Motorcycle Racing News Pre-War BMW Motorcycles to Bonhams Vegas Auction

Pre-War BMW Motorcycles to Bonhams Vegas Auction

2012-pre-war-bmw-motorcycles-to-bonhams-vegas-auction (1)2012 Las Vegas Bonhams Motorcycle Auction

A very unique and uncommon collection of four BMW racing motorcycles will be offered at Bonhams’ anticipated Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale next January.

Headlining the team of machines is a very rare and much admired Kompressor, or supercharged, 1939 RS 255, the model that legendary racer John Surtees said “Rightly deserves a place as being one of the all-time greats of motorcycle Grand Prix racing.”

The RS 255 (“RS” stands for rennsport, or race sport) is a genuine, documented supercharged 1939 engine (no. 16152) mounted in an authentic 1951 frame (no. 2), not at all uncommon with most factory racing machines. Surtees, who owns the very same year model BMW upon which Georg Meier won the Isle of Man TT (now on permanent display at the BMW Museum), commented that “The power characteristics are very deceptive…this is a real racing machine.”

Accompanying this exceptional motorcycle are three other Bavarian competition machines: a 1954 BMW RS 254, a 1954 BMW RS 254 with Sidecar, and a 1956 BMW RS 256.

Nick Smith (Bonhams US Head of Motorcycling) says: “Competition BMWs, particularly those from before and just after WWII, are increasingly gaining interest from discerning collectors. They were highly advanced, extremely well-made, and successful, and this combination of attributes makes them tremendously desirable.”

No stranger to prominent and record-making sales, including BMWs, Bonhams sold at the 2010 Las Vegas motorcycle auction a very rare, factory prepared 1939 BMW RS R51 for $130,200. Likewise, this quartet of German racers is expected to attract significant interest, particularly the Kompressor.

The third annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale will take place Thursday, January 10th at Bally’s Hotel & Casino on The Strip. More information will be posted in the coming weeks at Bonhams.com/Vegas.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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