Ask any auction house and they will tell you the 4 main factors determining a motorcycle value, up to $1 million (true also for cars). In no particular order, depending of the motorcycle. 1- How rare a notion referring to how many were produced but also how many are known to be available in their original manufacturing condition. 2- Was the motorcycle a technological breakthrough at the time it was produced, for example engine, driveline, speed, etc. 3- A successful racing history. 4- It’s association with a celebrity, famous photo, famous movie, etc.
Total Car Score compiled a list of the 10 most valuable motorcycle. This list evolves with time and auctions…
10. 1940 Crocker: 40 hand-built Crockers were produced in the early 1940s. They had 1,000 and 1,500 cc engines with 3-speed transmissions, and reached a speed of 120 mph. Rhe remaining models can bring in more than $200,000. One 1940 Crocker sold in an August 2012 at a Bonham’s auction for $302,000.
9. 1939 Vincent-HRD Series-A Rapide: This model features a fully suspended rear end, a foot operated shifter, a 4-speed transmission and a side stand. Its 45 horsepower, air-cooled twin V engine could also produce speeds 1of 00 mph. Prices can go higher than $300,000, and one sold at a Bonhams auction in April 2012 for approximately $354,548.
7. 2010 Ducati Desmosedici GP10: This machine’s claim to fame was it was ridden by Ducati rider Casey Stoner for the 2010 MotoGP season, earning four victories. It sold at auction last May for a Ducati record-breaking price of $320,000. .
6. 1907-1908 Harley-Davidson Strap-Tank Single: It was started up by using the pedals to crank the motor. That engine was a 570cc single cylinder connected to a single belt drive for a speed that topped out at 50 mph. Prices on these can vary depending on condition, but the value is increasing in sales venue. One sale reached $350,000.
5. 1949 Vincent Black Lightning Supercharged: A British dealer of this Vincent Black Lightning rigged it with a supercharger. It never did break any speed records, but many years later in 2008 it did break a different kind of British record, when it sold iFor $383,400.
4. 1929 Brough Superior SS100: The Brough was guaranteed to hit 100 mph, and in the 1920s and ’30s, it was considered the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles. Advanced suspension and frame design made the bikes extremely capable by the standards of the era. Prices can go anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000. One sold for approximately $148,000 at a Bonham’s auction in October 2010.
3. 1939 BMW Type 255 Kompressor: BMW was one of the first manufacturers to use supercharger technology. BMW combined a supercharged, dual overhead camshaft engine with a four-speed transmission to create an advanced and powerful series of racing motorcycles, A BMW Type 255 Kompressor recently went for $480,000 in a January 2013.
2. 1915 Cyclone: This nearly century-old cycle was the most powerful of its time, Its 1,000 cc V-twin engine with 50 horsepower was capable of over 120 mph, About 300 were made but only 15 are left and they can fetch over $500,000. One Cyclone fetched $480,000 in a 2008 auction by Mid America Auctions.
1. 1948 Vincent Black Lightning Prototype: The 1948 prototype for the Vincent Black Lightning is also known as Rollie Free’s “Bathing Suit Bike.” Clad only in a helmet, swim trunks and tennis shoes to improve aerodynamics while lying face down across the top of the motorcycle, Free set the land speed record of 150.313 mph. His feat was documented in a photo that became an iconic image in motorcycling. In 2011, this one-of-a-kind chopper set another record when it became the first motorcycle to sell for a million dollars.