Top 10 Motorcycles To Bid On at Mecum Las Vegas 2016
Mecum Auctions are a don’t-miss proposition for motorcyclists, and there will be 700 vintage and collectible motorcycles up for bidding at Mecum Las Vegas 2016, running January 7 through 9. There’s still time to hop on a plane and pick up one of these motorcycle in our Top 10 favorites at the auction.
1. 1946 Vincent Rapide Prototype. From the inestimable Herb Harris Collection, this is a special machine that was tested by Arthur Bourne of Motor Cycle magazine in England on April 27, 1946, with Phillip Vincent along for the ride. This Vincent Rapide did yeoman’s duty as a testbed before ending up with a sidecar so it could be an errand bike. From there, the British military ended up with the bike’s motor and attempted to turn it into an assault boat, of all things. That didn’t work out and back to Vincent the big V-twin went and it was returned to its rightful place, powering a motorcycle. Herb Harris has restored this prototype machine to its original specs based on the 1946 photos.
2. 1983 Suzuki XN85. The rarest of the Japanese turbos of the early 1980s, a Suzuki employee owned this Suzuki XN85 for 21 years before it found a home in Hinshaw’s Motorcycle Store Collection. This is a piece of history that’s still fun and fast on the highway when the turbo kicks in.
3. 1967 Norton P11. Nicely restored, the Norton P11 was a formidable desert racing motorcycle until two-strokes arrived to drive the thundering dinosaurs from the landscape. The P11 had a 650cc Atlas motor and Matchless Villiers chassis, and this is from the debut year of a three-year run. This scrambler had dual carbs and a four-speed tranny, and served as a predecessor to the better-known Commando series.
4. 1975 Hercules W2000 Rotary. If you want to show up at the local motorcycle gathering spot with a sure attention-getter, you will be hard pressed to do better than this rotary-engine powered Hercules W2000. Using a motor built by Fichtel & Sachs for Hercules, the 294cc six-speed is one of the strangest-looking motors you’ll find on a motorcycle, even if the paint job on the tank is very Honda CB inspired. There were 2000 examples produced—this is #730 and from Allen Smith’s Australian Collection.
5. 1908 Bradbury Peerless. Known as ace hillclimbers in their day, the Bradbury Peerless is the essence of early motorcycles. Everything on the Peerless is exposed for your visual enjoyment and its simplicity is a joy to ponder. Made in Oldham, England, the Bradbury Peerless comes from the Estenson Collection.
6. 1949 Indian Arrow. Steve McQueen owned this motorcycle, and the association with the King of Cool is enough for most of us. However, this 1949 Indian Arrow comes complete with saddlebags, so you can have the ultimate in cool retro touring, even as it displaces just 250cc. Untouched since being purchased from the McQueen estate in 1984, the bike enjoyed restoration for McQueen by Sammy Pierce, and has been part of the Larry Pedersen collection.
7. 1953 Harley-Davidson KR. An incredible racebike, this KR was a consistent Class C winner for decades in dirt track racing. Feel free to take this one out on the track, as the Dennis Gabriel Collection has equipped it with new pistons, rings, cams, valves, valve springs and ball bearings. The V-twin is fed by a Linkert carb.
8. 1929 Motosacoche IOE Gran Tourismo 750. Swiss motorcycles are few and far between, so this 1929 Motosacoche IOE Gran Tourismo 750 is something truly special. This bike features a flathead V-twin powerplant with a three-speed hand-shift gearbox from Sturmey Archer, plus Bosch electrical lighting. Known as a reliable motorcycle in its day, this bike from the Sinless Cycles Collection is not exclusively for display.
9. 1974 Carabela MX125. Just as Switzerland is an odd place for a motorcycle manufacturer, the Carabela MX125 comes from another unlikely locale—Mexico. Using European designs, this restored Carabela motocrosser is from the Mike Oberle Collection, and ready for vintage MX competition.
10. 1954 Moto Guzzi Airone. We couldn’t have a list of must-buy motorcycles without including something red from Italy. The 1954 Moto Guzzi Airone fits the bill perfectly, with its red tank, frame, fenders, and hubs! Add in a chromed space-age muffler for the 250cc horizontal four-stroke single and you’re ready to make a statement whever you ride.
So, get down to the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Las Vegas and pick up some vintage magic for your garage or collection from Mecum Auctions.