Auction Preview – Bonhams Las Vegas

In Blog by Abhi3 Comments

After I took a look at the Mecum Las Vegas auction that’s coming up, Paul D’Orleans reminded me about the Bonhams auction that’s happening the same week. This will also be a hefty post, so get comfy.

As usual, I’ll share a few of my favorite motorcycles that are being offered (focusing on cool and quirky bikes that I don’t usually find through my daily searches), but Paul noted that there’s some very cool art and memorabilia on the block at Bonhams, like this BSA Gold Star cutout that was shown at Earl’s Court in 1953 and 1956. It’s incredible – BSA sectioned the bike and added separate motors to turn the wheels and work the suspension up and down.

BSA Gold Star Cutaway Earls Court - Right Side

For Paul’s highlights of the memorabilia, check out his article on The Vintagent. Then keep scrolling down to see my favorite bikes!

1971 Norton Commando SS – estimated to go for $10-$14k – the rarest of the Commandos, this Street Scrambler is a stock, unrestored example with 5,000 miles on the odometer. I’ve featured a Street Scrambler before, if you’d like more details.
Norton Commando SS - Right Side

1970 Honda CB750 K0 – estimated to go for $15-$20k – not just any CB750, this bike was owned by former Cycle World Editor-in-Chief David Edwards, featured for a story in that magazine as part of a story covering Route 66, then restored to such a high standard that Honda asked to use it as part of their 50th Anniversary celebration and it was then used as part of the famous “Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit. Not bad.
Honda CB750 K0 - Left Side

1954 Vincent Black Prince Prototype – estimated to go for $250-$300k – the Black Prince was decades ahead of its time. Like most bikes that are so advanced, it didn’t have much commercial success. Few exist, but this one stands out even more because it’s the very first one. If that’s too pricey for you, there’s also a “normal” Black Prince available that is estimated to sell between $90 and $130k.
Vincent Black Prince - Left Side

1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore Homologation – estimated to go between $30-$40k – one of just 207 produced for homologation purposes so that Ducati could compete in World Superbike (they’d win a championship in 1990), this 851 has been made street legal with the addition of bar-end turn signals and a speedo driven by the front wheel.
Ducati 851 Tricolore Homologation - Left Side

1975 Norton Challenge P86 – estimated to go between $40-$60k – one of my two favorite bikes here, just because of the story behind NVT and how this bike came about. For more details, head on over to the always-comprehensive OddBike for a write-up on the P86.
Norton Challenge P86 - Front Right

1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer – estimated to sell between $30-$40k – this bike was originally ordered by BSA’s west coast distributor, Hap Alzina, in an effort to win the Daytona 200. Al Gunter ended up taking the pole but finishing 2nd. My favorite of the many modifications has to be the relocated air intake, designed to hide the filter from as much sand spray as possible.
BSA Gold Star Works Racer - Right Side

1956 AJS 7R – estimated to sell between $50k-$70k – I just love how the black and gold look together. Gorgeous.
AJS  7R - Front Right

1984 Honda XR Custom – estimated to sell between $7-$8k – probably the oddest of the bunch, this XR has had the 500cc two-stroke engine from a Suzuki T500 Cobra shoehorned in it.
Honda XR Suzuki Cobra - Rear Right

1961 Norton Manx 350cc Manx Racer – estimated to sell between $50k-$70k – one of the rare Norton’s tuned by Francis Beart, who was responsible for 11 Manx GP wins, this bike comes with a log book full of notes. Though this bike has plenty of 2nds and 3rds in its history, it unfortunately never brought home a checkered flag.
Norton Manx Racer - Front Right

1946 Vincent 1X Prototype – estimated to sell for $350k-$450k – I’d go to the listing for a full description of the complicated story, but this bike utilizes the first Series B engine Vincent ever built. Years ago the engine was presumed scrapped, but it came up for auction and Herb Harris built the rest of the bike around the engine. If prototypes aren’t your style but you still love rare Vincents, Bonhams is also offering one of the 15 Series C White Shadows ever built.
Vincent Series B Prototype - Front Right

1999 Laverda 750 S – estimated to sell between $5,000-$6,000 – one of the last Zane Laverdas, this bike is equipped with Formula bodywork and was originally purchased by a tech at Trackstar Motorsports of Minneapolis, which allows me to share the following story with you (a story that I was only introduced to a couple of months ago by one of my favorite Bike-urious readers).
Laverda 750 S with Formula bodywork - Right Side

1990 Honda RC30 – estimated to sell between $35k and $40k – you’re all familiar with the RC30, but this has just 740 miles and I cannot remember the last time I saw one in such nice shape (the professional photography doesn’t hurt!)
Honda RC30 - Front Right

1979 Ducati Biggelaar 900SSR – estimated to sell between $25-$35k – my other favorite bike available at this auction, this is one of three 900SS bikes built by Biggelaar Special Performance of Holland to compete in the Dutch Battle of the Twins series. It’s offered post-restoration but “as-raced”, including 10.5:1 compression, Campagnolo wheels, and the awesome Biggelaar-designed bodywork.
Ducati Biggelaar 900SSR - Left Side

Those are my favorites – what about you? For a full list of what will be available, head on over to Bonhams!