The CRM crew made our strategy to final weekend’s Mecum Motorbike Public sale on the South Level Resort and On line casino in Las Vegas for the primary time in a number of years. First-timer Blair Powell was desperate to witness an occasion he’d been listening to about for years. Being the proprietor of a half-dozen traditional bikes, he was, like most of us, curious in regards to the values of a few of his machines whereas additionally furiously debating whether or not so as to add to his storage fleet through the five-day occasion.
He was removed from upset as this yr’s public sale proved simply as multifaceted and thrilling as we’d anticipated. “It’s laborious to think about simply what number of ultra-rare, traditional and customized bikes come up on the market right here, as a result of I didn’t understand that many individuals have been into them,” a slack-jawed Mr. Powell remarked after his first stroll by means of Mecum’s huge pre-staging space simply off the public sale flooring. We led a VIP tour for a few of our readers by means of this densely-packed corridor on each Friday and Saturday, giving these fortunate insiders a have a look at the assembled bikes earlier than they have been rolled out for bidding.
As soon as the gross sales bought underway, we seen some particular developments rising from the ultimate outcomes, whereas there have been loads of surprises – some downright shocking- to be seen as properly. Blair, for instance, owned a Kawasaki H2 triple again in his school days, a remembers the smoke-spewing two-stroke fondly “even if you needed to struggle it to make it go round corners.” The unique value for the used, 1973 machine was round $5000 in rough-but-running situation, which is why Blair almost choked on his beer when restored variations of this and different Kawi triples simply drew bids within the $20,000 to $30,000 vary. A pristine, blur 750cc triple bought for a walloping $55,000, which proves the two-strokes are right here to remain.
And whereas Kawasaki two-strokes have been actually ascendant at Mecum this yr, another stalwarts of the vintage bike commerce have been softening for the primary time in latest historical past. Indian V-twins of late Nineteen Forties classic have been climbing into the crazy-money world a couple of years again, however we watched a couple of of those full-fendered, air-cooled classics promote for much less then $25,0000, sums that will have been outright rejected by homeowners simply a few years in the past.
British classics, I’m afraid, proceed to promote at modest sums, maybe, as some public sale insiders prompt, their sheer numbers inflicting buyers and would-be homeowners to contemplate extra unique fare. That meant a pair of similar, mid-Fifties Norton Dominator 500s bought simply minutes aside with one drawing atop large of $7,700 and the opposite promoting for $17,000. We’d lengthy ban followers of Vincent V-twins, the vaunted British roadsters changing into so valued in recent times that collectors have been usually paying six-figure sums for restored Black Shadows and Rapides. This yr, we cane nearer to proudly owning a Vinny than ever earlier than as a working, un-restored Rapide failed to succeed in its reserve value of $40,000. The vendor of this non matching numbers bike was prepared to entertain affords round $35,000, however as Blair commented “that’s nonetheless an terrible lot of cash for British traditional whenever you already personal a six.”
Customized cafe racers drew respectable money this yr, with a few modified Honda CB750 fours taking residence low five-figure sums, whereas BSA’s venerable DB34 Gold Star 500 dipped and dived between $17,000 and, for one fortunate purchaser, simply $10K for a museum-quality restoration.
The fluctuations out there values of so many unbelievable bikes is an interesting factor to observe. Developments that few of us might have imagined simply months in the past come to go, making this one of many must-attend bike occasions of the yr.