The 100 most interesting sales at Las Vegas motorcycle auctions
There is little doubt that the motorcycle auction marketplace was evolving at the year-defining Las Vegas auctions this year, both on a macro and micro level. Mecum's five day sale from January 23 to 27 was the largest single auction of motorcycles ever held, with Bonhams' one day sale setting a new world record for a motorcycle sold at auction by fetching $979,000 for a 1951 Vincent Black Lightning.
Those two key factors were fairly obvious before the show began though, and of far greater interest was the movement in the middle and lower ends of the marketplace where models from the 1970s and 1980s are clearly beginning to be appreciated, and the value of many motorcycles is on the rise.
Japanese motorcycles have traditionally not been recognized by the marketplace on the auction block. This year in Las Vegas we saw some of the most valuable Japanese motorcycles ever sold and perhaps even more significantly, many of the Japanese bikes which fetched top prices were two-strokes.
There still may only be a handful of two-strokes in the top 250 most valuable motorcycles ever sold, but in the bottom and medium ranges, many two-strokes are now being recognized for their rarity and importance.
With the sheer volume of bikes this year, we've been able to add in a bit more detail to each model with multiple examples in many cases.
$1,610 | 1967 Yamaha 246cc YDS3 Catalina
Bonhams | Lot 192 | Auction Link
This bike is 50 years old, has just 5,518 miles on the odometer, runs perfectly, and as the auction report states "the paint and chrome exhibit rich patina."
Most significantly, the 246cc engine has a five speed gearbox and will still run 16.6 seconds for a quarter mile with a top speed of 82 mph, with great handling to boot. Yamaha was just getting started when this 250cc pocket rocket was sold, but already the performance of its small two-strokes was encroaching on that of much larger motorcycles. If it had an Italian, American or British brand name on the tank, it would still be being referred to as a miracle machine.
$2,090 | 1980 Kawasaki KZ1300
Mecum | Lot W216 | Auction Link
Kawasaki only produced one six cylinder motorcycle, but that was enough. Yes, it was unfeasibly large, but once you had your head around the magnitude of the motorcycle, and treated it with respect, it was a fantastic motorcycle, with more power than seemed fair, and genuine presence to boot. Two grand doesn't do it justice.
$2,750 | 1964 Honda 305 Dream
Mecum | Lot F336 | Auction Link
Believe it or not, this is considered a late model Honda Dream, though Japanese styling still predominates. This was the period when Honda was proving its worth, and these bikes are reliable and quiet and economical and ... fast. We really don't want to spoil it for all those people who still ride these bikes and love them with all their heart, but there's a huge following of early Hondas.
Ride one of these and a few of its contemporaries, and you'll understand why Honda became the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer. These two articles on the bike might help light a fire under you: Frank Melling on The Honda Dream 250 and Greg Williams on the Honda Dream 305.
$4,500 | "Hero" bike from the hit movie Priest
Mecum | Lot S127 | Auction Link
The 2011 post apocalypse sci-fi movie Priest contained many quite radical motorcycles made for the film by designer Ron Mendell and this bike was one of them. Based on a Suzuki Gladius, it apparently rides well.
$4,950 | 2002 Indian Wreck (Terminator 3 movie bike)
Mecum | Lot T100 | Auction Link
This is one of the Indian police bikes that was wrecked during the filming of the 2003 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Indian provided eight motorcycles configured as police machines, and Schwarzenegger rode this motorcycle during the chase scene and this was the bike that got smashed during the crane sequence. One of the bikes which didn't get wrecked sold for $9,360 at a Bonhams auction in 2009, but this is easily fixable and ... hey, it's Arnie's bike, with genuine Terminator movie provenance. If the value of a bike is the stories it contains, surely this is worth more than $4,950!
$4,950 | 1968 Bridgestone 350 GTR
Mecum | Lot S292 | Auction Link
This was a bargain for someone. Until the early 1970s, globally renowned tire manufacturer Bridgestone also made a range of motorcycles which were of exceptional quality. This was the largest capacity motorcycle produced by Bridgestone, the 350 GTR, and it was produced in very limited quantities, believed to have been just 9,000 units.
Around that time, the other major motorcycle manufacturers made Bridgestone an offer it couldn't refuse: stop making motorcycles or we won't use your tires on our motorcycles.
Bridgestone complied, and this roadgoing motorcycle, which was faster than the Yamaha 350cc Grand Prix roadster (see below) of the same period, was shelved. It was faster thanks to its use of disc valve induction and this bike was sold with just one previous ownerplus full documentation including the original owners manual, and an original parts catalog.
$6,875 | 1967 Yamaha YR-1 Grand Prix Twin
Mecum | Lot T299 | Auction Link
Though there have been several much lauded Grand Prix replica road bikes in recent times, the Yamaha YR1 Grand Prix twin of 1967 was probably as close technologically to the 350cc two-stroke twin cylinder racers produced by Yamaha, as the more recent bikes of Ducati and Honda were to their Grand Prix counterparts.
Indeed, the YR-1 was a landmark motorcycle in myriad ways. The engine was the first to use aluminum cylinders with cast iron sleeves, the first to use a horizontally-split crankcase, and instead of the problematic crank-mounted clutch of previous models, a multi-plate clutch was mounted on the countershaft.
The bike could also be set up to have the gearshift and brake on either side, and the 61 x 59.6 mm bore and stroke gave it 348.4cc, fitting nicely into the 350cc category of Grand Prix Motorcycle racing.
Just as the Yamaha YR-1 embarrassed road bikes two and three times larger, its race bikes were doing so on racetracks around the world. In 1968, Yamaha's 350cc road racing bikes (with engines almost identical to this bike) shocked the American public by finishing second and third in the country's most important road race, the Daytona 200 Miles, against a field of unlimited capacity machines. In 1969, a Yamaha 350 was the first to lap the Daytona circuit at 150 mph.
This is a landmark motorcycle in unrestored but remarkable condition that sold for $6,875.
$5,175 | 1970 Norton 750cc Commando S Café Racer
Bonhams | Lot 104 | Auction Link
Astonishing value for this 1970 Norton 750cc Commando S Café Racer
$5,225 | 1969 Chang Jiang SJ750 with sidecar
Mecum | Lot T324 | Auction Link
I had never seen one of China's Chang Jiang SJ750s until I went to the China International Motorcycle Show in Chongqing in 2017. The full story is worth a read and covers the pricing. Remarkably, the rather low price paid at auction in Las Vegas is greater than you'd pay in China for a "good one" (everything is relative).
They were manufactured from 1957 onward, initially as the motorcycle of choice of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, and later for civilian use.
The tale goes much further though, because due to a "technical collaboration" between the Peoples Republic of China and Cold War Soviet Russia, the CJ750 is a copy of the Russian made 1956 IMZ (Irbitski Mototsikletniy Zavod) Motosikl 72 ... aka M72 ... which in turn began its own technological evolution as an improved military version of a 1938 BMW R71.
No sale | 2002 Honda VTXS Fauxari Enzo 1
Mecum | Lot S248 | Auction Link
Quite a remarkable price for a motorcycle with such star power. The Ferrari-themed Honda VTX 1800 has only 10,000 miles on the clock, thanks to being trailered to shows, where it "consistently wins Fan Favorite, Best Paint and Construction at both motorcycle and car shows" according to the auction description. Was selling with the themed trailer but bidding only reached $7,000.
$7,975 | 1958 Honda Benly JC58
Mecum | Lot S246.1 | Auction Link
This Japanese market Honda Benly was produced before America even had a Honda dealer, though Honda had already been producing complete motorcycles for a decade prior to this. Significantly, Honda was preparing to compete at the 1959 Isle of Man TT races for the first time with a racing version of the Honda 125 cc Benly, and Kihachiro Kawashima would not leave Japan to establish Honda's first overseas base, American Honda Motor Co, until June 10, 1959.
Just two years later, Honda was beginning to sell a lot more motorcycles than it had anticipated, and wins in the 125cc and 250cc World Motorcycle Racing Championships in 1961 suddenly gave the machinery greater credibility. Just for the record, the commonly used Honda model designation "Benly" comes from the Japanese word that sounds like "benri," and means "convenient."
$9,350 | 1958 BSA 500 Gold Star
Mecum | Lot S39 | Auction Link
Great value at $9,350, this 1958 racing bike with gorgeous hand-formed metal tank, guards and fairing was one of many bikes which wore the BSA Gold Star name over a very long time frame that extended from 1938 to 1963. They also came in 350 cc and 500 cc variants.
If you are into BSA Gold Stars, the most expensive one ever to go to auction was a working cutaway version that was estimated to sell for between $250,000 and $350,000. It didn't sell, but it truly is living, moving art, and it was just one of many priceless motorcycle artifacts from the Herb Harris Collection. Numerous Gold Stars went to auction in Vegas with a 1956 BSA B34 Gold Star Scrambler fetching $19,800 and a stunning 1951 B34 Gold Star Road Bike with 734 miles on the clock was passed in when bidding stopped at $20,000.
$9,900 | 1975 Laverda SF2
Mecum | Lot S217 | Auction Link
If you wanted a collectible bike that was a bit different, goes fast, handles and stops well, would appreciate in value and never give you any trouble no matter how many miles you put underneath it, this is one of the best. In SFC form, these bikes won many major endurance races in the early seventies mainly because they could lap reliably at scorching pace for 24 hours at a time.
$9,900 | 1965 Yamaha 250 Ascot Scrambler
Mecum | Lot F251 | Auction Link
One of motorcycling's finest writers, Kevin Cameron, recently wrote about this bike. It was at the bleeding edge of two-stroke development. It launched the careers of many people beyond Erv Kanemoto.
$9,900 | 1974 BSA B50 Motocross
Mecum | Lot S160 | Auction Link
Probably the last great BSA motorcycle that never got the credit it deserved while the company was asphyxiating was the B50, a 500cc single cylinder motorcycle that was so light, fast and frugal that it won serious endurance races.
It won its class in the Thruxton 500 and Barcelona 24 Hour races, and astonishingly won the Zolder 24 Hour race outright in the early 1970s. The B50 engine was also used in the B50 MX, BSA's motocross bike and a brand new example of the B50 MX sold new in Las Vegas. It was assembled from NOS parts but ... it was new and had never even been started. Truly remarkable.
$10,450 | 1975 Hercules Wankel
Mecum | Lot F314 | Auction Link
My initial story on this bike contained some mistakes regarding prior art in the wankel motorcycle area. Suzuki made the best known wankel-engined motorcycle in the form of the RE5, with the Van Veen OCR 1000 and Norton Interpol II also running rotary engines. The bike above was marketed as both a Hercules and a DKW.
We haven't had the pleasure of riding one of these but are assured by a friend who tested one for a motorcycle magazine in period that they are great to ride, with an engine so smooth you'll find it hard to believe. This is a motorcycle of immense scarcity. Scarcity usually equates with increased price on the auction block, so this appears to be a winner.
$11,000 | 1976 Yamaha XT500
Mecum | Lot T197 | Auction Link
An absolute bargain at $11,000 as this is another landmark motorcycle in as-new condition with virtually all original equipment. There may have been quite a few of these sold, but very few weren't modified.
Make no mistake about the significance of this motorcycle as it was an absolute revelation in 1976, proving that big singles could be perfectly reliable and very fast. In 1977, Bengt Aberg won the first race of the 500cc Luxembourg Motocross Grand Prix on a modified XT500, then in 1979, Cyril Neveu led a 1-2 Yamaha 500 win in the inaugural 1979 Paris-Dakar race. In 1980, Neveu led a Yamaha 500 1-2-3-4 whitewash in the second Paris-Dakar race. The XT500 spawned a dynasty of Yamaha single cylinder motorcycles which survives to this day.
$11,500 | 2011 Chaos Cycle 'Excelsis Deo' Bobber
Bonhams | Lot 173 | Auction Link
Named after the famous Vivaldi piece, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, this bike began life as the personal motorcycle of the "Punk Princess," Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis. That's the spread Xtreme Bikes did on the bike above, and no, we are not making this up. That's a serious S&S motor in there. At $11,500, it is a steal!
$11,550 | 1973 Rokon 340 RT
Mecum | Lot S234 | Auction Link
Rokon made some radical motorcycles in its day, and this was one of the most successful and radical of them all, the 340 Enduro. This bike from 1975 was sold with 0.5 miles on the odometer. It had only ever been started once.
$11,550 | 1985 Yamaha RZ500
Mecum | Lot F226 | Auction Link
The RD500LC or RZ500 was a V4 two-stroke with serious cred, rolled out live by King Kenny Roberts at the Paris Motorcycle Show to emphasize the closeness of his Grand Prix 500 four-cylinder two-stroke.
This RZ500 V4 was the cover bike for Cycle World magazine in November, 1984 and presented at auction as new. At $11,500, the V4 two-stroke engine is still not for amateurs, but it is a two-stroke and two-strokes do not sell well at auction. Incredible value.
$12,100 | 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Mecum | Lot F34 | Auction Link
The ultimate evolution of the 1967 Yamaha YR-1 Grand Prix Twin listed above, this particular bike went to auction as a limited edition Kenny Roberts Replica, with Roberts' signature on the fairing and just three miles from new on the clock. We are unaware of an RZ350 ever selling for more than this.
$13,200 | 1977 Benelli 750 Sei
Mecum | Lot T252 | Auction Link
Benelli liked Honda's four cylinder CB500 so much it copied it, but then it went one better and added two extra cylinders and created a very sweet six-cylinder 750 cc motorcycle. The subsequent 900 was faster but the 750 was sooooo sweet to ride. Another bargain.
$13,750 | 1967 Yamaha TD1-C
Mecum | Lot F180 | Auction Link
At the very beginning of Yamaha two-stroke racing motorcycles, the TD1C snapped crankshafts like carrots, seized its brains out, frightened the bravest riders with its speed and when it seized. Most of the bike's issues are understood and sorted these days. This is a motorcycle from the very dawn of the two-stroke era.
$13,800 | 1979 Honda CBX1000
Bonhams | Lot 182 | Auction Link
This was the most expensive CBX prior to the last day of Mecum's sale, with one of the Mecum offerings slipping past it to sell for $15,400 on last day and become the most expensive of 16 Honda CBXs to sell during Scottsdale. That's the other 15 below with the Mecum lot numbers in the far right column for those who wish to examine the details.
I owned a CBX identical to this for many years, having tested one new for a motorcycle magazine in period and absolutely falling in love with the balance/handling, induction roar and turbine smoothness of the engine. I also spent time with the designer of the bike in Japan at a later Honda launch, and we both lamented the lack of recognition for a wonderful motorcycle, partly due to Honda exceeding its sporting potential with the 900 four, and then Suzuki trumping everyone with the GSX1100E which was introduced in August 1979.
Despite a lot of nonsense written about the CBX, when it was carefully set up, it was an extraordinarily well balanced, perfectly reliable and thoroughly civilized motorcycle. As can be seen, it doesn't cost much to own a six cylinder bike with impeccable manners.
$14,300 | 1973 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV
Mecum | Lot T245 | Auction Link
The Kawasaki 750cc three-cylinder two-stroke Mach IV was the fastest motorcycle on the road for several years until Kawasaki released the four cylinder four-stroke Z1. Despite what is written in wikipedia about the bike, this bike was no match for the subsequent 900cc Z1 in production racing, if for no other reason that it had to stop for gas once an hour if you had the throttle wide open for long.
Just the same, this is a surprisingly high price for a two-stroke motorcycle and perhaps the Mach IV is finally beginning to be appreciated as an infinitely better motorcycle than the Mach III.
$14,300 | 1965 Honda CL 72
Mecum | Lot F330| Auction Link
A remarkable motorcycle that fetched a remarkable price, this 1965 Honda CL 72 sold for $14,300. It sported a matching numbers 250cc engine and had been subject to a restoration to original specifications. Nice to see the original Hondas getting some respect.
$15,400 | 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000
Given the instantly recognizable styling on top of the domination of the bike in production racing during its model years, the only thing stopping the Katana from becoming a collectible motorcycle was the vast numbers in which it was sold.
This is another bike I owned in period for several years and NOTHING else that was stock came close to it in a straight line, though it did tend to weave disconcertingly at extreme speed. Beauty and brawn and surprisingly rare on the auction block in such original condition.
$16,500 | 1962 Moto Guzzi Falcone
Mecum | Lot S246 | Auction Link
An older restoration of one of the nicest versions of the 500cc single you can imagine. The Falcone is fabulous fun to ride, with a gentle, loping motor. Great value at $16,500.
$16,500 | 1967 Husqvarna 250 MX
Mecum | Lot S121 | Auction Link
One of Gerrit Wolsink's early motocross bikes that was restored by Vintage Iron. Excellent price for a two-stroke, which tends to make us feel there's a history to this bike that we don't know about.
$17,050 | 1974 Ducati 750 GT
Mecum | Lot T184 | Auction Link
There is something about the Ducati name on the auction block that seems to multiply pricing just by the way it rolls off the tongue. The Ducati 750 SS is now selling into the stratosphere (like this one for $176,000), and the Ducati 750 S followed suit with pricing climbing at an extraordinary rate thanks to the rising tide caused by the 750 SS. Now the 750 GT is doing likewise. This unrestored model fetching $17,050 is a sign for the future methinks.
$18,700 | 1964 Honda CZ100
Mecum | Lot S64 | Auction Link
Rare early model of the original series of the Honda Monkey bike. Imported from Holland 12 years ago, with a very low VIN numberand frame no. S00108. Could become a significant "missing link" model as it was the first of an important motorcycle sub-species that is now propagating across Asia as a better-sized road bike for urban environments and smaller humans.
$18,700 | 1987 Suzuki RG500
An excellent price considering this bike is a two-stroke, and particularly considering it is an RG400, not one of the genuine RG500 road bikes. Suzuki's RG500 racing bikes first won World 500cc Championships in the hands of Barry Sheene in 1976 and 1977 but when they became available as production racers, they were the privateer's bike of choice for a decade, winning seven consecutive Constructors' championships in the 500cc class.
The RG500 was built in limited numbers, with an RG400 produced for those markets where there was a tax break for bikes under 400cc. The RG500 was a better and faster road bike than the Yamaha RZ500 of the same period and quite a bit rarer.
$19,250 | 1978 Kawasaki KZ100-ZIR-TC
Mecum | Lot S147 | Auction Link
Long before the Japanese manufacturers gave us the sophisticated turbo motorcycles of the eighties, such as the Honda CX500 Turbo, the Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo, the Yamaha XJ650 Turbo and Suzuki's XN85, Kawasaki bolted together a special turbo for the American marketplace, selling small numbers of a potent but fragile beast. Motorcycle Classics tells the full story. Get the right one of these, and you have a very fast motorcycle available to you.
$19,250 | 2017 Speco Captain America Chopper
Mecum | Lot F132 | Auction Link
Unless you've been living in a box for the last 50 years, you'll recognize a Captain America Chopper from the 1969 feature film Easyriders. The original, or maybe it wasn't, reportedly sold for $1,620,000, then it didn't, and then maybe it did. We don't know for sure what happened and that's why we report on auction results where the real price can be verified. This replica does the job nearly as well as the original, and cost a lot less than the price the original sold for (or maybe it didn't).
$19,800 | 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000
Mecum | Lot F99 | Auction Link
The Ducati Paul Smart 1000 was built by Ducati in 2006 in limited numbers to commemorate Paul Smart's win at the Imola 200 race in 1972. Remarkably, a few years ago, the bike it commemorated sold at auction for just €70,200. Limited edition Ducati V-twins will always appreciate in value.
$20,900 | 1966 Bridgestone 175 Dual Twin
Mecum | Lot F149 | Auction Link
While the Bridgestone 350 GTR might have been better known to road riders, this 1966 Bridgestone 175 cc racer is a perfect example of the amount of effort required to go vintage racing today. Read the auction page and you won't wonder why someone paid $20,900 for it.
$22,000 | 1961 Victoria Model 115
Mecum | Lot F69 | Auction Link
A legendary motorcycle for its beauty, the Victoria Model 115 was also produced from 1961 to 1965 as the Zweirad Union 115, DKW Hummel 115, Victoria 115, Express 115 and Cavalier 115, all instantly recognizable because of distinctly different color schemes, and all emanating from German brands of the sixties. They were all collectively nicknamed the "Tin Banana," and all could be purchased as 155 models with 3.7 hp instead of the 115 model's 2 horsepower. The 155 also came with high beam and a horn.
As gorgeous as the Tin Banana is, those who have owned one found it to be an apparent nightmare to maintain and work on, with even a spark plug change requiring a workshop and a goodly amount of effort, which is a distinct disadvantage for a 50cc two-stroke with prehistoric ignition.
Though the beauty may only be skin deep, the 115 is highly sought after, as can be seen by the price this bike fetched, and another DKW Hummel 115 which sold for a more modest $8,250. For some reason, the 115 models almost always turn up at Mecum's Vegas auction, with a DKW Hummel 115 fetching $24,000 at this auction last year, a 1962 Victoria 155 fetching $15,000 in 2015, and a 1961 Victoria 115 fetching $13,500 in 2016. As such, the 115/155 models are some of the most expensive two-strokes ever sold.
$23,000 | 1920 Harley-Davidson 61ci Model 20J
Bonhams | Lot 127 | Auction Link
Restored or unrestored? History or not? This 1920 Model J was sold in recently restored form after the seller bought an incomplete, dismantled bike at an internet auction. It sold for $23,000 and was an excellent buy. Now consider a near identical bike from 1917 that went to auction the following day. It was an Atlantic City Police bike, purchased from the widow of an Atlantic City policeman. It went to auction complete and correct but unrestored. It sold for ... have a guess before you click the link.
$23,000 | 1954 Harley-Davidson 74ci Fl
Deluxe 50th Anniversary Model
Bonhams | Lot 140 | Auction Link
Excellent value as this was a Deluxe 50th Anniversary 74ci FL Model from 1954 and the 100th anniversary is now ancient history too.
$23,100 | 1969 BSA Rocket III
Mecum | Lot T158 | Auction Link
Now Triumph's three-cylinder Trident and BSA's three-cylinder Rocket III were essentially the same bike apart from badges and slightly inclined cylinders. Not counting the three Craig Vetter styled Triumph X75s which are covered elsewhere in this article, three Tridents and two Rocket IIIs went to auction in Vegas and the above 1969 model BSA Rocket III the most expensive of them all at $23,100, with another 1969 model in second place which sold for $18,150. By comparison, the best the Triumph Tridents could muster was $9,000 for a 1973 model that had been tastefully modified into a cafe racer, followed by two at $6,050 (a 1973 model and a 1974 model).
Take the three X75 variants into consideration (which use the slanted cylinders of the BSA motor) and there was a vast discrepancy in pricing between the two models. Could there be a divergence of pricing happening or is it just a statistical anomaly?
$23,100 | 1973 Kawasaki Z1 900
Mecum | F201| Auction Link
When the Z1 arrived, there were no other motorcycles capable of challenging it on the road. It was so far ahead of all other competitors that it was a quantum leap in performance and comfort. It was quite simply, the perfect platform with which to build an entirely new breed of motorcycle and hence original Z1s with original exhausts and unlomolested everything are near extinct. The price of an unmolested 1972 Z1 can be expected to skyrocket from here, with 1973 models such as this one not far behind. The Honda CB750 was a major landmark, but so too was the Z1. Another sold for $22,000.
$23,100 | 1953 Maserati 125 GT Racer
Mecum | Lot F96.1| Auction Link
It's a 64-year-old 125 cc two-stroke, but there's magic in that name.
$25,300 | 1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car
Bonhams | Lot 154 | Auction Link
Harley-Davidson's three-wheeled Servi-Car was developed during the Great Depression, targeted at car dealerships and service shops as a way of increasing revenue while cutting the man-hours required to service a customer's automobile.
$25,300 | 1969 Kawasaki 500cc Mach III
Mecum | F228| Auction Link
The Kawasaki Mach III was an incredibly fast motorcycle, but its reputation as a "widowmaker" seems to have enhanced its value. While this was the most expensive at $25,300, no less than three Kawasaki 500cc H1 Mach III triples sold for more than $20,000 in Vegas. The others sold for $20,900 and $20,350 respectively.
$25,875 | 1927 Harley-Davidson 74ci Model JD
Bonhams | Lot 128 | Auction Link
Three Harley JD models sold in Vegas with this the cheapest of the three at $25,875. Another 1927 model sold for $27,500, while an unrestored, very original 1926 model sold for $60,500. A very original 1917 Model J sold for $95,700.
$27,025 | 1930s Indian Scout Racere
Bonhams | Lot 146 | Auction Link
The ilk of Indian which you'd see at a racetrack during the 1930s, and the type which generated the headlines and put the Indian name consistently in the results column of newspapers.
$27,500 | 1955 Ariel Square Four
Mecum | Lot F139 | Auction Link
$27,500 | 1973 Norton Commando
Mecum | Lot T140 | Auction Link
As usual, there was no shortage of Norton's Commando variants in Vegas, but this one was the pick of the litter, fetching an extra $10,000 more than the second most expensive, a 1975NortonJohn Player Special which fetched $17,050 (that's it below).
The top-selling black and red Roadster was truly a knock-out in the flesh, being sold with just 30 miles on the odometer since an extensive engine rebuild by Classic Bike Experience, and a complete repaint by Vintage Vendor, both of Vermont.
$28,050 | 1973 Triumph Hurricane X75
Mecum | Lot S81 | Auction Link
The most valuable variant of the Triumph/BSA triple-cylinder 750s of the late 1960s and early 1970s is the Hurricane X75 styled for the factory by Craig Vetter, and three went to auction in Vegas. The above bike was the most expensive at $28,050, with another 1973 model X75 being passed in with a high bid of $24,000 and a third from the 1973 model year fetching $12,650.
The most valuable Triumph Hurricane X75 sold to date fetched $38,200 (£24,150) at Bonhams' Autumn Staffordshire Sale in 2012, while the auction record for a three-cylinder 750 was a BSA Formula 750 racer which fetched $104,760 at a Mecum auction in January 2014.