by Mike –
For many motorcycle enthusiasts, the greatest thrill comes from riding their bikes on a regular basis. However, there are more and more people who not only love to ride, but who also acquire collector motorcycles – rare and unique classic motorcycles.
If you are a collector or you want to start finding and restoring vintage motorcycles, then be sure you are getting the best deal and most value for your money and time.
One way to determine if your new (old) bike is worth something is the age. The longer ago it was manufactured, the better chance it is more valuable than something made recently. However, age is simply a number, having a junker from 1950 won’t necessarily be better than having a pristine bike from 1970. Just like classic cars.
While we could spend all of our time outlining the reasons why some country’s collector motorcycles are better than others, the fact is that motorcycles are built well all over the world. Whether buying aftermarket Honda motorcycle parts or a complete vintage ride, country of origin means a lot. It can also have an impact because you may need to find a mechanic that specializes in imports to check it out and to maintain it.
Brough Superior Collector Motorcycles
Brough Superior motorcycles were made in England from 1919 to 1940. The motorcycles were called the “Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles” by H. D. Teague of The Motor Cycle newspaper.
Approximately 3,048 (19 models) were made; around a third of that production still exists.
T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) owned eight of these motorcycles and died from his injuries when he crashed number seven, the eighth was on order.
Obviously, some collector motorcycles makes are better than others based on the technology and history. With all things being equal, would you rather have a Harley Davidson, a Brough Superior or an unknown bike with some slapped on Yamaha replacement parts? Overall, having something from a respected and known brand will add value to your collection.
You can see this kind of valuation in action at a recent Mecum auction. There you will see all sorts of collector’s bikes going for top dollar, such as the 1912 Henderson Four for almost half a million dollars, and the 1929 Cleveland Tornado which sold for $91,000. If you are interested in bidding for such collector motorcycles, it’s imperative to know what you may be buying.
Let us know what you think in the Comments.
All photos compliments of Mecum Auctions, Monterey 2016 and Las Vegas 2017.