Motorcycles

Emergent trends from the biggest motorcycle auction of 2022

Emergent trends from the bigge...
The top two sales were British, but after that, American motorcycles dominated more than at any time in the last decade. It appears that the pandemic has catalyzed a rise in prices in general, but for American bikes in particular.
The top two sales were British, but after that, American motorcycles dominated more than at any time in the last decade. It appears that the pandemic has catalyzed a rise in prices in general, but for American bikes in particular.
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This 1986 Suzuki GSXR50 sold for $11,000 as Lot T137 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1986 Suzuki GSXR50 sold for $11,000 as Lot T137 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1986 Honda NS400R HRC Edition sold for $25,300 as Lot F178 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1986 Honda NS400R HRC Edition sold for $25,300 as Lot F178 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
One of the most innovative and technically interesting motorcycles of all-time, this 1951 Imme R100 sold for $24,200 as Lot F119 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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One of the most innovative and technically interesting motorcycles of all-time, this 1951 Imme R100 sold for $24,200 as Lot F119 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin sold for $165,000 as Lot T12 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin sold for $165,000 as Lot T12 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin sold for $165,000 as Lot T12 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin sold for $165,000 as Lot T12 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1941 Harley-Davidson TA Knucklehead sold for $154,000 as Lot S150 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1941 Harley-Davidson TA Knucklehead sold for $154,000 as Lot S150 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1932 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $154,000 as Lot S151 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1932 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $154,000 as Lot S151 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1920 Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The bike was accompanied by a number of historical artifacts including the photo below, a winning trophy from 90 years ago, plus the helmet and goggles of Dewey Sims, famous board track racer of the period. This bike was Dewey’s bike and if you compare the above image with the below image, you’ll recognise it from the details.
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This 1920 Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The bike was accompanied by a number of historical artifacts including the photo below, a winning trophy from 90 years ago, plus the helmet and goggles of Dewey Sims, famous board track racer of the period. This bike was Dewey’s bike and if you compare the above image with the below image, you’ll recognise it from the details.
Dewey Sims' 1920 board track racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. Compare the above image with this image, and you’ll recognize this bike from the 90-year-old photo.
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Dewey Sims' 1920 board track racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. Compare the above image with this image, and you’ll recognize this bike from the 90-year-old photo.

This 1929 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $137,500 as Lot F152 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1929 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $137,500 as Lot F152 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1904 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank Replica sold for $132,000 as Lot S93 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1904 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank Replica sold for $132,000 as Lot S93 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1942 Indian 442 Four sold for $132,000 as Lot S124 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1942 Indian 442 Four sold for $132,000 as Lot S124 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1936 Indian 436 Upside Down Four sold for $126,500 as Lot S101 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1936 Indian 436 Upside Down Four sold for $126,500 as Lot S101 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1929 BMW Type R63 sold for $126,500 as Lot S181 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1929 BMW Type R63 sold for $126,500 as Lot S181 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1923 Harley-Davidson JD Twin sold for $110,000 as Lot T20 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1923 Harley-Davidson JD Twin sold for $110,000 as Lot T20 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1994 Harley-Davidson VR-1000 sold for $93,500 as Lot F222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1994 Harley-Davidson VR-1000 sold for $93,500 as Lot F222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1950 Vincent Black Shadow Series C sold for $88,000 ($80,000 hammer plus 10% buyer’s premium) as Lot S107 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1950 Vincent Black Shadow Series C sold for $88,000 ($80,000 hammer plus 10% buyer’s premium) as Lot S107 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1946 Indian Chief sold for $84,700 as Lot F194 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1946 Indian Chief sold for $84,700 as Lot F194 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 (the $45,000 that can be seen on this screen grab from the auction, plus 10 percent buyers fee) as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The original exhaust selling with the bike (see left of image of Mecum employee carrying the extremely costly original exhaust helped propel the bike to a new world record price for the CBX.
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This 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 (the $45,000 that can be seen on this screen grab from the auction, plus 10 percent buyers fee) as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The original exhaust selling with the bike (see left of image of Mecum employee carrying the extremely costly original exhaust helped propel the bike to a new world record price for the CBX.
This 1971 Honda SL350 was sold by RM Sotheby's during its 27 January 2022 Scottsdale sale, fetching $30,000, which is almost certainly a record for an SL350 Honda. The bike was previously owned by all-American actor John Wayne.
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This 1971 Honda SL350 was sold by RM Sotheby's during its 27 January 2022 Scottsdale sale, fetching $30,000, which is almost certainly a record for an SL350 Honda. The bike was previously owned by all-American actor John Wayne.
Add John Wayne’s provenance to a gun at auction and it multiplies the value perhaps two or three orders of magnitude. Even knowing this Colt Single-action Army Revolver had been used by John Wayne in the movies "The Cowboys," "True Grit" and "Rooster Cogburn”, Rock Island Auctions set the estimate at between $20,000 and $40,000. When the gavel fell on 7 October 2021, this gun had fetched $517,500.
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Add John Wayne’s provenance to a gun at auction and it multiplies the value perhaps two or three orders of magnitude. Even knowing this Colt Single-action Army Revolver had been used by John Wayne in the movies "The Cowboys," "True Grit" and "Rooster Cogburn”, Rock Island Auctions set the estimate at between $20,000 and $40,000. When the gavel fell on 7 October 2021, this gun had fetched $517,500.
This 1979 Honda CBX sold for $38,500 as Lot S183 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, setting a new record which lasted less than an hour. The record was broken when a 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. That bike is discussed in much greater detail in the introduction to this article.
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This 1979 Honda CBX sold for $38,500 as Lot S183 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, setting a new record which lasted less than an hour. The record was broken when a 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. That bike is discussed in much greater detail in the introduction to this article.
This 2004 Honda RS125 sold for $33,000 as Lot T325 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 2004 Honda RS125 sold for $33,000 as Lot T325 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Triple sold for $33,000 as Lot F141 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Triple sold for $33,000 as Lot F141 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1932 Scott Flying Squirrel sold for $49,500 as Lot S135 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1932 Scott Flying Squirrel sold for $49,500 as Lot S135 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1931 BMW R11 sold for $51,700 as Lot F185.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1931 BMW R11 sold for $51,700 as Lot F185.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1978 Yamaha XS650 sold for $77,000 as Lot S219 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1978 Yamaha XS650 sold for $77,000 as Lot S219 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1938 Zundapp K800 sold for $77,000 as Lot F157 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1938 Zundapp K800 sold for $77,000 as Lot F157 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1972 Honda CL450 Flying Dragon sold for $58,300 as Lot F243.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1972 Honda CL450 Flying Dragon sold for $58,300 as Lot F243.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 Road Racer sold for $60,500 as Lot S225 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 Road Racer sold for $60,500 as Lot S225 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1992 Honda NR750 sold for $131,182 at Iconic Motorbike Auctions on 1 February 2022
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This 1992 Honda NR750 sold for $131,182 at Iconic Motorbike Auctions on 1 February 2022
This 1973 Munch Mammoth sold for $82,500 as Lot F189 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1973 Munch Mammoth sold for $82,500 as Lot F189 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1911 Harley-Davidson Model 7 Single Belt Drive sold for $71,500 as Lot T2 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1911 Harley-Davidson Model 7 Single Belt Drive sold for $71,500 as Lot T2 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1919 Harley-Davidson W Sport Opposed Twin sold for $77,000 as Lot T13 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1919 Harley-Davidson W Sport Opposed Twin sold for $77,000 as Lot T13 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 (including 10% buyer's commission) as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000.
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This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 (including 10% buyer's commission) as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000.
This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000. The top seller (pictured) had spent the last seven years in this climate-controlled glass case at “Americas Car Museum” (ACM) in Tacoma, Washington
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This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000. The top seller (pictured) had spent the last seven years in this climate-controlled glass case at “Americas Car Museum” (ACM) in Tacoma, Washington
This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow sold for $82,500 as Lot S134 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow sold for $82,500 as Lot S134 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1915 Flying Merkel Board Track Racer sold for $80,300 as Lot F203 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1915 Flying Merkel Board Track Racer sold for $80,300 as Lot F203 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot F197 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot F197 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1913 Harley-Davidson Model 9b Single sold for $68,200 as Lot T4 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1913 Harley-Davidson Model 9b Single sold for $68,200 as Lot T4 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1918 Harley-Davidson F Twin sold for $68,200 as Lot T11 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1918 Harley-Davidson F Twin sold for $68,200 as Lot T11 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1976 Puch 250 Twin Carb sold for $55,000 as Lot F244 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1976 Puch 250 Twin Carb sold for $55,000 as Lot F244 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1950 Triumph Thunderbird sold for $40,700 as Lot S30 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1950 Triumph Thunderbird sold for $40,700 as Lot S30 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1938 Rudge Ulster sold for $38,500 as Lot F230 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1938 Rudge Ulster sold for $38,500 as Lot F230 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1975 Kawasaki Z1 900 sold for $25,300 as Lot F108 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1975 Kawasaki Z1 900 sold for $25,300 as Lot F108 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1980 Honda RC360 sold for $19,800 as Lot F311 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1980 Honda RC360 sold for $19,800 as Lot F311 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1964 DKW Kavalier sold for $27,500 as Lot S122 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1964 DKW Kavalier sold for $27,500 as Lot S122 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1981 Mugen Me125 sold for $18,700 as Lot T339 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1981 Mugen Me125 sold for $18,700 as Lot T339 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma sold for $30,800 as Lot F177 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma sold for $30,800 as Lot F177 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1971 Kawasaki H1 Triple sold for $30,800 as Lot F140 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1971 Kawasaki H1 Triple sold for $30,800 as Lot F140 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1933 BSA Bluestar W33-8 sold for $30,800 as Lot F66 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1933 BSA Bluestar W33-8 sold for $30,800 as Lot F66 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1968 BMW R69s sold for $29,700 as Lot S27 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1968 BMW R69s sold for $29,700 as Lot S27 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1969 Honda CB750 KO Sandcast sold for $28,600 as Lot F174 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1969 Honda CB750 KO Sandcast sold for $28,600 as Lot F174 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1979 Honda CR125 Elsinore sold for $28,600 as Lot F268.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1979 Honda CR125 Elsinore sold for $28,600 as Lot F268.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1967 Bultaco El Bandido sold for $27,500 as Lot F33 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1967 Bultaco El Bandido sold for $27,500 as Lot F33 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1962 Honda CB92R sold for $17,050 as Lot S221 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1962 Honda CB92R sold for $17,050 as Lot S221 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1997 Honda CB50V Dream sold for $18,700 as Lot S136 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1997 Honda CB50V Dream sold for $18,700 as Lot S136 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1984 Yamaha RZ350 sold for $17,050 as Lot T210 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
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This 1984 Yamaha RZ350 sold for $17,050 as Lot T210 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1991 Suzuki GSXR1100 Endurance Racer sold for $19,800 as Lot F110 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1991 Suzuki GSXR1100 Endurance Racer sold for $19,800 as Lot F110 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1974 Maico GP250 Moto Cross sold for $20,900 as Lot F246 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1974 Maico GP250 Moto Cross sold for $20,900 as Lot F246 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1967 CZ Twin Pipe sold for $22,000 as Lot F228 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1967 CZ Twin Pipe sold for $22,000 as Lot F228 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1979 Honda XR500 sold for $25,300 as Lot W162 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Wednesday, 26 January 2022
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This 1979 Honda XR500 sold for $25,300 as Lot W162 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Wednesday, 26 January 2022
This 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane sold for $26,400 as Lot S196 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane sold for $26,400 as Lot S196 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1979 Yamaha TT500 Special sold for $27,500 as Lot S250 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 1979 Yamaha TT500 Special sold for $27,500 as Lot S250 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1958 BSA Gold Star Clubman Special sold for $33,000 as Lot F233 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
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This 1958 BSA Gold Star Clubman Special sold for $33,000 as Lot F233 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 2010 JRL Cycles Lucky 7 sold for $33,000 as Lot S222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
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This 2010 JRL Cycles Lucky 7 sold for $33,000 as Lot S222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
Vintage dirt bikes dramatically rose in value at Mecum's Las Vegas auction in 2022, partly because many were on offer, but mainly because demand had grown disproportionately.
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Vintage dirt bikes dramatically rose in value at Mecum's Las Vegas auction in 2022, partly because many were on offer, but mainly because demand had grown disproportionately.
At $8,260, this antique Harley-Davidson CD Rock-ola Jukebox is quite possibly the most desirable lot and the hardest lot to replace at the entire auction. We checked around, and all is not lost. You can still buy a new one under $10,000, though without the wood.
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At $8,260, this antique Harley-Davidson CD Rock-ola Jukebox is quite possibly the most desirable lot and the hardest lot to replace at the entire auction. We checked around, and all is not lost. You can still buy a new one under $10,000, though without the wood.
At $6,490, it wasn't cheap, but it sold fully restored as a coin-operated kiddies ride with Hog's Breath Saloon branding.
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At $6,490, it wasn't cheap, but it sold fully restored as a coin-operated kiddies ride with Hog's Breath Saloon branding.
This Honda CBX Custom sold for $32,180 (AUD$44,100) at Shannons Auctions in November 2021, just missing the record for a CBX which stood at $34,100 at the time. The bike was originally built by one of the proprietors of Australian automotive sculptors MotorRetro as his personal bike, and the build alone cost twice what it sold for. We predict that one day in the not-too-distant-future, artisan workmanship of this caliber will be recognized at auction.
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This Honda CBX Custom sold for $32,180 (AUD$44,100) at Shannons Auctions in November 2021, just missing the record for a CBX which stood at $34,100 at the time. The bike was originally built by one of the proprietors of Australian automotive sculptors MotorRetro as his personal bike, and the build alone cost twice what it sold for. We predict that one day in the not-too-distant-future, artisan workmanship of this caliber will be recognised at auction.
The top two sales were British, but after that, American motorcycles dominated more than at any time in the last decade. It appears that the pandemic has catalyzed a rise in prices in general, but for American bikes in particular.
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The top two sales were British, but after that, American motorcycles dominated more than at any time in the last decade. It appears that the pandemic has catalyzed a rise in prices in general, but for American bikes in particular.
The marketplace at the top has transformed so radically inside the last 12 months, that more Harley-Davidson Knuckleheads have now sold for more than $200,000 than Vincent Black Shadows. That's not just for one year, but in all of auction history.
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The marketplace at the top has transformed so radically inside the last 12 months, that more Harley-Davidson Knuckleheads have now sold for more than $200,000 than Vincent Black Shadows. That's not just for one year, but in all of auction history.
View gallery - 74 images

Upon reading last year’s report on this auction (due to Covid-19 the traditional Mecum Las Vegas auction was run in April/May instead of January) in 2021, it would have been easy to take the text, change a few dates and republish, at least for the topline information. Dig a bit deeper though, and there are all sorts of sub-plots, all worth exploring.

Last year the big story was that the Harley-Davidson Knucklehead went from zero to hero in three days. The Knucklehead had actually been on the rise for some time, but prior to Mecum's Las Vegas auction in 2020, the most that had been paid for a Knucklehead was $181,500 at the Mecum Las Vegas sale in 2014; $159,000 at Bonhams in 2014; and $132,000 at Mecum Las Vegas in 2019.

At the Mecum Las Vegas auction in 2020, a 1940 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead sold for $220,000, becoming the most expensive Knucklehead ever sold at auction. As it was the same bike that had sold for $159,000 in 2014, those three bikes were the only Knuckleheads to have ever sold for more than $100,000 at auction prior to Mecum Las Vegas in 2021.

At the April/May 2021 Las Vegas auction, two knuckleheads sold for $220,000, (equaling the model record - a 1943 model E and a 1946 model FL), plus a 1947 Model FL fetched $192,500, a 1936 Model EL sold for $159,500, a 1936 Model EL for $154,000, a 1944 FL for $143,000, a 1942 Model EL for $137,500, a 1941 Model F for $132,000, a 1936 Model EL for $129,250, a 1945 Model EL for $110,000, a 1937 Model UL was passed in but bid to $110,000 and a 1939 Model EL sold for $107,800.

So heading into Mecum’s Las Vegas 2022 auction, only 14 Knuckleheads had ever sold for more than $100,000 and 11 of them sold in 2021, all at the Vegas venue in the belated April/May time frame.

This year another eight Knuckleheads sold for more than $100,000 (a 1936 EL for $203,500, a 1941 TA for $154,000, a 1938 EL for $121,000, a 1938 EL for $110,000, a 1943 E for $108,900, a 1939 EL for $107,800, a 1947 FL for $102,300 and a 1944 F for $101,200) and a 1943 F Knucklehead was bid to $140,000 but failed to meet the reserve price.

So that’s a total of 22 Knuckleheads that have sold for more than $100,000, with 19 of them sold within the last 10 months. In a relatively short period of time, the price of a very original Knucklehead now appears to have surpassed that of the equivalent standard Vincent Black Shadow and post-war Vincent Rapide, and the Brough Superior SS80.

The marketplace at the top has transformed so radically inside the last 12 months, that more Harley-Davidson Knuckleheads have now sold for more than $200,000 than Vincent Black Shadows. That's not just for one year, but in all of auction history.
The marketplace at the top has transformed so radically inside the last 12 months, that more Harley-Davidson Knuckleheads have now sold for more than $200,000 than Vincent Black Shadows. That's not just for one year, but in all of auction history.

Now what is causing this is something we pondered last year, and have only a little wisdom to add 10 months later, mainly thanks to Hagerty Insider - it costs nothing to join and there's a lot of intelligence worth having in there, with an article entitled "The Harley-Davidson has Indian beat when it comes to millennial collectors" accessing the company's immense database to conclude that "Millennials are more likely to call Hagerty about a motorcycle from the 1940s than a car."

Harley-Davidson made 41,000 Knuckleheads between the first of the 1936 61ci E-series Knuckleheads, and the last of the 1947 74ci F-series. HRD-Vincent produced 6852 V-twins between the first A-Series in 1937 and the final D-Series in 1955, including all the Series C Black Lightnings (33), Series B Black Shadows (76), Series C Black Shadows (1507) and the total number of post-war Rapides is 4766 (1847 B Series, 2758 C Series and 151 D Series). Only 1086 Brough Superior SS80 were ever made (626 with JAP motor and 460 with Matchless motor) and just 383 Brough Superior SS100s (281 JAP and 102 Matchless) were produced.

For Knuckleheads to be selling at the prices they are fetching does not make economic sense based upon supply. It's in the demand area that the Knucklehead has become so dominant of recent times. A lot of people swore by the Knucklehead's reliability. This was the poster motorcycle of the father of the current generation of buyers, for what that's worth, and it is also the safest bet for being able to sustain it being used – spares are naturally easier to procure for an American motorcycle than for something manufactured an ocean away, somewhere like England or Germany. Indeed, there were no Italian motorcycles that made the $50,000 cut.

The supply of Knuckleheads is far greater than the Vincent Black Shadow, the post-war Vincent Rapide, and the Brough Superior SS80.

We suspect that Panheads will follow the Knucklehead as a viable investment of passion.

Honda's six-cylinder CBX becomes a genuine collectible

This 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 (the $45,000 that can be seen on this screen grab from the auction, plus 10 percent buyers fee) as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The original exhaust selling with the bike (see left of image of Mecum employee carrying the extremely costly original exhaust helped propel the bike to a new world record price for the CBX.
This 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 (the $45,000 that can be seen on this screen grab from the auction, plus 10 percent buyers fee) as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The original exhaust selling with the bike (see left of image of Mecum employee carrying the extremely costly original exhaust helped propel the bike to a new world record price for the CBX.

Another of our predictions of last year came true … well, almost. Last year in Vegas, Mecum’s top two CBX prices were $34,100 (a record) and $27,500, and in 2020 the top prices were $26,950 (a record), $26,400, $24,200 and $22,000. Contrary to popular opinion, two of the top three prices paid for a CBX prior to this year’s auction were for the later fully-faired versions with better brakes and Pro-link suspension.

Hence, we wrote: “If Las Vegas 2020 and 2021 are any indication, we may see that $50,000 sale within a year or two, but it might be one of the Pro-Link later versions that emerge on top.”

At this year’s auction, a black 1980 model Honda CBX sold for $49,500 (a new record for the third year in a row), backed with another at $38,500 and another at $27,500. The new record-holding bike wore a DG Performance six-into-one exhaust, an aftermarket bikini fairing, cut-down seat and it presented on the auction block with the near-unobtainable original exhaust sitting beside it. This makes sense – ride it with an exhaust that celebrates the roar of the six pots, but keep the valuable and vulnerable original exhaust so it can be returned to standard when you want to sell it.

Like the previous record-holder, the top-seller was black. So CBX prices do appear to have kicked up a notch and the allure of six cylinders now seems like it will force top CBX prices into the $50,000 plus bracket.

The six header pipes and a noise (both induction and exhaust) quite unlike anything else in motorcycling has seen the CBX become the focus of a near-pathological attraction for custom builders and this appears to have done a wonderful job of culling the herd. Nearly 40,000 CBX were built, that looked for a long time like it would prevent the bike from reaching collector status. Hence we have two opposing forces acting on the CBX – customizers spending many tens of thousands building bikes that are worth just (one) ten thousand dollars, and supply being rapidly diminished of the standard showroom floor configuration traditionally demanded by collectors.

Customs are calibrated on a different monetary system ...

This Honda CBX Custom sold for $32,180 (AUD$44,100) at Shannons Auctions in November 2021, just missing the record for a CBX which stood at $34,100 at the time. The bike was originally built by one of the proprietors of Australian automotive sculptors MotorRetro as his personal bike, and the build alone cost twice what it sold for. We predict that one day in the not-too-distant-future, artisan workmanship of this caliber will be recognized at auction.
This Honda CBX Custom sold for $32,180 (AUD$44,100) at Shannons Auctions in November 2021, just missing the record for a CBX which stood at $34,100 at the time. The bike was originally built by one of the proprietors of Australian automotive sculptors MotorRetro as his personal bike, and the build alone cost twice what it sold for. We predict that one day in the not-too-distant-future, artisan workmanship of this caliber will be recognised at auction.

... or so it seems the case has been in the past, but it may be changing. At every car and motorcycle auction, there are extraordinary examples of design, fabrication and craftsmanship which sell for a price that does not reflect the amount or quality of the work that has gone into it, unless that craftsperson rises to public prominence.

In the art world, simply the name of a Basquiat or Warhol or Kusama makes something (almost) infinitely more valuable ... but there are very few recognized car and motorcycle constructors who have generated a great enough reputation to have a positive multiplication factor at auction.

This Honda CBX Custom sold for $32,180 (AUD$44,100) at Shannons Auctions in November 2021, just missing the record for a CBX which stood at $34,100 at the time.

One recent success and hopefully the beginning of greater recognition for custom constructors could be seen at Mecum's Kissimmee auction in early January. The 1951 Hirohata Mercury Custom sold for $2,145,000 at Mecum’s Kissimmee 2022 event and is now the world’s most expensive custom car sold at auction. Built seven decades ago, this car is the best-known example of an American art form that emerged post-WW2 and flourished during the latter half of the century of the automobile. It is the first custom car that hasn’t appeared in a movie or TV show to have broken through the $2.0 million barrier.

A similar situation happened in Australia over the last few years, where a metallurgical artist created something quite special and it garnered enough local media to break the mold. When the CBX custom above went to auction at Shannons in Australia on 30 November 2021 for AUD$42,000 plus 5 percent buyer's premium, which calculates out to US$32,180. It went within $2000 of the world record price for a CBX at that time, yet it is so astonishingly detailed and has such functional beauty that deserves respect.

One day in the not-too-distant-future, artisan workmanship of this caliber will be recognized at auction.

Triumph Prices on the rise

This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 (including 10% buyer's commission) as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000.
This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 (including 10% buyer's commission) as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000.

One of the more interesting trends we noticed in the mass of sales at Las Vegas was the rise in prices of Triumph vertical twins. Thanks to being made in such large quantities, Triumph twins have never featured much at auction because supply was always much greater than demand, but a 5T 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetched $79,200 on Saturday, making everyone sit up and take notice.

Last year at this Mecum Las Vegas auction an impeccable and rare variant, a 1963 Triumph Bonneville TT Special fetched $71,500, but Triumph twins that do not have the provenance of someone very special in their curriculum vitae (such as “Fonzie” from Happy Days at $231,562, an ex-Steve-McQueen 1938 5T Speed Twin at $175,500, an ex-Bud-Ekins 1962 TR6SS Trophy at $131,143, an ex-McQueen-Ekins-Von-Dutch 1963 Bonneville at $103,500, or an ex-McQueen 1970 Bonneville TR120 at $102,000) usually don’t make it into auction summaries.

What was particularly noteworthy this year though, was the general across-the-board rise in prices of Triumph twins, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000, a 1950 Thunderbird fetching $40,700, a 1953 6T Blackbird at $35,200, a 1965 T120C at $28,600, and an authentic 1958 TR5W Speed Twin Police Bike at $27,500, all sold above previous prices of recent times.

Classic dirt bikes begin to climb in value

Vintage dirt bikes dramatically rose in value at Mecum's Las Vegas auction in 2022, partly because many were on offer, but mainly because demand had grown disproportionately.
Vintage dirt bikes dramatically rose in value at Mecum's Las Vegas auction in 2022, partly because many were on offer, but mainly because demand had grown disproportionately.

Last year we noted that vintage motocross and enduro bikes were beginning to appreciate rapidly, with an ultra-rare 1976 Puch MC250 Twin Carb MX racer fetching $37,000 and an MZ ETS 2501/1 G5 Enduro fetching $27,500.

This year things really heated up in this area with the same 1976 Puch 250 Twin Carb selling for $55,000, a never-started 1979 Honda CR125 Elsinore selling for $28,600, a fully-restored 1967 Bultaco Bandido 360 MX fetching $27,500, a 1967 CZ Twin Pipe getting $22,000 and 1974 Maico GP250 Moto Cross fetching $20,900.

Beyond that, there were a host of pedigree racing bikes from Mugen, Honda, MZ, Montesa, Maico, Maico, Bultaco, Bultaco and CZ that sold for between $15,000 and $20,000, which is astonishing given that bikes of similar ilk (mainly Husqvarnas) couldn’t attract such money a few short years ago, even with movie star provenance.

There were several four-stroke gems in there as well, being a near-perfect 1979 Honda XR500 enduro bike selling for $25,300, a 1976 Dick Mann TT540 Custom Framed Racer (based on a Yamaha TT500 motor) that went for $22,000 and a fully-restored 1979 Yamaha HL500 that fetched $27,500. See further down this story for more details on the remarkable and historically-significant HL500.

Finally, we've picked out what we felt were the most interesting bikes of the biggest motorcycle auction of the year. Where we feel it needed comment, we've made it. Where the, but rest assured there's a story behind each of these bikes, and the links are there to begin exploring.

$236,500 | 1938 Brough Superior SS100

1938 Brough Superior SS100 | Mecum Auctions Las Vegas |

Lot S112 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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This wasn't the highest bid of the auction, just the highest that was accepted. The highest bid of the auction was $260,000 for a 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore, which would have been $286,000 with buyers commission if it had been accepted. The bike was purchased by the vendor for $308,000 at Mecum's 2020 Las Vegas auction, and though the reserve price isn't known, no deals were done afterwards.

$236,500 may seem like a lot of money to pay for a motorcycle, but this bike became the 37th Brough Superior to sell for more than $200,000 at auction, such is the long and storied history of this marque.

$231,000 | 1951 Vincent Series C Black Shadow

1951 Vincent Series C Black Shadow

Lot F195.1 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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This bike is one of the finest Vincent Series C Black Shadows that has ever gone to auction and proof of that is a new model record. Remarkably, when we sorted out all the Black Lightnings, White Shadows and Series-A Rapides from our Vincent listings, $231,000 is the highest price that a Vincent Series C Black Shadow has ever been sold for at auction.

The $231,000 price breaks a 10-year-old record established by Bonhams on 29 April 2012 when it sold the very last C Series Black Shadow off the production line in 1955 prior the introduction of the revised Series D range.

That bike sold for £124,700 ($202,824 on the day) and is the only Vincent Black Shadow to have bested the $200,000 mark prior to this sale – compare that to all the Knucklehead prices above and you'll understand why this does not make economic sense.

The new record holder is from the Dr. J. Craig Venter Collection and the key to its success was a 2007 restoration by Vincent experts Herb Harris Gallery, which specializes in restoring legendary motorcycles. When it is claimed that only reconditioned original and genuine new old stock factory parts were used in its restoration, believe it. This bike is a winner of the “Spirit of the Quail Award” at the 2013 Quail Motorcycle Gathering, where it received a perfect judging score.

Other bikes that have been through Herb Harris Gallery include the Rollie Free Vincent Black Lightning, the famous “Gunga Din” and the Gallery is currently offering the Vincent Black Shadow that Hunter S. Thompson wrote about in his 1971 novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.

$203,500 | 1936 Harley-Davidson El Knucklehead

1936 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead Sells for $190,000 // Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycles 2022

Lot F192 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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Not quite a record, but the fourth Knucklehead to sell for more than $200,000, compared with two Vincent Black Shadows that have achieved the feat.

$203,500 | 1917 Henderson Model G Four Cylinder

This 1917 Henderson Model G Four Cylinder sold for $203,500 (including 10% buyer’s commission on top of the “hammer price”) as Lot S58 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S58 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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This bike went within a whisker of taking the G Model record, though it can be considered a moral victory because that record is held at $209,000 by a near-identical motorcycle that had previously counted a certain Terrence Stephen McQueen amongst its owners.

$165,000 | 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin

This 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin sold for $165,000 as Lot T12 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin sold for $165,000 as Lot T12 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T12 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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$159,500 | 1939 Indian Four Cylinder

1929 & 1939 Indian Four Cylinder | Mecum Auctions Las Vegas | MotorTrend

Lot F153 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$154,000 | 1931 Henderson Four Cylinder

This 1931 Henderson Four Cylinder sold for $154,000 ($140,000 plus 10% buyers commission) as Lot F195 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F195 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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From the Dr. J. Craig Venter Collection, this bike was expected to smash a few records because it presented in Concours condition.

The most valuable Henderson Fours have traditionally been those produced while Bill and Tom Henderson were still with the company (prior to 1920), and of the 19 Henderson Fours that had sold for more than $100,000 prior to this sale, just one was produced after 1920: a 1931 model sold by Mecum at Las Vegas in January 2017 for $104,500.

So while 1912 Henderson’s have sold for $539,000, $302,500 and $225,500, later Model K Henderson’s beyond the $104,500 bike have all struggled to get into six figures with only a pair of 1929 Henderson KJ1000 Four Cylinder models getting close at $97,900 (EJ Cole Collection 2015) and $96,800 (2017). Hence this is a significant increase on the model record.

$154,000 | 1941 Harley-Davidson TA Knucklehead

This 1941 Harley-Davidson Knucklead TA Military Trike sold for $154,000 as Lot S150 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S150 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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Now this is a very rare Knucklehead. It is an experimental military trike built by Harley-Davidson during WW2. The Knucklehead engine runs through a shaft rear drive and of the 18 known to have been made, only seven are extant.

$154,000 | 1932 Indian Four Cylinder

This 1932 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $154,000 as Lot S151 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1932 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $154,000 as Lot S151 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S151 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$154,000 | 1940 Indian Four Cylinder

Lot S152 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$148,500 | 1917 Henderson Four

This 1917 Henderson Four sold for $148,500 as Lot F242 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F242 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$148,500 | 1935 Indian Four Cylinder Magneto

This 1935 Indian Four Cylinder Magneto sold for $148,500 as Lot F193 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F193 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$148,500 | 1912 Pierce Four

This 1912 Pierce Four sold for $148,500 as Lot F112 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F112 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$148,500 | 1912 Pierce Four

This 1912 Pierce Four sold for $148,500 as Lot S193 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S193 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$143,000 | 1920 Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer

This 1920 Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The bike was accompanied by a number of historical artifacts including the photo below, a winning trophy from 90 years ago, plus the helmet and goggles of Dewey Sims, famous board track racer of the period. This bike was Dewey’s bike and if you compare the above image with the below image, you’ll recognise it from the details.
This 1920 Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. The bike was accompanied by a number of historical artifacts including the photo below, a winning trophy from 90 years ago, plus the helmet and goggles of Dewey Sims, famous board track racer of the period. This bike was Dewey’s bike and if you compare the above image with the below image, you’ll recognise it from the details.

Lot S145 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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This lot was much more than just a time-warp board track racer from 90 years ago, as it came from the Brown Family collection and was sold with extensive documentation, accessories and memorabilia from the career of racer Dewey Sims.

Dewey Sims' 1920 board track racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. Compare the above image with this image, and you’ll recognize this bike from the 90-year-old photo.
Dewey Sims' 1920 board track racer sold for $143,000 as Lot S145 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. Compare the above image with this image, and you’ll recognize this bike from the 90-year-old photo.

The sale included significant correspondence with Dewey Sims, as well as his racing goggles and leather helmet, many photographs, a display platform made of a section of a board track, and Dewey’s 1931 Peoria 5-Mile State Champion Race trophy.

$143,000 | 1954 Vincent Black Shadow Series C

This 1954 Vincent Black Shadow Series C sold for $143,000 as Lot S111 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S111 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$137,500 | 1929 Indian Four Cylinder

This 1929 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $137,500 as Lot F152 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1929 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $137,500 as Lot F152 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F152 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$132,000 | 1904 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank Replica

This 1904 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank Replica sold for $132,000 as Lot S93 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1904 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank Replica sold for $132,000 as Lot S93 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S93 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$132,000 | 1942 Indian 442 Four

This 1942 Indian 442 Four sold for $132,000 as Lot S124 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1942 Indian 442 Four sold for $132,000 as Lot S124 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S124 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$131,182 | 1992 Honda NR750

This 1992 Honda NR750 sold for $131,182 at Iconic Motorbike Auctions on 1 February 2022

With Marc Marquez still regularly using a Honda RC213V-S road bike to test the progress of his recovery (riding a Grand Prix bike outside official testing is forbidden), there's a very good reason why a race-kitted RC213V-S is looming as the most collectible Honda that has ever existed. If the best road racer of his generation, perhaps ever, thinks it is the most readily available substitute for a current MotoGP bike, then it clearly is the best MotoGP replica ever made.

Last year the Honda RC213V-S became the most expensive Japanese motorcycle in auction history when a near-perfect 2016 Honda RC213V-S sold for ¥27,100,000 (US$237,700), eclipsing the previous record held by a one-of-four (two extant) 1968 Honda CB750 prototype that fetched £157,500 (US$221,600) at British auction house H&H in 2018.

Then, just a few weeks later on 15 December 2021, CollectingCars.com sold another Honda RC213V-S at GBP£177,500, which, when you've added the buyer's premium and converted into USD, equates to yet another world auction price record for a Honda motorcycle at $249,543. Artcurial has another RC213V-S going to auction in Paris on 18 March 2022, and we fully expect the record to be broken yet again.

This 1992 Honda NR750 sold for $131,182 at Iconic Motorbike Auctions on 1 February 2022
This 1992 Honda NR750 sold for $131,182 at Iconic Motorbike Auctions on 1 February 2022

Beyond the rise of the RC213V-S though, there is one Honda that stands above all those prior, and that's the NR750 and while we've been completing this report, we've just watched one sell for $131,182 ($122,600 hammer price plus a 7 percent buyer's fee of $8,582) at Iconic Motorbike Auctions.

Mecum set the record price for an NR750 at $181,500 at the 2019 Las Vegas auction, but we suspect that price will go again in the not-too-distant future because the NR750 is unlike any other motorcycle that has ever been built, and they won't be making any more.

Remarkably, Iconic seems to have a line on these limited-edition (only 300 built) oval-piston engineering masterpieces, having also sold them previously for $160,500, $128,400, $126,260, $118,476, and $90,950 (those prices have buyer’s commission added compared to the display prices which are hammer price).

Similarly to the RC21V-S, we think there's another record for the NR750 just about to blow, mainly because we have inside information. Iconic has been preparing a beautified NR750 in black that will be sold at auction in the near future and it is breathtakingly beautiful. Stay tuned.

$126,500 | 1936 Indian 436 Upside Down Four

This 1936 Indian 436 Upside Down Four sold for $126,500 as Lot S101 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S101 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$126,500 | 1929 BMW Type R63

This 1929 BMW Type R63 sold for $126,500 as Lot S181 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1929 BMW Type R63 sold for $126,500 as Lot S181 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S181 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$110,000 | 1923 Harley-Davidson JD Twin

This 1923 Harley-Davidson JD Twin sold for $110,000 as Lot T20 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1923 Harley-Davidson JD Twin sold for $110,000 as Lot T20 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T20 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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$93,500 | 1994 Harley-Davidson VR-1000

This 1994 Harley-Davidson VR-1000 sold for $93,500 as Lot F222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1994 Harley-Davidson VR-1000 sold for $93,500 as Lot F222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F222 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$88,000 | 1950 Vincent Black Shadow Series C

This 1950 Vincent Black Shadow Series C sold for $88,000 ($80,000 hammer plus 10% buyer’s premium) as Lot S107 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1950 Vincent Black Shadow Series C sold for $88,000 ($80,000 hammer plus 10% buyer’s premium) as Lot S107 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S107 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$84,700 | 1946 Indian Chief

This 1946 Indian Chief sold for $84,700 as Lot F194 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1946 Indian Chief sold for $84,700 as Lot F194 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F194 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$82,500 | 1973 Munch Mammoth

This 1973 Munch Mammoth sold for $82,500 as Lot F189 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1973 Munch Mammoth sold for $82,500 as Lot F189 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F189 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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This price of $82,500 places this Munch as the fifth most valuable Munch in history. Strangely, despite all that we hear about this behemoth, only three have sold for more than $100,000 and the one that is most obvious is the record price of $217,000 (£154,940) set at Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale in April 2018.

When you consider the next four most valuable prices fetched by a Munch Mammoth, things begin to make a bit more sense: $114,000, $112,000, $83,460 (no link - Mid-America, 9 Jan 2009) and $77,000 all fit with the price of this bike ($82,500), whereas the $217,000 sale becomes the outlier.

Despite that, it’s clear that this bike went very cheaply, because it had gold-plated provenance, having been tailor-made for Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (1919 – 1990).

Forbes is best known as the publisher of Forbes magazine, but having walked into the chair of a vast and lucrative financial empire founded by his father, he was also known for his extravagant lifestyle, the outrageous parties he threw, his thirst for adventure and travel, and his collection of homes, yachts, aircraft, hot air balloons, art, Fabergé eggs ... and motorcycles.

This lot came with the story and documentation that links it to one of modern history's best known captains of industry, and a member of the motorcycle hall of fame since 1995. Someone got a bargain.

$82,500 | 1953 Vincent Black Shadow

This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow sold for $82,500 as Lot S134 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow sold for $82,500 as Lot S134 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S134 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$80,300 | 1915 Flying Merkel Board Track Racer

This 1915 Flying Merkel Board Track Racer sold for $80,300 as Lot F203 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1915 Flying Merkel Board Track Racer sold for $80,300 as Lot F203 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F203 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$79,200 | 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin

This 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot F197 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot F197 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F197 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$79,200 | 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin

This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000. The top seller (pictured) had spent the last seven years in this climate-controlled glass case at “Americas Car Museum” (ACM) in Tacoma, Washington
This 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin sold for $79,200 as Lot S156 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, with another 1938 Triumph Speed Twin fetching $44,000. The top seller (pictured) had spent the last seven years in this climate-controlled glass case at “Americas Car Museum” (ACM) in Tacoma, Washington

Lot S156 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$77,000 | 1919 Harley-Davidson W Sport Opposed Twin

This 1919 Harley-Davidson W Sport Opposed Twin sold for $77,000 as Lot T13 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1919 Harley-Davidson W Sport Opposed Twin sold for $77,000 as Lot T13 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T13 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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$77,000 | 1938 Zundapp K800

This 1938 Zundapp K800 sold for $77,000 as Lot F157 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1938 Zundapp K800 sold for $77,000 as Lot F157 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F157 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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At $77,000, this is the second-highest price ever paid for Zundapp K800, with the record of $126,500 set last year in Las Vegas at Mecum, the third highest price ($71,500) being achieved at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction in 2019, and the fourth highest price ($67,100) being achieved at Mecum’s Monterey 2019 auction. The Zundapp gets rave reviews from those who have ridden one, and they regularly pop up at auction in Europe where they are somewhat more plentiful and less expensive.

$77,000 | 1978 Yamaha XS650

This 1978 Yamaha XS650 sold for $77,000 as Lot S219 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1978 Yamaha XS650 sold for $77,000 as Lot S219 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S219 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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This bike is a very interesting poster bike built by good citizen to sell with proceeds to benefit the Welcome Home Heroes foundation. It is a road-registerable replica of the bike Kenny Roberts raced in AMA Professional Dirt Track Racing during the 1970s. Look closely at the images and you’ll see there are actually headlights and taillights hidden away there. There’s also an engine that was prepared by Roger Johnson at HOOS Racing Specialties, and the tank was signed by Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey. KR himself turned up to spruik the bike at auction and it sold for $77,000, offering a street bike like no other.

The most remarkable thing we found about this bike was that if it had sold for just a few dollars more, it would have been the most expensive Yamaha that has EVER been sold at auction. That honor went to a 1992 ROC Yamaha 500cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle based around the factory YZR V4 two-stroke engine that sold for £48,300 (USD$78,579 based on the exchange rates of the day) at Bonhams in 2012. More detail on that bike can be found in the auction description from the previous time it went to auction. Just to make things even more remarkable, this price ties for the second-most-expensive Yamaha ever to sell at auction with another charity sale at Mecum in 2011, that was also hawked on the auction block by Kenny Robert. The $70,000 listed price had a 10 percent buyer's premium to be added.

$71,500 | 1911 Harley-Davidson Model 7 Single Belt Drive

This 1911 Harley-Davidson Model 7 Single Belt Drive sold for $71,500 as Lot T2 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1911 Harley-Davidson Model 7 Single Belt Drive sold for $71,500 as Lot T2 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T2 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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$68,200 | 1913 Harley-Davidson Model 9b Single

This 1913 Harley-Davidson Model 9b Single sold for $68,200 as Lot T4 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1913 Harley-Davidson Model 9b Single sold for $68,200 as Lot T4 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T4 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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$68,200 | 1918 Harley-Davidson F Twin

This 1918 Harley-Davidson F Twin sold for $68,200 as Lot T11 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1918 Harley-Davidson F Twin sold for $68,200 as Lot T11 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T11 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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$60,500 | 1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 Road Racer

This 1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 Road Racer sold for $60,500 as Lot S225 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 Road Racer sold for $60,500 as Lot S225 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S225 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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This 1972 XR750 Road Racer is the first year using aluminum heads, but 1972 is the year in which Cal Rayborn terrorized the British Team in the Trans-Atlantic Match Races aboard an XR750, albeit on an iron-head version of this bike. His riding in those events over Easter 1972 left the British public in no doubt that much talent lay on both sides of the Atlantic. Rayborn flew the Harley-Davidson flag more than proudly against the Japanese superbikes of the era. This bike is the culmination of 50 years of incredibly successful road racing by Harley, and is sadly remembered in comparison with the superbikes it competed against later in its evolution, rather than the powerhouse it was for half a century.

$58,300 | 1972 Honda CL450 Flying Dragon

This 1972 Honda CL450 Flying Dragon sold for $58,300 as Lot F243.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1972 Honda CL450 Flying Dragon sold for $58,300 as Lot F243.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F243.1 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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I couldn’t help but smile when this Honda 450 Flying Dragon sold for a very flattering $58,300. I have always loved the Honda Black Bomber since I watched a guy on one of these in a production race fifty years ago severely embarrass a couple of British vertical twins of 650cc capacity – the Honda did more with its DOHC 450cc than a 650 BSA A65 or Triumph Bonneville could do with pushrods.

The very flattering aspect is that without its 1960s psychedelic paintwork, it’s worth about one tenth this price. What's more, it wasn’t cool at all. In its time, it was like your mum or dad’s idea of what psychedelic meant and that’s the very reason it is so rare – they didn’t sell. How one survived for half a century without being on the end of a spray can after a few beers is truly astounding.

$55,000 | 1976 Puch 250 Twin Carb

This 1976 Puch 250 Twin Carb sold for $55,000 as Lot F244 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1976 Puch 250 Twin Carb sold for $55,000 as Lot F244 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F244 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$51,700 | 1931 BMW R11

This 1931 BMW R11 sold for $51,700 as Lot F185.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1931 BMW R11 sold for $51,700 as Lot F185.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F185.1 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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This price is a model record for the R11, representing a significant jump from the previous best of $31,077 (€27,600) set at Bonhams' sale of the Willy Neutkens Collection in Germany in November 2009, the $29,034 (CHF26,450) set by a 1929 R11 at Bonhams' Bonmont sale in Switzerland in December 2021, and the $27,250 fetched by a 1934 R11 on Bring a Trailer last August.

$49,500 | 1932 Scott Flying Squirrel

This 1932 Scott Flying Squirrel sold for $49,500 as Lot S135 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1932 Scott Flying Squirrel sold for $49,500 as Lot S135 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S135 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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This is now the second-highest price that has ever been paid for a Scott Flying Squirrel, beating out the $44,460 paid in 2007 for the 1929 Scott 600 Super Squirrel that was restored by Kenny Howard (also known as the artist Von Dutch) and owned by Steve McQueen. The same bike also holds the record for a Scott, indeed for ANY TWO-STROKE motorcycle, at $276,000 as it went to auction again in New York with traditional time-piece auctioneer Antiquorum, selling for $276,000. Scotts are fabulous motorcycles that were made in large quantities and hence you can likely pick up a restored, near-perfect Flying Squirrel for less than $15,000.

$49,500 | 1980 Honda CBX

This 1979 Honda CBX sold for $38,500 as Lot S183 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, setting a new record which lasted less than an hour. The record was broken when a 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. That bike is discussed in much greater detail in the introduction to this article.
This 1979 Honda CBX sold for $38,500 as Lot S183 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022, setting a new record which lasted less than an hour. The record was broken when a 1980 Honda CBX sold for $49,500 as Lot S202 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022. That bike is discussed in much greater detail in the introduction to this article.

Lot S202 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$40,700 | 1950 Triumph Thunderbird

This 1950 Triumph Thunderbird sold for $40,700 as Lot S30 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1950 Triumph Thunderbird sold for $40,700 as Lot S30 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S30 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$38,500 | 1938 Rudge Ulster

This 1938 Rudge Ulster sold for $38,500 as Lot F230 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1938 Rudge Ulster sold for $38,500 as Lot F230 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F230 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$37,400 | 1971 Ducati 750 GT Sandcast

This 1971 Ducati 750 GT Sandcast sold for $37,400 as Lot F191 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022. It had previously been to auction at Monterey in August 2017, where it fetched $25,000 as Lot F133.

Lot F191 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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Sometimes, things just don’t appear to add up when it comes to public sentiment on the auction block, and this “sandcast” Ducati is a case in point. It was purchased five years ago at the end of a decade-long restoration for $25,000 and sold in Vegas for $37,400 – a 50 percent profit in five years looks like a worthwhile result but I still cannot help but feel the buyer did exceedingly well.

Just as Honda began production of its CB750 with an economic engine-casting process designed to minimize risk until sales patterns could be established, so too did Ducati with its entire V-twin dynasty.

Honda produced 7414 units of the first-generation CB750 with what is known as “sandcast” production methodology (it wasn’t but that’s another story), before investing in more costly molds to enable cheaper production methods, going on to produce another 438,000 that way. The engine became the starting point for the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM) that magazine road testers railed against for decades.

The initial run of Ducati Sandcast motorcycles saw fewer than 400 manufactured, including the Imola race bikes that put Ducati’s L-twin on the map. While Honda arguably produced the most influential motorcycle of the century in the CB750, Ducati’s was a comparatively much large bet on its future, and it had a fairytale ending.

The Ducatis we know today in World Superbike and MotoGP might well have four cylinders, but the engine configuration that everyone identifies with Ducati is the 90 degree V-twin which won all its Superbike titles in the subsequent 50 years … and it all began with this batch of 400 bikes, which convinced Ducati to tool up properly and produce a total 4133 units before American laws required a redesign in 1974.

What's more, this batch has been heavily depleted by people building 750SS replicas, so by the usual laws of supply and demand, it should be worth more than this, even though this represents a record price for the 750 GT. Remarkably, we cannot find a 750GT that has ever sold for more than $30,000, with the previous record being another sandcast model sold for $29,900 by Bonhams in Las Vegas in 2016, plus other high sales of $28,750 and $28,500.

Finally, one of the High Priests of the tribe of the Ducatisti is Ian Falloon, author of more than 40 motorcycle books and the ultimate authority on Ducati motorcycles. When he was asked to do a series of articles on his favorite motorcycles by a start-up motorcycle magazine by one of his mates, he chose the Norton 650SS, Kawasaki GPz1100, Honda CBX, BMW R90S, Kawasaki 900 Z1, Suzuki GSX-R750, Honda RC30, Ducati 916 and Ducati 750 GT. There cannot be higher praise than this.

This pandemic will eventually end, equilibrium will be restored, prices will return to some semblance of normal, and I think the sandcast Ducati 750 GT will be a collector motorcycle with a much higher value than now. Until then, it represents great value to restore and ride ... too many motorcycles spend their whole lives being looked at.

$33,000 | 2004 Honda RS125

This 2004 Honda RS125 sold for $33,000 as Lot T325 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 2004 Honda RS125 sold for $33,000 as Lot T325 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T325 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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The things you see at auction. This is an 18-year-old, untouched, fresh-from-the-crate, never-started Honda RS125 racer.

$33,000 | 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Triple

This 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Triple sold for $33,000 as Lot F141 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Triple sold for $33,000 as Lot F141 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F141 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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The Kawasaki H2 three-cylinder 750cc Mach IV was one of the landmark performance motorcycles of all-time, and has been flirting with auction block superstardom for several years.
As we wrote in the review of this auction in 2021, "If you’re looking for an investment classic bike that will offer a high bang-per-buck rating when you ride it, the original H2 is a ripper bike that will be relatively cheap to get into. The corollary of that is that two-strokes are not regarded highly by collectors because they rattle and blow smoke, make uncivilized exhaust noises and they’re a bit harder to ride well because the power band is distinct and brutal … unless you’re a two-stroke kinda guy, in which case those attributes are desirable."

In 2019, Mecum set the model record at $27,500, backed it up with a 1972 model that fetched $23,100 in 2020, and two were sold in Vegas in 2021 for $25,300 and $22,000 respectively. As you can see, the model record continued to climb in 2022, backed up with another that sold for $24,200.

$33,000 | 1958 BSA Gold Star Clubman Special

This 1958 BSA Gold Star Clubman Special sold for $33,000 as Lot F233 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1958 BSA Gold Star Clubman Special sold for $33,000 as Lot F233 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F233 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$33,000 | 2010 JRL Cycles Lucky 7

This 2010 JRL Cycles Lucky 7 sold for $33,000 as Lot S222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 2010 JRL Cycles Lucky 7 sold for $33,000 as Lot S222 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S222 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$30,800 | 1933 BSA Bluestar W33-8

This 1933 BSA Bluestar W33-8 sold for $30,800 as Lot F66 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1933 BSA Bluestar W33-8 sold for $30,800 as Lot F66 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F66 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$30,800 | 1971 Kawasaki H1 Triple

This 1971 Kawasaki H1 Triple sold for $30,800 as Lot F140 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1971 Kawasaki H1 Triple sold for $30,800 as Lot F140 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F140 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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This original first-model "Widowmaker" complete with drum front brake, fetched the highest price yet and a new model price record at Mecum's Vegas auction, backing it up with another 500 triple at $25,300 that matched the $25,300 of the previous model record holder. The H1 is a most unlikely collectible, with lots of piston slap and its very own cloud of blue smoke, but it is unquestionably one of the fastest motorcycles of its period. Just be sure it is what you want before undertaking the restoration. I did exactly that a few years ago, restoring one of these based on my memories, riding it ONCE around the block, and selling it. I can still remember riding it around the block and kicking myself mentally, thinking, "now I remember what the bloody think was really like."

$30,800 | 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

This 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma sold for $30,800 as Lot F177 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma sold for $30,800 as Lot F177 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F177 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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Every now and again, the Suzuki RG500 Gamma MotoGP Replica pops up at auction with a stand-out result, reminding us what a fabulous motorcycle it is, that it is probably the most authentic of the MotoGP replicas, and that it was produced in such limited numbers that it is destined for auction block superstardom. Just 9,284 were built across 1985, 1986 and 1987, and there are several rare variants in the livery that make those particular models even rarer and more expensive. The rarest is the 1987 Skoal Bandit edition, an example of which holds the model record price at $57,200.

The second-highest and third-highest prices ever fetched by an RG500 Gamma are held by the same bike, a machine that was obviously despatched late from Suzuki GB to one of its dealers, and has never been started. The bike has accumulated 2 “push” kilometers and first sold at a Bonhams auction on 15 October 2017 for £31,050 ($41,330) setting what was then a record for the model.

It went to auction again at Bonhams on 9 October 2021, selling for £34,500 ($46,965), and currently sits second on the all-time best prices listing for an RG500.

The price fetched by this bike will be inconsequential compared to the prices we expect they’ll be fetching a decade from now. Well bought!

$30,000 | 1971 Honda SL350

This 1971 Honda SL350 was sold by RM Sotheby's during its 27 January 2022 Scottsdale sale, fetching $30,000, which is almost certainly a record for an SL350 Honda. The bike was previously owned by all-American actor John Wayne.
This 1971 Honda SL350 was sold by RM Sotheby's during its 27 January 2022 Scottsdale sale, fetching $30,000, which is almost certainly a record for an SL350 Honda. The bike was previously owned by all-American actor John Wayne.

Lot 109 | RM-Sotheby's | 27 January 2022
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The story goes that during the filming of "Big Jake" in 1969/1970, a Honda SL350 was used as a camera bike during filming in the desert, and this image of "The Duke" aboard a modified Honda seems to verify that. Apparently, Wayne took a shine to the Honda and when filming finished, he purchased one exactly like it for personal use. This is the bike he purchased, now with 9500 miles up.

Provenance counts more in some auction genres than others. In an auction of movie memorabilia, the name John Wayne counts for a lot, and the Duke's cache when it comes to screen-worn jackets, hats and guns is almost in the Steve McQueen category. Last year a Colt Single-action Army Revolver that had been modified for and used by John Wayne in the movies The Cowboys, True Grit and Rooster Cogburn, went to auction at Rock Island Auctions fetching $517,500.

In most cases, provenance needs to be relevant to the item to be fully effective, though the previous auction record for a Honda 350 twin was $10,350, so it seems the the Duke still managed to multiply the value by x3.

$29,700 | 1968 BMW R69S

This 1968 BMW R69s sold for $29,700 as Lot S27 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1968 BMW R69s sold for $29,700 as Lot S27 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S27 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$28,600 | 1969 Honda CB750 K0 "Sandcast"

This 1969 Honda CB750 KO Sandcast sold for $28,600 as Lot F174 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1969 Honda CB750 KO Sandcast sold for $28,600 as Lot F174 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F174 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$28,600 | 1979 Honda CR125 Elsinore

This 1979 Honda CR125 Elsinore sold for $28,600 as Lot F268.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1979 Honda CR125 Elsinore sold for $28,600 as Lot F268.1 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F268.1 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$27,500 | 1967 Bultaco El Bandido

This 1967 Bultaco El Bandido sold for $27,500 as Lot F33 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1967 Bultaco El Bandido sold for $27,500 as Lot F33 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F33 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$27,500 | 1964 DKW Kavalier

This 1964 DKW Kavalier sold for $27,500 as Lot S122 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1964 DKW Kavalier sold for $27,500 as Lot S122 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S122 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$27,500 | 1979 Yamaha TT500 Special

This 1979 Yamaha TT500 Special sold for $27,500 as Lot S250 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1979 Yamaha TT500 Special sold for $27,500 as Lot S250 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S250 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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In 1976, two-time 500cc World Motocross Champion Sten Lundin and four-time 250cc World Motocross Champion Torsten Hallman built a prototype four-stroke motocross bike using a Husqvarna frame and one of the new Yamaha TT500 four-stroke engines. The bike was good, shaved over 60 lbs off the TT500 weight, and had 11 inches of travel at each end.

The pair then convinced two-time 500cc World Champion Bengt Aberg, then in the twilight of his career, to ride it and the whole lot came together in 1977 when Aberg rode the bike to ninth place in the 1977 500cc World Motocross Championship.

This 19 minute review tells the entire story of the very limited-edition Yamaha HL500

Considering that Aberg was riding a four-stroke against the dominant two-stroke machinery of the period, and the field included names like Heikki Mikkola, Roger De Coster, Gerrit Wolsink and Brad Lackey, he did extraordinarily well, with a number of third place finishes and a remarkable win in the first moto at the Luxembourg Grand Prix at Ettelbruck. Following the remarkable showing, Yamaha Europe commissioned Norton to build 400 HL500s and this is one of those bikes.

$26,400 | 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane

This 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane sold for $26,400 as Lot S196 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane sold for $26,400 as Lot S196 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S196 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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The trials of the Triumph X75 Hurricane at auction are difficult to understand. It was the first factory custom, it was produced in limited quantities (1,172 were made), and it passed the $20,000 mark twice at the same Las Vegas auction 12 years ago (MidAmerica’s 2010 Las Vegas auction which was the forerunner of Mecum’s Las Vegas auction - Mecum purchased MidAmerica) . Ironically, the bike was rarer in the United Kingdom than in America, so prices went a tad higher there, with Bonhams setting a record of £24,150 ($38,217) on 16 October 2011.

Since then however, a couple of times prices have gone over $30,000 in the UK, but prices in America have largely stagnated and on this side of the pond the highest price of $29,400 was set less than 12 months ago at Bring a Trailer on 29 March 2021. It certainly doesn’t look as radical as it once did, but it is a collector motorcycle of the first order, and the production numbers are far more limited than is common for modern motorcycles. At this price it'll be one of those rare motorcycles you can ride that will make money for you along the way.

$25,300 | 1979 Honda XR500

This 1979 Honda XR500 sold for $25,300 as Lot W162 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Wednesday, 26 January 2022
This 1979 Honda XR500 sold for $25,300 as Lot W162 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Lot W162 | Mecum Auctions | 26 January 2022
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This is an interesting result because although this is a very tidy unit, it has been ridden and not kept in cotton wool, and the price is extraordinary. Classic road racing has ensured that anything vaguely competitive now has a robust sustainable price and as vintage enduros and motocross continue to develop internationally, the most competitive bikes will become very valuable. Honda actually loaned me one of these to ride in an enduro back in the day, and I can vouch that by today's standards, it is one big unit. Plenty of horsepower is often not usable in enduros, and plenty of weight makes a huge difference in how fast you can go over a long distance.

$25,300 | 1974 Kawasaki Z1 900

This 1975 Kawasaki Z1 900 sold for $25,300 as Lot F108 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1975 Kawasaki Z1 900 sold for $25,300 as Lot F108 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F107 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$25,300 | 1986 Honda NS400R HRC Edition

This 1986 Honda NS400R HRC Edition sold for $25,300 as Lot F178 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1986 Honda NS400R HRC Edition sold for $25,300 as Lot F178 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F178 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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The very first of the 500cc two-stroke MotoGP replicas and quite possibly the best of the three (the others being the Yamaha RZ500 V4 and Suzuki RG500 square-four), despite being produced in 400cc rather than 500cc form. A very sweet bike to ride, with razor-sharp handling and a mid-range strong enough that the gearbox could be pedaled and it could be ridden on the road with little compromise. Find an open road and a few corners though, and there is a far more powerful motorcycle a few thousand revs higher. This bike was sold with Freddie Spencer's signature – Spencer was a revelation on the Grand Prix version of this bike, winning his first World 500cc Championship at just 21 years, and introducing an entirely new level of riding skill to the world championship.

This model is quite rare, much rarer than either of the other MotoGP replicas and has sold for higher prices in the past. Interestingly, the bike that sold for $29,700 just three years ago was sold for $16,374 on Iconic just a few weeks ago.

$24,200 | 1951 Imme R100

One of the most innovative and technically interesting motorcycles of all-time, this 1951 Imme R100 sold for $24,200 as Lot F119 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
One of the most innovative and technically interesting motorcycles of all-time, this 1951 Imme R100 sold for $24,200 as Lot F119 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F119 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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Wars consume resources voraciously on one hand, at the same time as both sides intentionally destroying the production capacity of their opposite. Being on the losing side in a world war means you endure great hardship, as there are reparations to pay on top of rebuilding your ruined infrastructure from scratch with limited materials and resources.

Recognizing the need for a simple, economical, lightweight motorcycle during Germany's recovery from WW2, Norbert Riedel design the Imme. The frame is made from 40 mm steel tubing, as are the steering head, single-sided front fork, and the single-sided swingarm that doubles as an exhaust pipe. If you haven’t seen one up close, check out the hi-res images on the Mecum auction page. Great vision and ingenious design.

$22,000 | 1967 CZ Twin Pipe

This 1967 CZ Twin Pipe sold for $22,000 as Lot F228 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1967 CZ Twin Pipe sold for $22,000 as Lot F228 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F228 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$20,900 | 1974 Maico GP250 Moto Cross

This 1974 Maico GP250 Moto Cross sold for $20,900 as Lot F246 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1974 Maico GP250 Moto Cross sold for $20,900 as Lot F246 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F246 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$19,800 | 1991 Suzuki GSXR1100 Endurance Racer

This 1991 Suzuki GSXR1100 Endurance Racer sold for $19,800 as Lot F110 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1991 Suzuki GSXR1100 Endurance Racer sold for $19,800 as Lot F110 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F110 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$19,800 | 1980 Honda RC360

This 1980 Honda RC360 sold for $19,800 as Lot F311 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022
This 1980 Honda RC360 sold for $19,800 as Lot F311 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Friday, 28 January 2022

Lot F311 | Mecum Auctions | 28 January 2022
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$18,700 | 1981 Mugen ME125

This 1981 Mugen Me125 sold for $18,700 as Lot T339 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1981 Mugen Me125 sold for $18,700 as Lot T339 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T339 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
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$18,700 | 1997 Honda CB50V Dream

This 1997 Honda CB50V Dream sold for $18,700 as Lot S136 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022
This 1997 Honda CB50V Dream sold for $18,700 as Lot S136 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Saturday, 29 January 2022

Lot S136 | Mecum Auctions | 29 January 2022
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$17,050 | 1984 Yamaha RZ350

This 1984 Yamaha RZ350 sold for $17,050 as Lot T210 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022
This 1984 Yamaha RZ350 sold for $17,050 as Lot T210 at Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale on Thursday, 27 January 2022

Lot T210 | Mecum Auctions | 27 January 2022
Auction Page & High Resolution Images
The 1985 RZ350 Yamaha was the culmination of three decades of parallel development of essentially the same motor on both the road and the racetrack, and it was the finale for the road bike because emission regs had finally shut down the two-stroke as a sustainable roadgoing vehicle.

I owned a number of those iterations along the way and I love the entire series for all the performance, forgiveness and durability it showed me, and the final iteration is one of the best-looking motorcycles you’ll ever see, in addition to being one of the fastest and most competent motorcycles in existence.

When Cycle World road tested the Yamaha RZ350, it wrote,”It became an everyday occurrence to be swarmed by curious people whenever we parked the RZ. If good looks could kill, the RZ would be the atomic bomb of motorcycles."

Last year at this Las Vegas auction, a 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition that was signed by Kenny Roberts set a new benchmark for the model with a price of $25,850. Remarkably, the bike already held the record for the highest price ever achieved by an RZ ($17,050) and this price matches that price. If this type of motorcycle appeals to you, buy a genuine RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition and put it in the shed, then buy a cheap version of the same bike and ride the wheels off it.

$17,050 | 1962 Honda CB92R