2022 was quite the year for collector motorcycles. We saw a 500cc two-stroke Grand Prix bike come up for sale twice on two sides of the world, a $60, 000 BMW R90S smash records , and prewar motorcycles thrive. These are huge shakeups in the motorbike world and significant moments in a market that operates far differently than the collector-car one, plus at much lower values.
Motorcycle enthusiasts are a breed associated with their own, with an unparalleled passion for the hobby. These sales drove home the particular growth and vigor of the collector bicycle market. Let’s combine Hagerty’s number-crunching plus my love of motorcycles to look into five of the most significant motorcycle sales associated with 2022.
Need to brush up on how we define each of our four vehicle conditions? All the details are usually here .
1936 Brough Superior 990cc SS100
The chart associated with record sales down the particular page shows just where this 1936 Brough Exceptional lies: smack in the middle of the decade that contains the particular majority associated with record motorbike sales. Its sale price isn’t over the model’s #1 (or top) worth. Nor even the #2 value. Yet this sale sheds light on the health of a market that some thought had stumbled.
The significance comes in three forms:
- Brough Excellent motorcycles are blue-chip collectibles that benchmark the high-end collector market (think of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL and how we can use it to predict the car market’s future )
- British motorcycles have had many collectors watching for a drop as boomer interest for Uk motorcycles wanes and the Japanese market picks up steam with Gen-X and millennials.
- Anyone who idolized this particular bike when they were 20 years old is now 107. That person isn’t in the marketplace for this bike today.
Brough Superior motorcycles are blue-chip collectibles that will benchmark the high-end collector market (think the Mercedes-Benz 300SL plus how all of us may use this to forecast the vehicle market’s future ). This sale will be emblematic associated with how top-flight prewar enthusiast motorcycles transcend generations and have remained strong despite 2 key factors: age and increased competition.
Buyers are usually significantly younger than any of these prewar bikes, meaning they had no emotional tie to the bike when it emerged from the factory. Given that discrepancy, as well as the rise within popularity of Japanese collector motorcycles, numerous have sounded the death knell with regard to British bicycles. To each of those points, this particular Brough said, “not nowadays. ”
This particular motorcycle, like several Brough sales before it, commanded top dollar despite being in #4 (Fair) condition. It doesn’t run, has been stored in a wet or flooded structure, plus requires a full restoration. Demand clearly remains strong regarding these motorbikes regardless associated with condition. Their draw indicates an appreciation for that art and craftsmanship behind the particular creation of such the vehicle.
1996 Yamaha YZR500 OWJ1 Kenny Roberts Jr.
The motorcycle market massively values history, performance, and design. A 500cc two-stroke Grand Prix bike is usually about because iconic since racing motorcycles come for many enthusiasts these days. The 500cc two-stroke era ignites every sensation: the smell from the fuel, the particular buzz plus rattling from your engines, however, pain associated with seeing violent high-side crashes under sudden power.
This 1996 Yamaha YZR500, which hails through Kenny Robert’s final Yamaha Grand Tarifs team and was ridden by his son, Kenny Roberts Jr., represents the motorcycle equivalent of some of the particular most iconic and recognizable Ferrari F1 cars through the early 2000s. One such car, Michael Schumacher’s F2003 in the 2003 Formula 1 season just sold for $14. 87M. Robert’s YZR500 simply people paid a mere 46th of the price of the particular Schumacher F1 Ferrari, at $321, 500. While less than its $400, 1000 asking cost earlier last summer in RMD Motors, any price in that range represents a few compelling market movement.
This is the massive outlay of cash for your motorbike market, and those spending these amounts are doing in a calculated way, especially for more modern bikes. Motorcycles from the 1990s plus onward may be on the rise, when product sales like this one put one of their genre within the running for best-ever auction sales.
As evidenced in the chart below, the particular motorcycle record list is definitely dominated simply by European and American motorbikes from the 1940s and earlier. Process this—the median year of the top 50 the majority of expensive motorcycles at auction is 1938. For cars, it can be 23 many years newer: 1961.
The more money spent in a certain segment validates future spending from similar or higher prices, too. Top-tier modern Grand Prix and MotoGP motorcycles are leading the way as younger bikes gain a foothold at the top of the marketplace.
1976 BMW R90S
Let me be the bearer associated with bad news: Your R90S is not worth $63K because of this sale. This purchase of an R90S, the bike that has commonly traded around $20K for a #1 (Concours) condition example, does not reset those #1 values to anywhere close to $60K. But that’s not why this selling matters.
The significance rests on the particular vast value difference between a 100 percent, truly perfect plus concours-ready bike compared in order to a 95 percet perfect bike. The particular above bike is that 100 percent ideal example, completed by one of the most respected R90S restorers with minute attention to detail. An example of investment-grade quality like this brought out the particular deepest associated with pockets inside a growing and thriving market. It might be the first, and it might seem such as a leap of faith for THE CAR R90S values, but because restorations become more expensive plus parts harder to find, enthusiasts will likely ante up again.
Looking at other product sales just displays how stratospheric this sale was, and how it has no relation to current mainstream R90S values. But the confidence of those who are usually putting the largest checks down on the table should make you feel good about the market’s trajectory.
1936 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead
Expensive does not mean significant, yet the two attributes are often linked. We use the particular top of the marketplace to gauge trickle-down impacts to more affordably priced segments, in order to determine what is resonating with the big players in the collector globe, and to see where investment money is certainly landing, specifically at a time whenever buyers are looking to assets to safeguard against inflation. This Knucklehead sold within August 2022 each time of uncertainty: Interest rates had increased five-fold from only four months prior. That $182K sale price (right on the #1-condition value in our price guide) demonstrated market confidence in classic prewar American motorbikes (Knucklehead production did go slightly postwar, to 1947).
This is further supported simply by buying demand from more youthful generation. That may come as a shock to those who hear the drones of “Harleys are dying” and “young people don’t like motorcycles. ” Ask a car enthusiast if the prewar American vehicles have the strong outlook and you likely won’t discover much confidence, but it’s quite the opposite within the motorcycle market.
In fact , millennial interest in the 1936-1947 Harley-Davidson EL/FL Knucklehead more than doubled since 2019. The brand speaks to that will younger audience in this section, and a Knucklehead owner is twice as probably as an Indian Chief owner to be fewer than 40 years old. We took note of these significant data points and the strong sales, so much so we all included the particular Knucklehead in our 2023 Hagerty Bull Market list .
1974 Maico GP250 Moto Cross
Despite not becoming street-legal and bucking the normal enthusiast motorcycle trend of shunning plastic bits, dirt bicycles have been an extremely hot segment more than the final two years. Multiple sales associated with Maico models for up to $20, 000—and even this 1980 model’s purchase for $15, 000—at Mecum’s 2022 Las Vegas motorbike auction proves that it is the portion, not just popular name brands, that have stood the test of time (Maico went bankrupt in 1983).
The large swath of buyers in the particular collector market are inspired by bikes of their youth regardless of how popular or known those bikes are today. When all those cult followings coalesce around a segment, prices can skyrocket.
Other motorcycles that will stand in order to benefit from this are usually the early big-bore two-strokes like Honda CR500s as well as the bikes that kickstarted the modern motocross period like the unobtanium Yamaha YZ250A. If this pattern continues plus dirt bicycles find themselves further within the mainstream collector marketplace, expect the particular poster bikes of Gen-X youth to win out. Sales such as this little Maico’s give self-confidence to individuals watching.
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