sells for anything like its pre-sale estimate.

View gallery - 225 images