2022-01-07 Most expensive bikes sold at UK auction in 2021
Top 10 of the most expensive auctioned Motorcycles for 2021
Number 10 – 1973 MV Agusta 750s
Auctioned at – $154,300 AUD
Over the course of the 1970 to 1975 production run, just 583 examples of the MV Agusta 750S were sold. This low production volume was largely down to two things, firstly the 750S was an expensive machine, and secondly, superbikes built by the Japanese were flooding into Europe and the USA with plenty of reliability and far more affordable sticker prices.
The motorcycles designed and built by MV Agusta have long been admired as works of art, and they weren’t just nice to look at – MV Agusta remains one of the most successful motorcycle racing marques in world history thanks to their near domination in the 1950s, 1960s, and into the 1970s.
Number 9 – 1925 Brough superior 750 mark 2
Auctioned at – $171,900 AUD
Were made by George Brough in his Brough Superior works on Haydn Road in Nottingham, England, from 1919 to 1940. The motorcycles were dubbed the “Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles” by H. D. Teague of The Motor Cycle newspaper. Approximately 3048 motorcycles (19 models) were made in the 21 years of production; around a third of that production still exists
Number 8 – 1925 Brough superior 750 mark 2
Auctioned at – $178,485 AUD
Was this the bike that killed Indian? Some enthusiasts say that when Indian brought out its still-controversial “upside-down” 4-cylinder design in 1936, the Springfield, Massachusetts, firm started down the slippery slope to failure. 1936 was the same year Harley-Davidson introduced its iconic Knucklehead, a stylish motorcycle with a look that still resonates today, while the “upside-down” Four faded from view.
Number 7 – 1914 Brough 497cc Model H
Auctioned at – $195,587 AUD
This is not a Brough Superior, but one of the motorcycles produced by George Brough’s father’s motorcycle company, Brough. George had originally been made a partner in his father’s company but left after an argument and began his own company that would make history as the pre-eminent motorcycle manufacturer of pre-WW2 Britain, and one of the most revered names in two-wheel history.
Number 6 – 1974 Ducati 750SS
Auctioned at – $217,318 AUD
When it comes to really famous, really collectable Ducatis, it is hard not to imagine the image of a green frame 750ss. Created by Ducati to celebrate the dominance of the 750cc race bikes, the Supersport has become THE streetable icon of a bygone era of brute mechanical setup and rider bravery. Devoid of electronics, slipper clutches, big brakes, sophisticated suspension or even modern tire technology, bikes of this time relied upon the skill of the rider to adjust to conditions – exactly what Paul Smart did to triumph at the 1972 Imola 200. The green frame 750 Supersport was intended as a tribute, but grew to be a tremendous success on its own. Today more people know about the street 750ss than the Italian race (and racer) that inspired it’s creation.
Number 5 – 1973 MV Agusta 750GT
Auctioned at – $239,050 AUD
Another ultra-rare Italian highlight is the 1973 MV Agusta 750 GT estimated to fetch up to $A239,050.
Only 50 models in white and bronze were sold due to its initial high price tag.
This bike is one of the most sought-after MV roadsters and one of few not modified or converted into a ‘special’.
Number 4 – Brough Superior SS100 Supercharged Special Re-creation
Auctioned at – $239,995 AUD
Incorporating many original Brough parts, this stunning machine is a formidable re-creation: running on 105-octane fuel and lubricated by Castrol R, it delivers the same power, noise and smell as the original did 80 years ago.
Number 3 – 1938 Brough Superior SS100
Auctioned at – $411,961 AUD
Legendary superbike of motorcycling’s between-the-wars ‘Golden Age,’ Brough Superior – ‘The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles’ – was synonymous with high performance, engineering excellence and quality of finish. That such a formidable reputation was forged by a motorcycle constructed almost entirely from bought-in components says much for the publicity skills of George Brough. But if ever a machine was more than the sum of its parts, it was the Brough Superior.
Number 2 – 1938 Brough Superior SS100
Auctioned at – $478,101 AUD
W E Brough’s machines had been innovative and well engineered, and his son’s continued the family tradition but with an added ingredient – style. The very first Brough Superior MkI of 1919 featured a saddle tank – an innovation not adopted by the rest of the British industry until 1928 – and the latter’s broad-nosed, wedge-profiled outline would be a hallmark of the Nottingham-built machines from then on. Always the perfectionist, Brough bought only the best available components for his bikes, reasoning that if the product was right, a lofty price tag would be no handicap. And in the ‘Roaring Twenties’ there were sufficient wealthy connoisseurs around to prove him right.
Number 1 – 1046 AJS 497cc E90 Porcupine
Auctioned at – $553,690 AUD
An ultra-rare example of arguably the ‘Holy Grail’ of classic racing motorcycles – a 1940s AJS 497cc E90 ‘Porcupine’ Grand Prix racing motorcycle, previously owned by post-war AJS works rider Ted Frend, is being offered for the first time at auction in the Bonhams Summer Stafford Sale on 2 July. It has an estimate of £250,000 – 300,000.
The E90’s reputation was made as the first motorcycle to win the 500cc World Championship in the series’ debut year of 1949, carrying Frend’s fellow works rider Les Graham to his (and AJS’s) first and only world title. Dubbed the Porcupine by the era’s motorcycle press due to its distinctive spiked ‘head’ finning, the E90 remains the sole twin-cylinder machine to have won world motorcycling’s flagship series.
Just a handful of E90s were built by the British firm, purely for its works team. Ted Frend who had tasted earlier success earning a gold star at Brooklands having lapped its outer circuit at over 100mph on his Vincent-HRD Rapide, was signed up by AJS in 1947, thanks to a 4th place finish in that year’s Isle of Man TT. He was the first rider to win on the Porcupine at the 1947 Hutchinson 100 race.
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