10 Vintage Motorcycles Whose Values Have Soared - SUV VEHICLE

10 Vintage Motorcycles Whose Values Have Soared

[ad_1]

Last we checked, the periodic table had 92 metals, of which eight are said to be precious. We, as motorcyclists, disagree. Turn the pages of motorcycling history, and you’ll find a different type of precious metal — timeless vintage motorcycles. These motorcycles spearheaded the evolution of two-wheelers, setting examples that are still followed today.




That’s not all. More than simply inspiring the next generation of bikes, these timeless bikes inspired generations of bikers. For many of us, gold wouldn’t hold as much value as these influential motorcycles do. And that’s quite literally for some of us. What are these motorcycles, you ask? Allow us to tell you ten such examples that have soared in value and could easily give real precious metals a run for their money.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from the manufacturers and other authoritative sources, including Motorcycle Online, Bike EXIF, the National Motorcycle Museum, Auto Evolution, Motorcyclist Magazine, and Motorcycle Specs.

All the auction sale prices, bidding estimates, and values were sourced from auction platforms, including Mecum Auctions, Classic.com, Iconic Motorbike Auctions, Bring A Trailer, and Bonhams.

Related
10 Vintage Cruiser Motorcycles That Every Collector Dreams of Owning 

Some metric examples can be had for under $5,000, while iconic American offerings require a lot more cash to take ’em home

10 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750 RK (or RR)

Highest Record Sale: $26,400


The first-gen Suzuki GSX-R750 needs no introduction; it set the template for sports bikes to follow. And you can find many affordable options in the used market. What you won’t find is its RK edition, which had a limited run of 500 units and none were imported into the US. You can call this the most special GSX-R750 ever produced!

The bike had a strengthened stroke for easy tuning, magnesium cylinder head covers, Mikuni BST-40 carbs, a stronger clutch, and a close-ratio gearbox. It featured adjustable suspension, fiberglass fairings, an aluminum tank, and a more committed riding triangle. It may not be as expensive as other bikes on the list, but it’s soared in value in recent years.


Performance Specifications

Engine Type

Inline-four

Displacement

748cc

Frame Type

Lightweight aluminum alloy perimeter frame

Max Power

112 HP @ 11,000 RPM

Max Torque

54.9 LB-FT @ 10,000 RPM

Dry Weight

412 lbs

Standing quarter-mile

11 seconds @ 126 MPH

Top Speed

154.3 MPH

(Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs)

9 1975 MV Agusta 750S America

Highest Record Sale: $126,500

MV Agusta 750 S America studio shot
MV Agusta

MV Agusta was once a brand that built motorcycles to fund its GP races. The plan worked, and the company dominated Grand Prix racing. To offer the American audience a taste of its high-performance bikes, the 750S America was introduced. With only 200 units made, this was the creme-de-la-creme of superikes at the time.


It featured a powerful inline-four engine — a first for the brand — with a high redline of 8,500 RPM (GP experience had a lot to do with it). And unlike other four-banger bikes, this one was full of character. However, the exotic experience and performance came at a price. It was sold for $6,500 when the Honda CB750 cost $2,190! Today, it’s one of the most expensive MV Agustas you can buy at an auction.

Performance Specifications

Engine Type

Inline-four

Displacement

787.7cc

Frame Type

Tubular steel double cradle

Max Power

75 HP @ 8,500 RPM

Max Torque

Unknown

Dry Weight

518 lbs

Standing quarter-mile

13.9 seconds

Top Speed

130 MPH


(Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs)

8 1974 Ducati 750 SuperSport Green Frame

Highest Record Sale: $137,000

In 1972, Ducati won the Imola 200 race with a factory racer with fiberglass bodywork, piloted by Paul Smart. To celebrate the success, Ducati produced the Imola Replica–a 750 SuperSport with a distinctive factory color scheme and a big-bore Desmo engine. This Italian café racer was the king on road and track, and it was only superseded by the 1975 Ducati 900SS Desmo. Only 401 units were produced, each hand-built in the Ducati race shop under the supervision of Fabio Taglioni. Today, this gorgeous motorcycle is one of the most desired Ducatis sold at auctions.


Performance Specifications

Engine Type

90-degree L-twin

Displacement

748cc

Frame Type

Tubular steel, twin downtube

Max Power

70 HP @ 9,000 RPM

Max Torque

52.8 LB-FT @ 5,500 RPM

Dry Weight

397 lbs

Top Speed

143 MPH

(Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs)

Related
The History And Mystery Of Ducati’s Desmodromic Valves 

Twice the rocker arms, twice the appeal, and no valve float

7 1992 Honda NR750 RC40

Highest Record Sale: $181,500; Currently On Sale For $125,000

Honda NR750
Mecum


The Honda NR750 may be the most recent motorcycle on the list. But it has soared in value in recent years, overtaking some of the most iconic vintage motorcycles that came before it. So what makes this superbike so special? To start with, the NR750 was the closest thing you could get to a GP bike when it was introduced.

It was revolutionary, being the first production bike to come with inverted forks, fuel injection, carbon fiber fairings, and an under-seat exhaust. It also featured a V4 engine with oval pistons — essentially a V8 engine with cylinders combined. The exhaust sound was about as hellish as the riding experience. It even inspired the Ducati 916, one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever built.


Performance Specifications

Engine Type

90-degree V4, oval cylinders

Displacement

747.7cc

Frame Type

Triple-square section twin-tube

Max Power

125 HP @ 14,000 RPM

Max Torque

48.67 LB-FT @ 11,000 RPM

Dry Weight

491 lbs

Standing quarter-mile

11.4 seconds @ 122.59 MPH

Top Speed

159.8 MPH

(Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs)

6 1927 Indian Four

Highest Record Sale: $220,000

Steve McQueen Indian Four 5
Collecting Cars

Often regarded as the Duesenberg of motorcycles, the Indian Four is one of the most iconic cruisers ever built. It’s also one of the most odd creations, as this has an inline-four engine, not a V-twin! Indian produced the 401 shortly after acquiring Ace Motor Corporation, and the lineup survived until 1942. One example even found its way into Steve McQueen’s garage (as pictured here)!


During WWII, Indian focused on the war efforts, and post-war, the Indian Four never returned. It’s a one-of-a-kind true-blue American cruiser with a four-banger engine. Fortunately, many of these were built in several versions, so finding one at auction isn’t difficult. Although, affording one might be a different story for most of us.

Performance Specifications

Engine Type

All aluminum inline-four

Displacement

1,265cc

Frame Type

Steel frame

Max Power

40 HP

Max Torque

Unknown

Dry Weight

496 lbs

(Specs sourced from Auto Evolution)


5 1937 Brough Superior SS100

Highest Record Sale: $362,651

Brough Superior SS100
Brough Superior Motorcycles

Many would argue that the Brough Superior SS100 was the first ever superbike, but George Brough called it the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles. Yes, he had Rolls-Royce’s permission for that tagline, too. It’s a testament to how much attention to detail was put into the design and engineering of the motorcycle.

The bike wasn’t only premium to touch, but also fast for its time. For a time when 30 horsepower was considered too much, this bike produced close to 50 ponies, while being faster than any other motorcycle at the time. It was also TE Lawrence’s favorite bike; he owned seven Broughs out of the 69 produced before WWII.

TE Lawrence, in a letter to George Brough

There, it is no good telling you all you knew before I did: they are the jolliest things on wheels.


(Sourced from Sons of Thunder by Neil Bradford)

Performance Specifications

Engine Type

50-degree V-twin

Displacement

990cc

Frame Type

Tubular steel single-cradle

Max Power

48 HP @ 4,200 RPM

Max Torque

Unknown

Dry Weight

440 lbs

Top Speed

100 MPH

(Specs sourced from Motorcyclist Magazine)

Related
10 Things That Make Modern Brough Superiors “Superior”

Museum, art gallery, race track, or British countryside: Brough Superiors belong there

4 1911 Flying Merkel

Highest Record Sale: $385,000

1911 Flying Merkel Replica
Mecum Auctions


Joseph Merkel’s goal was to build a lightweight racing motorcycle for the broad tracks. While production Merkels were ground-breaking bikes for the time, the Flying Merkel wasn’t so. It didn’t feature the innovative self-starter or rear monoshock suspension like its production siblings. However, this V-twin racer weighed under 200 pounds!

Not only did this bike lack a monoshock, but it even lacked brakes, thanks to racing rules of the time. To stop the bike, you had to kill the engine and play with the compression release. The bike featured a unique fuel tank, a loud orange color, and a Flying Markel tag. Today, it features a uniquely loud price tag on the auction market.


Performance Specifications

Engine Type

V-twin

Displacement

999.6cc

Frame Type

Steel single loop

Max Power

7 HP

Max Torque

Unknown

Dry Weight

<200 lbs

Top Speed

60 MPH

(Specs sourced from the National Motorcycle Museum)

3 Crocker V-Twin

Highest Record Sale: $825,000; Currently On Sale For $370,000

1937 Crocker V-Twin Small Tank
Mecum Auctions

Twelve years before the Vincent Black Shadow, an American V-twin motorcycle was the fastest in the world. The Crocker V-Twin, built by the eccentric engineer, Al Crocker. He was so confident in his product that he even offered a full refund to anyone who lost a race to another Indian or Harley-Davidson. Also, each bike was hand-built around the rider.


Funnily, Crocker wasn’t known to number his products consecutively, so no one is sure how many were ever built. Only 68 are said to survive today, though. A 1940 Crocker Big Twin Dale’s Burnout Special is probably still on the market for $370,000. That’s a steal because a 1936 unrestored model was auctioned for a whopping $825,000 at the Mecum auction in Monterey!

Performance Specifications

Engine Type

45-degree V-twin

Displacement

986cc to 1,490cc

Frame Type

Keystone-type frame

Max Power

65 HP

Max Torque

Unknown

Top Speed

110 MPH

(Specs sourced from Crocker Motorcycle)


Related
Why The Crocker V-Twin Is Worth A Million Dollars

A legendary American motorcycle that gave Harley-Davidson and Indian a run for their money

2 1949 Vincent Black Lightning

Highest Record Sale: $929,000

The Vincent Black Shadow was the fastest motorcycle of its decade and the next one, and its top speed record was broken by the legendary Kawasaki Z1 in 1973. But its top speed isn’t the only thing that makes it so iconic. In many ways, it was the first superbike, featuring radical innovations like a frameless design, adjustable touchpoints, and relatively low curb weight.

This gorgeous widowmaker had a special edition, the Black Lightning, with a production of just 30 units. It produced 15 more ponies and weighed 85 pounds less than the standard Black Shadow. It’s one of the rarest bikes you can ever come across, and it auctions for close to a million dollars!


Performance Specifications

Engine Type

V-twin

Displacement

998cc

Frame Type

Engine and transmission used as full-stress members

Max Power

70 HP

Top Speed

150 MPH

(Specs sourced from Motorcycle Specs)

1 1906 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank

Highest Record Sale: $935,000

Harley-Davidson Strap Tank
Mecum Auctions

The earliest Harley-Davidson you can find today is a single-cylinder moped (yes, with pedals). It’s arguably one of the rarest bikes ever. This was the first production bike from the brand, known as the Strap Tank thanks to the bands that held the fuel and oil tanks to the frame.


In 1906, 50 of these were produced, followed by 150 in 1907 and 450 in 1908. It was a popular motorcycle that established Harley-Davidson in its infancy, setting the template for Harleys that followed. Despite the numbers, only 12 Strap Tanks exist today, and even fewer are close to their original condition. This novelty and rarity make this the most expensive bike ever sold at an auction!

Performance Specifications

Engine Type

Atmospheric single

Displacement

440cc

Frame Type

Single loop, lugged steel

Max Power

Approx. 4 HP

Dry Weight

185 lbs

(Specs sourced from the National Motorcycle Museum)

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
100% Free SEO Tools - Tool Kits PRO