Motorcycles

"Moby Dick" threatens to break motorcycle auction records

"Moby Dick" threatens to break...
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
View 43 Images
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
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Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
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Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
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Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
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Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
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Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
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Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
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Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
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Moby Dick, as offered by RM-Sothebys at Villa Erba.
The 1931 road test which helped raise the profile of 'Moby Dick' to fame.
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The 1931 road test which helped raise the profile of 'Moby Dick' to fame.
Provenance is one of the key variables in any price at auction, so it will be interesting to see how much the prior ownership of Brough Superior owner and CEO Mark Upham makes to the price of the 1933 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe pictured above. The bike is estimated to sell for between €120,000 and €180,000.
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Provenance is one of the key variables in any price at auction, so it will be interesting to see how much the prior ownership of Brough Superior owner and CEO Mark Upham makes to the price of the 1933 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe pictured above. The bike is estimated to sell for between €120,000 and €180,000.
This 2011 Brough Superior SS100 750 "Baby Pendine" set a new record in both flying mile and flying kilometre at the 2013 Bonneville Speed Trials in the hands of motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart. With just one private owner from new, it is being offered in its record-breaking specification and is expected to sell for between €100,000 and €150,000.
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This 2011 Brough Superior SS100 750 "Baby Pendine" set a new record in both flying mile and flying kilometre at the 2013 Bonneville Speed Trials in the hands of motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart. With just one private owner from new, it is being offered in its record-breaking specification and is expected to sell for between €100,000 and €150,000.
Subject of a restoration in 1990 by UK specialist, J W Tennant-Eyles, this Brough Superior SS100 was the subject of a feature article and the cover bike of Cycle World magazine's April 1991 edition.
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Subject of a restoration in 1990 by UK specialist, J W Tennant-Eyles, this Brough Superior SS100 was the subject of a feature article and the cover bike of Cycle World magazine's April 1991 edition.
The remaining four Brough Superiors include a number of highlights with the most valuable being a 1936 Brough Superior SS100 (pictured above), one of just 102 SS100s built with a Matchless engine. The bike is presented in excellent mechanical condition and is expected to fetch between €180,000 and €250,000 ($200,000 to $275,000).
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The remaining four Brough Superiors include a number of highlights with the most valuable being a 1936 Brough Superior SS100 (pictured above), one of just 102 SS100s built with a Matchless engine. The bike is presented in excellent mechanical condition and is expected to fetch between €180,000 and €250,000 ($200,000 to $275,000).
View gallery - 43 images

One of the most valuable motorcycles in the world is going to auction in Italy next month: the Brough Superior SS100 nicknamed "Moby Dick" by Motor Cycling (UK) magazine in 1931. In that road test, the SS100 was proclaimed as "the fastest privately owned machine in the world" at that time. The bike was sold by Bonhams for £210,500 (US$333,210) in 2011, becoming one of the top 10 most valuable motorcycles ever sold. This time around, Moby Dick is estimated by auctioneers RM-Sothebys to sell for between EUR€500,000 and EUR€700,000 (US$550,000 to US$770,000) though it might very well sell for more.

The 1931 road test which helped raise the profile of 'Moby Dick' to fame.
The 1931 road test which helped raise the profile of 'Moby Dick' to fame.

During that motorcycle magazine test in 1931, Moby Dick was timed at 106 mph, with further tuning of the 1,142 cc v-twin engine later raising that figure to 115 mph in top (3rd) gear, with 109 mph achievable in second.

Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)
Moby Dick, the famous Brough Superior SS100, as it went to auction with Bonhams in 2011. At that time it fetched £210,500 (US$333,210)

The main picture of this article shows Moby Dick as it is going to auction next month, with the image directly above this paragraph showing the bike as it went to auction six years ago. Detailed images of the bike in 2011 and today are available in the image gallery.

Four other Brough Superiors on offer

Moby Dick is one of five Brough Superiors headed for RM-Sothebys' Villa Erba sale on May 27, with all of them expected to fetch more than €100,000.

Provenance is one of the key variables in any price at auction, so it will be interesting to see how much the prior ownership of Brough Superior owner and CEO Mark Upham makes to the price of the 1933 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe pictured above. The bike is estimated to sell for between €120,000 and €180,000.
Provenance is one of the key variables in any price at auction, so it will be interesting to see how much the prior ownership of Brough Superior owner and CEO Mark Upham makes to the price of the 1933 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe pictured above. The bike is estimated to sell for between €120,000 and €180,000.

The remaining four Brough Superiors include a number of highlights with the most valuable being a 1936 Brough Superior SS100 (pictured above), one of just 102 SS100s built with a Matchless engine. The bike is presented in excellent mechanical condition and is expected to fetch between €180,000 and €250,000 ($200,000 to $275,000).

Subject of a restoration in 1990 by UK specialist, J W Tennant-Eyles, this Brough Superior SS100 was the subject of a feature article and the cover bike of Cycle World magazine's April 1991 edition.
Subject of a restoration in 1990 by UK specialist, J W Tennant-Eyles, this Brough Superior SS100 was the subject of a feature article and the cover bike of Cycle World magazine's April 1991 edition.

Another of the Brough Superiors on offer is this 1938 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe (pictured above) expected to sell for between €100,000 and €150,000.

The remaining four Brough Superiors include a number of highlights with the most valuable being a 1936 Brough Superior SS100 (pictured above), one of just 102 SS100s built with a Matchless engine. The bike is presented in excellent mechanical condition and is expected to fetch between €180,000 and €250,000 ($200,000 to $275,000).
The remaining four Brough Superiors include a number of highlights with the most valuable being a 1936 Brough Superior SS100 (pictured above), one of just 102 SS100s built with a Matchless engine. The bike is presented in excellent mechanical condition and is expected to fetch between €180,000 and €250,000 ($200,000 to $275,000).

Provenance is one of the key variables in any price at auction, so it will be interesting to see how much the prior ownership of Brough Superior owner and CEO Mark Upham makes to the price of the 1933 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe pictured above. The bike is estimated to sell for between €120,000 and €180,000.

This 2011 Brough Superior SS100 750 "Baby Pendine" set a new record in both flying mile and flying kilometre at the 2013 Bonneville Speed Trials in the hands of motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart. With just one private owner from new, it is being offered in its record-breaking specification and is expected to sell for between €100,000 and €150,000.
This 2011 Brough Superior SS100 750 "Baby Pendine" set a new record in both flying mile and flying kilometre at the 2013 Bonneville Speed Trials in the hands of motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart. With just one private owner from new, it is being offered in its record-breaking specification and is expected to sell for between €100,000 and €150,000.

The group is completed by the 2011 Brough Superior SS100 750 "Baby Pendine", which set a new record over both the both mile and kilometer at the 2013 Bonneville Speed Trials in the hands of motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart. With just one private owner from new, it is being offered in its record-breaking specification and is expected to sell for between €100,000 and €150,000.

View gallery - 43 images
4 comments
TomMartin
Why would anyone pay this much for a motorcycle? I suppose you do not need to be smart to have lots of money.
Stephen Colbourne
I reckon these are a bargain. Compare with the price of rare cars and paintings. It is all a case of supply and demand, and the supply is very small and the demand will always be increasing.
tim63
So picture number 5 is This interesting early SS100 was re-commissioned for road use in the 1990s having previously been used for sprinting and other speed events by racing motorcyclist and Brough Superior Club President, Dick Knight. It would appear that Dick purchased the Brough in the 1970s and it proved to be a capable and exciting machine in speed events. Its not Moby dick.
tim63
Always thought Yamaha claimed fame to Monoshock technology but i see Moby Dick has it.