Bonhams’ Autumn Stafford Sale wrapped up a pair weeks again, and whereas we coated a number of attention-grabbing Heaps earlier than the public sale, the celebrities of the sale deserve their time within the limelight—accompanied by their eye-watering hammer costs. With the staggering variety of pre-war British bikes within the docket, you’ll be shocked to search out the listing of high sellers consists of a few outstanding Japanese GP racers and Ducati race replicas as well.
Kork Ballington’s Championship 1979 Kawasaki KR250 Geared up with the No. 1 plate and offered largely in as-raced situation, it’s no shock that the highest vendor of Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale was the 1979 championship-winning Kawasaki KR250 of Kork Ballington. Saved for years in a climate-controlled trophy room, and bought with uncommon manufacturing unit spares and GP trophies from the 1980 season, the KR250 was hammered away for a staggering £92,000 [$112,305].
Kawasaki was largely absent from GP racing within the Sixties, and confronted an uphill battle to make aggressive small cc road-racing bikes within the coming years. Their parallel-twin two-strokes employed standard rotary-valve induction, making the bikes significantly wider than the competitors. That was till a younger engineer named Nagato Sato drafted a brand new tandem-twin design, with one cylinder straight behind the opposite with their cranks joined by gears.
Sato’s design positioned the rotary valves and carburetors on the left, offset by the ignition and first drive on the precise. Along with slimming up the powerplant, the design additionally allowed for asymmetrical inlet timing and freed up room to extend the engine’s switch porting. The brand new Kawi tandem twin didn’t outclass the competitors’s output by leaps and bounds, however the completed KR250s and 350s have been light-weight, had low frontal space and have been piloted by some unbelievable riders.
Kork Ballington bought his shot on the brand new KR in 1978 and didn’t disappoint, bringing dwelling the 250 and 350 World Championship titles in ’78 and ’79. Anton Mang would observe in his footsteps, taking the 250 title in ’80 and ’81, and the 350 title in ’81 and ’82—establishing the Kawi KR because the bike to beat.
Lot 455 is without doubt one of the two bikes that Ballington rode within the ’79 and ’80 seasons, and was verified to be his championship-winning machine from 1979. Ballington saved the bike in his trophy room after buying it from Kawasaki in 1982, the place it sat unused, aside from the occasional experience on the road exterior his dwelling. Trophies from the 1980 season and helpful works engine spares accompanied the sale.
1975 Ducati 750 SS Road-legal examples of a model’s best road-racing machines have at all times appealed to collectors and boy racers alike, and as such a purebred instance, the Ducati 750 SS has at all times been fairly wanted. Few may afford the worth although, contemplating the 750 bought for over $7,000 when new, and in order for you one at this time, the worth is roughly £59,800 [$72,916].
The story of the 750 SS begins with the 1972 750 Sport, Ducati’s most aggressive V-twin thus far, and the idea for Ducati’s 750 cc street racers of the day. Paul Good and Bruno Spaggiari rode two works 750s to a 1-2 end on the Imola 200 in 1972, besting confirmed Triumph Tridents, Yamahas, Kawasakis and (notably) the 750 MV Agusta of Giacomo Agostini. The works bikes have been match with upgraded Lockheed brakes, full fairings and high-compression high ends with desmodromic cylinder heads, however have been in any other case similar to the manufacturing fashions.
A landmark victory for Ducati’s V-twin, the model rapidly moved to capitalize on the success at Imola with the 750 SS. The mannequin was basically a legalized model of the ’72 racers, match with a smaller cockpit fairing, a center-axle fork, Brembo brakes and simply sufficient lighting for the road. The chassis utilized the 90-degree engine as a harassed member and was fairly stiff, and cornered faster by using 18-inch wheels. The fiberglass gasoline tank, right-hand shift and unfiltered Dell’Orto carburetors have been carried over as properly.
Lot 436 is a 750 SS mannequin constructed late in December of 1975. It bounced round Italy for some time (at all times promoting for deal over MSRP) earlier than touchdown within the fingers of an eclectic collector who painted the bike pink earlier than inserting it in storage for almost 30 years. A complete restoration was accomplished in 2014, and the bike is alleged to retain all its authentic main components.
1971 Kawasaki 500 cc H1RA Kork Ballington’s KR250 wasn’t the one inexperienced machine from his private assortment at Bonhams’ Stafford Sale, and Lot 446 would go down as one other high vendor on the occasion at £57,500 [$70,181]. This 1971 Kawasaki H1RA was raced in-period by Ballington’s common teammate Gregg Hansford, who rode the bike to victory within the 1973 Australian Championships.
Kawasaki debuted the brand new H1R as a racing model of the five hundred cc Mach III roadster in 1970. Whereas the 75 bhp three-cylinder engine confirmed promise, the chassis was outclassed by the competitors, and Kawasaki needed to accept second behind MV Agusta’s Giacomo Agostini.
The H1R wouldn’t obtain main success till 1971, when Staff Inexperienced veteran Dave Simmonds commissioned Ken Sprayson to design a better-handling chassis for his bike. With its Achilles heel addressed, Simmonds piloted the Kawi to victory at Jarama, and fourth within the World Championship after lacking a number of rounds.
Quick ahead to 1972, and the mom of the up-and-coming rider Gregg Hansford bought this explicit Kawasaki H1RA at Brisk Gross sales in Brisbane. Whereas Hansford’s nationwide profession wouldn’t take stride till the late ’70s, it was on this Kawasaki H1RA that he received the 1973 500 cc and Limitless Australian Championship titles. Years later, Kork Ballington was capable of buy the freshly restored H1RA with its authentic 500 cc engine, citing fond recollections of his private H1R from the 1972 South African Nationwide Limitless Championship.
2008 Ducati 990 cc Desmosedici RR Not each machine graced with the Race Reproduction designation is constructed to the identical grade, but when that suffix is hooked up to a Ducati namesake, it’s normally one thing proper on the ragged edge. Boasting almost 200 hp and the power-to-weight ratio of a fighter jet, the Ducati 990 cc Desmosedici RR is a machine that proved its pedigree.
The manufacturing model of the 990 Desmosedici RR was based mostly closely on the ’06 GP6 race bike, campaigned efficiently by the likes of Loris Capirossi, Sete Gibernau and Troy Bayliss. It was powered by principally the identical desmo 90-degree V4 engine, and used the GP6’s trellis body with the engine as a harassed member and the swingarm bolted via the crankcase.
Reaching a lot of ‘firsts’ for a manufacturing bike, the RR was outfitted with a structural carbon-fiber seat and subframe, and light-weight Marchesini cast magnesium wheels. Öhlins suspension with race-caliber Brembo brakes and radial monoblock entrance calipers have been match, together with carbon-fiber bodywork and an aluminum gasoline tank. The completed RR would rev to 14,200 rpm, returning 200 hp with monitor equipment match, and weighed simply 376 kilos with the in depth weight-saving measures.
Ducati constructed simply 1,500 examples of the 990 cc Desmosedici RR, and so they bought for a whopping $72,500. Lot 418 was quantity 431 off the road, and lived a well-pampered lifetime of dry storage and the occasional use, masking a complete of 5,397 miles. Depreciating little or no since new, the Ducati RR was bought for £49,450 [$60,329].
1938 Brough Superior 982 cc SS80 Challenge There’s by no means a scarcity of good early British bikes on the Stafford Sale, however one can’t assist however discover the public sale’s high sellers have been a bit extra up to date. In reality, simply one of many top-five hammer costs went to a pre-war bike, and it’s a challenge! Disassembled within the Nineteen Fifties, and in want of an entire overhaul, this 1938 Brough Superior SS80 nonetheless managed a £49,450 [$60,364] hammer worth.
The SS80 was considered one of George Brough’s earliest successes, with manufacturing beginning in 1922, and ending with the outbreak of WWII in 1939. Initially, the SS80 was powered by a side-valve J.A.P. engine, and Brough grew to become the primary particular person to high 100 mph at Brooklands on a side-valve with considered one of these machines. From 1935 on, Brough used 982 cc V-twins from Related Motor Cycles, much like the Matchless Mannequin X, with modified backside ends for the SS80. 460 SS80s have been constructed on this configuration, together with Lot 475, of which, round 300 are believed to nonetheless exist.
This 1938 SS80 has been owned by the identical household since 1951, the place it dutifully served side-car responsibility and occasional rally use earlier than it was disassembled and boxed up within the mid-’50s. A restoration was began at Brooklands Traditional Automobiles within the Nineties, and subsequent work was accomplished thereafter, however the Brough was by no means completed. The bike is simply loosely assembled presently and would require a full restoration, however all of the big-ticket gadgets are stated to be numbers-matching—confirmed by the Brough Superior Membership. Winter challenge anybody? [Images courtesy of Bonhams]