Auction Preview – Bonhams’ Las Vegas 2016

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As every New Year rolls around, some of the world’s biggest motorcycle auctions go down in Vegas. Here’s a preview of what Bonhams will be offering on January 7th at Bally’s…

Currently, there are 241 listings available – click here for the full list. For now, I’m just going to highlight a few favorites.

KTM Rallye 660 - Front Right2007 KTM 660 Rallye
This bike competed in the 2007 Paris-Dakar, the last time the race would actually be run from Europe to Africa. Since the P-D now caps bikes at 450cc, this bike can’t compete in that race again. But who cares? It’s now STREET LEGAL, and has completed the TransAmerica Trail.

Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled - Front Right1963 Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled
What’s that? A Bonnie desert sled painted by Von Dutch, modified by Bud Ekins, and owned by Steve McQueen? Enough said.

Vincent Red White Shadow - Right Side1951 Vincent ‘Red’ White Shadow
The Black Shadow is rare. The White Shadow (named because the engine cases were polished bare metal instead of the usual black enamel) is even rarer, with just 15 built. This, however, is as rare as it gets. The one White Shadow offered from the factory in Chinese Red. This Vincent ‘Red Shadow’ is being offered by the third owner, who discovered the true heritage (when he acquired it, the bike had been repainted green). It was then restored with a couple of concessions for better riding – Carrillo connecting rods, Amal carbs, electronic ignition, bigger oil pump, and stainless steel fenders that instead of the touring units that were equipped at the factory.

Moto Martin Honda CBX - Front Left1984 Moto Martin Honda CBX
This bike was originally formed with a CBX motor and a Moto Martin kit – the final product saved 80 pounds over the stock CBX. It was restored in 2005 and got some custom bodywork in the process. Now it has 26,217 miles and is claimed to be in beautiful, running condition.

Confederate B120 Wraith - Right Side2007 Confederate B120 Wraith
I think the Wraith is one of the coolest looking motorcycles ever – and thanks to a 120 hp, 135 ft-lb V-Twin engine, it was quick, too. This example has had two owners and less than 300 miles on the road, it’s claimed to be essentially in showroom condition.

Harley-Davidson XL1000 - Viva Knievel1976 Harley Davidson XL1000
One of the stars from the movie Viva Knievel, this bike was painted to looked like one of Evel’s XR750 jump bikes. After filming, a LA dealer bought the bike and used it as a museum/display bike at his dealership. It’s been given a cosmetic restoration (including a repaint by the original painter).

Magni Australia - Front Left1998 Magni Australia
One of 50 ever built, the Magni Australia 98 was powered by a 992cc Moto Guzzi V-Twin. This example has just 127 miles on it but it’s claimed to be in great running order.

Ducati 175 with Evan Wilcox Dustbin Bodywork - Left Side1959 Ducati 175cc ‘Dustbin’ Special
Supposedly, Evan Wilcox typically takes between 40-50 hours just to make a tank. How long do you think it took him to hand form this bodywork? Impressively, this bike isn’t just a garage queen – it’s run the Moto Giro d’California twice as well as multiple three day 750 mile rallies in California.

Bimota Supermono - Right Side1995 Bimota BB1 Supermono Racer
The original owner of this bike spent an extra $10,000 on top of MSRP to turn the bike into ‘his vision of a lightweight road racer’ – complete with electric starter. That money included Team Pami F650 (remember the original motor was similar to the Rotax/BMW unit found in the F650) race kit with 11.5:1 compression piston, 36mm flat slide Mikuni carbs, upgraded forks, extra brake disc up front, factory race pipe, factory race bodywork, and a wider Marvic rear wheel. Auction includes two spare wheels and the original bodywork.

Egli-Vincent Rapide Black Shadow - Right SideAnd my favorite, a 1948/1970 Egli-Vincent Rapide built to Lightning specs
Remember Big Sid Biberman (maybe from the book Big Sid’s Vincati?) This was another of his fantastic motorcycles, and though the early history is not known, you can still admire it as is – Egli frame with Metal Profile forks, Grimeca brakes, and a suede seat complement a ’48 Rapide motor that’s been converted to Black Lightning specification with internal work, Dell’Orto carbs, and custom pipes built by Biberman. It’s been sitting for a year but was properly stored.

It was way too difficult for me to narrow it down to these 10 (I passed up a NCR Ducati F1, a Harris Ducati 900, and even a Dan Gurney Yamaha F750 just to keep a bit of variety here) – you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t take some time to explore the rest of the listings here. What’s your favorite?

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