Several rare bikes including A matching-numbers 1939 Indian Four, a Harley-Davidson racer replica and an unrestored 1988 BMW R65 with only 1035km on the clock are highlights of the annual Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction on April 30.
The four-cylinder Indian Four was built from 1928 to 1942.
Indian bought the Ace Motor Corporation in 1927 and based the Four on the Ace motorcycle but with a stronger twin-downtube frame, a sturdier five-bearing crankshaft, trailing-link forks and quarter-elliptic leaf spring suspension.
The Indian Four coming to auction is a matching-number 1939 model fitted with the desirable magneto option which makes it quite rare.
The fully restored and mechanically rebuilt Indian comes in the famous World Fair factory colour combination of metallic Santaupe and cream, with a contrasting brown saddle.
Shannons expect the rare Indian Four to sell in the $100,000-$120,000 range which tops the prices expected for the 11 bikes in the auction.
Harley race replica
The Harley-Davidson is a rare recreation of an early 1920s Model 17 FHAC 61ci V-twin 8-Valve racer that won every National Championship category in the USA.
It was only available to privateer riders in compliance with prevailing FAM rules that required any factory’s racing motorcycles to be offered to the public. They were quite rare with only about 20 made.
The 998cc V-twin eight-valve Harley Model 17 was listed for $1500 in 1916.
Only five or six original examples are known to exist, making the Model 17 is now the rarest and most valuable Harley-Davidson model ever built. A ‘barn find’ example sold by Shannons in September 2015 fetched $600,000.
This replica was built from mainly 1922-28 period parts collected over 25 years with just a few replica parts.
The Model 17 replica was built in 2012 around an original HD frame, forks, wheels and transmission found in Australia.
It is expected to fetch $80,000-$90,000.
I owned a 1982 BMW R65, so the unrestored, one owner 1988 models with just 1035km on the clock is a personal favourite of the auction.
While they are not rare, this one has been stored has been preserved in its pristine factory fresh condition for the past 30 years. It was stored in the same dry garage since new and turned over regularly.
It is being sold with its original books, paperwork and factory accessories.
Shannons expect it to fetch $10,000-15,000.
There is also an Australian-delivered 1961 BMW R27 250cc solo that has recently been restored after being located in Queensland six or seven years ago by its current owner.
Supplied with its instruction manual, workshop manual and some receipts, it is expected to bring $10,000-$14,000.
Other rare items
Here are some other rare and interesting bikes at the action:
- An original-condition 1972 Honda CB750 Four K1 motorcycle that has been in the hands of the same owner for the past 20 years. The Honda is believed to have covered just 62,587kms over the past 47 years and is expected to fetch $10,000-$15,000.
- A 1991 Honda Goldwing 1200 Aspencade in original condition is being offered with no reserve for $6000-$8000.
- A collector-owned 1989 Suzuki GSX-R 750 that is presented in the factory’s blue and white racing colour scheme. Its was owned by former racer and collector Mick Hone and is offered with no reserve at $25,000-$35,000.
- A 1998 Suzuki RGV-R 250 production race bike based on the Japanese manufacturer’s 250 cc Grand Prix bikes from 1987 to 1998 is offered with no reserve in the $10,000-$14,000 range.
- A Ukraine-built, 1988 DNEPR MT11S with a BMW-inspired horizontally-opposed 650cc twin cylinder air-cooled engine and left-mounted sidecar is offered with no reserve at $8000-$12,000.
- A 1965 Velocette 198cc Vogue Motorcycle at $6000-$8000 (no reserve).
- A 48-inch front wheel Penny Farthing Bicycle at $2000-$3000 (no reserve).