Growing enthusiasm for investing in classic motorcycles has led to a significant hike in values, with sums in the high five-figure and low six-figure brackets now being consistently achieved at auction. Heated bidding is therefore expected at the MCN London Motorcycle Show at Excel London on February 18, when more than 130 machines will cross the block at a special sale being staged by auction house Coys.
Among the stars will be a 1939 Moto Guzzi Albatross “Compressore”, a rare 250cc race bike with a supercharged engine that endows it with a top speed of more than 110mph, tipped to realise £70,000-£100,000. It will be offered alongside a 1934 Brough Superior 680 Junior that sold for £5 in 1967, but which could now fetch £80,000-£100,000. Built by the marque famed for being the favourite of luminaries such as TE Lawrence and George Bernard Shaw, it is one of just five 680 Juniors known to survive from 25 originally built.
Also notable is a carefully restored 1957 Mondial Bialbero 250cc racer (£85,000-£95,000), while more modern Italian exotica includes a Ducati 996RS (£50,000-£60,000) that was one of the actual team bikes raced by former World Superbike champion Troy Corser during the 1999 season, a 2001 Bimota DB4 (£9,500-£12,000) that has covered just 1km from new, and a 1975 Benelli 750 “Sei” (£15,000-£18,000) with a six-cylinder engine.
Among a selection of classic Hondas, meanwhile, is a road-legal 2002 Honda VTR-SP1 “Joey Dunlop” limited edition (one of 26 made and estimated at £20,000-£25,000), a 1994 Honda NR750 RC40 (£55,000-£60,000) road-going race machine and an original, unrestored example of “the world’s first superbike” – a 1973 CB750K1 (£8,000-£10,000) finished in period metallic brown livery.
The sale will also feature part of a collection amassed by the celebrated A Hitchcock & Sons motorcycle dealership in Folkestone, Kent, including a 1912 three-and-a-half horsepower Triumph (£10,000-£14,000) that once belonged to Bert Greeves, founder of the Greeves marque.