Motorcycle Types Cruiser Pre-World War II Motorcycles like Flying Merkel Twin to Vegas Bonhams

Pre-World War II Motorcycles like Flying Merkel Twin to Vegas Bonhams

Vegas Bonhams Pre-World War II Motorcycles (Photo Gallery)

Flying Merkel Twin 1913
1913 Flying Merkel Twin

Many of the world’s most passionate vintage motorcycle collectors will want to be at only one place Thursday, January 16, 2017—the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for the 7th annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction by Bonhams.

Many World War II motorcycle rarities will highlight the show, including an all-original, un-restored 1913 Flying Merkel Twin. Bonhams sums up Flying Merkel perfectly: “Representing all the attributes of desirability – high build quality, success in racing, low manufacturing numbers, short corporate lifespan and few surviving examples – the Flying Merkel of Ohio is the archetypal antique American motorcycle.”

In contrast to the un-restored Twin, a fully restored 1912 Flying Merkel Twin road model owned by a Southern also will be on the block.

Another rare brand of pre-World War II motorcycles that will be represented at Las Vegas Bonhams is the Feilbach Motor Company based out of Milwaukee. Up for auction is an extremely rare 1914 Feilbach Limited Twin from the Larry Bowman Collection out of California.

Bonhams reports that this was the last Feilbach made and was the personal motorcycle of company founder Arthur Feilbach. Feilbach tried competed with Harley-Davidson, but was unsuccessful, but now anything from the brand is extremely rare.

1914 Felibach Limited Twin
1914 Felibach Limited Twin

The Feilbach Limited Twin—a 10-horsepower machine offered what was considered substantial power for its day and sold for $290—carried an advertisement of “Worth every cent of it!” Those cents will now equate to serious bidding cash.

What would a motorcycle action be without a Harley-Davidson? Up for grabs in Vegas is a 1912 Harley-Davidson X8E “Silent Gray Fellow.” Considered one of the finest motorcycles to ever come from the storied Motor Company, this twin-cylinder model is a jewel in the crown of early motoring, Bonhams reports.

Other pre-world war motorcycles include a 1911 Reading Standard Single, a 1916 Thor with sidecar, an English-made 1919 Matchless with sidecar, and an original paint 1925 Excelsior Super X, among others.

Moving into the 1930s, two motorcycles stick out, also from the Bowman Collection: a 1937 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead and a 1937 Indian Sport Four.

For additional information, including bid registration, visit Bonhams. Also, follow updates on Instagram @BonhamsMotoring

Pre-World War II Motorcycle to Vegas Bonhams | Photo Gallery

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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