Las Vegas motorcycle auctions seem to attract the biggest bids and January’s Bonham’s sale is set to do the same with some famous bikes including a Triumph 5T Speed Twin once owned by Steve McQueen.
Steve McQueen’s 1915 Cyclone sold at a Mecum auction for almost $A1 million in 2015 in Las Vegas.
It was the most expensive bike sold at auction until Australia Day this year when a 1951 Vincent Black Lightning on which Jack Ehret set an Australian speed record was bought at the Bonham’s annual Las Vegas motorcycle auction for a record $US929,000 ($A1,155,000, €748,500) by an unknown collector who is returning the bike to Australia.
McQueen’s 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin 500 is estimated to fetch up to $US65,000 (about $A92,000).
The Hollywood star had a long association with Triumph having ridden a TR6 in The Great Escape and the 1964 International Six Day Trial, representing the USA.
This bike was restored for McQueen by friend and fellow ISDT team member Bud Ekins in the mid to late 1970s.
Another highlight of the auction is a 1993 Ducati 550cc Supermono tipped to fetch up to $125,000 (about $A177,000).
It is one of only 67 design by Pierre Terblanche and built specifically for the Sound of Singles race.
“The Supermono was regarded as a resounding triumph,” says Bonhams motorcycle specialist Craig Mallery.
“It’s a very curvaceous design. There’s very little that’s angular about it. It’s a beautiful bike, very compact.”
Harley Model F
Another interesting item is a 1916 Harley-Davidson Model F that sat untouched for many decades and still includes a period front tyre.
It was parked indoors many years ago in indoor storage and was recently discovered by American TV car restorer Wayne Carini, host of the Chasing Classic Cars TV series which featured the Harley in one episode.
It is expected to fetch bids up to $100,000 (about $A140,000).