Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction 2017


Well none of the best bikes sold; what does that tell us? Were the estimates well below the reserve prices? Did no one turn up? Is it the market, or fashion? Maybe the current buyers are only looking at prices with regard to ‘investment value’. But the only way to get real value out of motorcycles is to ride them, regardless of what they cost.

A Vincent sold for $150k but neither the Merkel, the Crocker, the 36 Knuckle, nor the Harley 8XE or 6A sold.


This years Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction is this week and as usual there are some great bikes up for grabs. Dale Walkslers 1936 Crocker will be of particular interest with the estimate of more than $500k and there are some rather nice Vincents as well.

On the F-Head side there is a lovely restored 1912 twin, a 1912 single and a 1910 single, all with rather low estimates. Maybe that is an indication of the market or maybe they just post low estimates to get the bidders interested. Either way there are some very nice bikes and it will be interesting to see the prices they reach.

The photos are courtesy of the Bonhams auction site. Have a look on their site and see the photos in better detail. You might even want to bid on one!

1910 6A.

There are only two pictures of this bike on the site; they are not very good and they don’t expand. The estimate is $45-55k which seems bizarrely low. Any 1910, of course depending on the quality of the work, should be worth well more than that and with buyers’ premium included I would expect to pay double that for such a cool bike.

1912 8XA.

This is a nice little bike with a clutch and magneto. I’m not sure about the colour but it is apparently an older restoration.

1912 8XE.

There are loads of great pictures of this bike on the site; great for referencing if you are doing a restoration. I think this is the bike that Bator International had up for sale last year at $169k. It won’t fetch that at auction.

1910 motor work.

After months of work going through most parts of the machine we finally got her running, and running fairly well. There were still some issues to resolve but they would have been attended to over time. However, the seal of the bronze bush in the left side crank case was installed such that when the motor was run it just oozed oil.

Up to that point the only thing we hadn’t done was split the motor cases; so we did and found that the bush was OK. Machining the case and installing an oil seal made a big improvement.

There was a new piston and connecting rod inside but with no oil ring on the piston and no oil feed to the small end bearing. The exhaust valve also needed a little work in the seating department and we made a new valve lifter.  She starts and runs a lot better now.

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