Cars always grab the spotlight when it comes to record-breaking auctions. Marques like Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin are always in the headlines with seven- or eight-figure sale prices next to the model names. But what about motorcycles? A pre-war bike that’s in tatters and listed as ‘project bike’ that goes for over $300,000 is in many ways even more impressive than any factory-fresh sports car earning the same price tag.
GoCompare.com worked with Bonhams to determine official valuations of the most valuable motorcycles in the world. The bike in the top spot has appreciated 4475.23% since it was new in 1951 — when it cost just $710.
Ben Walker, International Director for Bonhams collectors’ motorcycle department, put it best: “it is fascinating to see how the values have increased since the machines were new. Knowing what we know now – the percentage increase in value and how difficult it is to acquire these machines – it would be great to step back in time and buy them when new.”
1926 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Project $326,771
Ex-Murray Motorcycle Museum 1934 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 $ 334,502
Ex-George Brough London-Edinburgh Trial 1939 Brough Superior 990cc SS100 $349,964
1927 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Project $357,695
1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A Project $373,157
1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide $380,888
One-of-one 1951 Vincent White Shadow $421,351
1929 Brough Superior 968cc SS100 $434,866
Ex-Hubert Chantrey, 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 Project $458,197
1951 Vincent Black Lightning $929,000