Picture Intermission – Mecum Las Vegas 2021

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It was later in the year than usual, but another Mecum auction in Las Vegas has come and gone. The auction cleared $17.5 million through 1,214 listings, 1,151 (95%) of which sold. Here’s 12 of my favorites!

Before we get into my favorite bikes, I’ve got to give an honorable mention to John B., who clearly wins the “Best Dressed” award! I love the stories and the motorcycles I’ve been able to review, but my favorite part of running Bike-urious has been meeting people like John. He’s bought some cool stuff through the site (such as this Honda CB72 that was raced by Pops Yoshimura) and I’m going to be riding with him and some other motorcycling buddies in Cuba this November!

Another honorable mention goes to the legendary Paul d’Orleans. It had been much longer than usual since I’ve been able to see Paul thanks to COVID, and it was great to catch up. Normally he’s providing color commentary for Mecum’s TV coverage on Saturday, but Mecum decided to go TV-free this year.

On to the bikes! If you want to talk dollars, the Top 10 results consisted of 8 Harleys, 1 Indian, and 1 Vincent:
1907 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank (Lot F191) at $297,000
1943 Harley-Davidson E Model (Lot S111) at $220,000
1946 Harley-Davidson FL (Lot S114) at $220,000
1947 Harley-Davidson FL (Lot S115) at $192,500
1953 Vincent Black Shadow (Lot F103.1) at $165,000
1936 Harley-Davidson EL (Lot F151) at $159,500
1938 Harley-Davidson EL (Lot S106) at $154,000
1903 Indian (Lot S185) at $143,000
1944 Harley-Davidson FL (Lot S112) at $143,000
1942 Harley-Davidson EL (Lot S110) at $137,500

Otherwise, in no particular order, here are my 10 favorite two-wheelers from Mecum Las Vegas 2021:

1. 1990 Harley-Davidson Hill Climber – claimed to be the biggest cubic-inch hillclimber ever built.

If you caught this out of the corner of your eye, you might think at first that it’s a KTM. But it’s packing a 2,500cc engine with Hilborn fuel injection that’s supposedly capable of 200 horsepower when running nitromethane!

It has won multiple championships in the North American Hillclimbers Association and has been campaigned by Jeremy McGrath, Robie Peterson, and most recently, Colby Peck. I couldn’t find video of this monster on the move, but here’s an image of Colby on it from his Instagram profile. This sold for $17,600.

2. 1982 Husqvarna 250 MP Military. In the mid 70s, the Swedish military sent out a RFP for a motorcycle with two priorities – capable on/off-road and easy to ride by a bunch of a young recruits. Husky’s idea was to create an automatic transmission, and the resulting drivetrain was successful enough that it even made it into their MX bikes!

Check out the switch for neutral or drive.

This example has just 46 miles and it was very well-preserved.

Even better, it came with the snow skis! It sold for $11,550.

3. 1992 Magnacycle. The Magnacycle was dreamed up and built by Jerry Magnuson, a tool and die maker based out of Santa Ana, California. It took him nearly a decade to go from the idea to bike #1, but the first bike was acquired by none other than Arlen Ness.

According to the builder, he produced about 10 kits before selling the right to another company. They produced about another 20, and that was the extent of the production run. Original MSRP was $799 (another $4000 gave you extras like the exhaust system without muffler, handlebars, crossbrace, instrument panel, battery, fuel gauge, and more), and as you can see, the design was all about getting the center of gravity to be low. The kit was designed to accept a Sportster engine – there were plans for a Magnacycle II with a Honda engine but that never happened.

For more information on this crazy bike, check out Magnacycle.net. This sold for $4,950, which was low enough that I almost bid on it myself.

4. 2010 JRL Cycles Lucky 7. I’ve featured this bike before, but it was still incredible to see in person.

JRL Cycles built a production run of 4 REMs – Radial Engine Motorcycles. This one was the prototype.

Apparently, the bike was initially designed to do something different, but JRL realized it might have commercial viability because the engine puts out great torque and is very smooth.

They went with an engine from the Australian company Rotec, the R2800. It’s a 2,800cc engine that puts out 110 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque, originally designed for airplanes.

The 4 production bikes apparently sold for an average price of over $100,000 – and this prototype apparently cost over $150,000 to build. The bike has won several awards and it would obviously draw attention wherever it goes.

This ended up selling for $38,500 – though it got up to $45,000 without meeting reserve when it was listed on eBay the last time I featured it.

5. Goodman HDS 1200.

The name comes from the builder, a gentleman named Simon Goodman out of Great Britain (and the grandson of the founder of Velocette).

He built just 17 examples by combining a Norton Featherbed-style frame with a Sportster 1200 motor.

Components included Marzocchi forks, Koni shocks, Brembo brakes, and 18″ magnesium wheels. Claimed top speed was 125 miles per hour, and wet weight was 450 pounds.

This sold for $9,350.

6. 1954 Ducati Marianna Gran Sport 125. This is cool because, as Mecum puts it, it’s the “original overhead-camshaft Ducati.”

But I’m just sharing it because I got a laugh out of the last line of a sign that the owner taped to the seat for any Mecum staff moving his or her bike around: “I’M PROBABLY WATCHING?

Bidding got up to $60,000 but it did not sell.

7. 1993 Cagiva V593. The very bike that John Kocisnki won the 1993 US GP race at Laguna Seca with.

The two-stroke V-4 engine produced 185 horsepower, and the bike weighs less than 200 pounds dry!

It sold for $104,500, which seemed like quite the steal to me.

8. 1903 Mitchell. One of the earliest American motorcycles, the Mitchel was built by Wisconsin Wheel Works.

Mitchell introduced a new design for 1903 with a stronger frame and a 4 hp single. The previous 2 hp model had a claimed top speed of 40 miles per hour, but the new machine would get you up past 60 mph, or a mile per minute.

I also enjoyed the chain-link tread on the tires.

9. 1989 Honda NSR50. I love the livery on this specific example, which was given to the legendary racer Bubba Shobert by his leather sponsor, RS Taichi.

It sold for $12,650.

10. 1928 Neander K500.

One of just 2,000 examples, the Neander was designed by Ernst Neuman and it looks like something 40 years ahead of its time. Just look at this thing!




It sold for $40,700. I started this post with a reference to Paul, so it seems fitting to end with one, too. Here’s a lovely video he created (the first Vintagent Original after his site redesign) about a 1930 Neander with a JAP V-Twin motor:

Hope to see you at the next one!

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