Skip to main content
Tag

UK

UK Motorcycle sales see post-pandemic bounce back

By General Posts

by Felicity Donohoe from https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk

UK motorcycle sales have shown a healthy post-pandemic recovery with figures revealing a fresh enthusiasm for purchasing new machines – including EVs.

Recent data from the Motor Cycle Industry Association shows that 13,398 units were sold in May 2021, an increase of 148.4% compared with May 2020, with sales topping 43,242 for the first five months of this year and across all segments.

Adventure Sport and Naked categories were up 242% and 197% in sales (2,449 and 4,567 respectively) in May but EVs have found a place in the revived market, seeing 509 sales in May 2021 compared to 119 sales last May.

The sales reflect the interest in alternatives to cars and public transport solutions, along with the financial, environmental and practical benefits that riding offers.

Tony Campbell, CEO of MCIA said: “May’s figures are against a time in 2020 when the first wave of the pandemic had hit. We forecast a positive summer for the sale of PTWs (powered two wheelers) and associated products as restrictions ease, and the backlog of those awaiting CBT and testing reduces.

“As life returns to normal and people return to their leisure pursuits we’ll be ensuring our close links with Government consider PTWs at every opportunity.”

Top 10 motorcycle sales May 2021

  1. Honda: 2,392
  2. Yamaha: 1,717
  3. Triumph: 1,133
  4. BMW: 1,009
  5. Kawasaki: 810
  6. KTM: 652
  7. Lexmoto: 418
  8. Harley-Davidson: 404
  9. Royal Enfield: 397
  10. Ducati: 388

Indian Custom Project Scout 3K Challenge

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Over the years, we’ve gotten used to Harley-Davidson organizing all sorts of build competitions for its international dealers. The most recent such gimmick was last year’s massive King of Kings competition, which saw the Mexico-built Sportster XR1200 Apex Predator come out on top.

The Apex had to battle several other exciting builds coming from all over the world, and that made the competition particularly challenging. It must have been challenging for Thor Motorcycles as well this year, given how the workshop had to fend off eight other competitors. Still, it was probably a tad easier, given how all the entries in this competition are shops based in the UK.

Also, Thor and the others did not set out to remake a Harley, but an Indian. Their efforts were part of the Project Scout 3K Challenge announced by Indian Motorcycles back in November last year, which set out to find the best Scout custom build of the year.

Thor’s build is called Kermit, probably on account of the green hue that adorns the fuel tank and fenders. It was originally a stock Scout Bobber but was modified as per the competition rules with limited parts and within a 3,000 British pounds ($4,250 give or take) budget.

The finished product was gifted with an 8-inch mini-ape handlebar conversion, LED headlight, and micro COB stop-tail and turn signals. An in-house-made side-mount number plate mount was fitted, and the tank and rear fender were wrapped in 3D Gel vinyl in a triple-layer green overlay and finished with a charcoal pinstripe.

The build was completed over a twelve-week period, and the Kermit was crowned the winner at the end of May. We are not given any indication of what will happen to the finished motorcycle, but we certainly would love to see it on the road.

GTM museum finally welcomes the dream machine Triumph Hurricane

By General Posts

by Felicity Donohoe from https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk

Grampian Transport Museum (GTM) finally welcomes the dream machine Triumph Hurricane to the floor as Mike Ward finishes up his final year as curator.

After 37 years at the helm of GTM, motorcycle lover Mike Ward made sure to see out his last season before retirement with a rare Triumph Hurricane gracing the display alongside the other classic bikes – including an even rarer Triumph Bandit.

Mike said: “With 2021 being my last season at GTM, I was determined to have a Hurricane in this year’s exhibition.

“They are extremely rare, very valuable and much sought-after, but they’re not being used on the roads and to find one was difficult.”

The Hurricane will sit with the dedicated British Motorcycle Charitable Trust (BMCT) display for just this season.

GTM is open Thursday-Tuesday with plans to resume seven day weeks in summer, tel: 01975 562292. To book tickets go to gtm.org.uk

Mike employed the help of the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club, before Scottish-based club member David Currie, from Irvine, rode to the rescue and offered to loan his rare motorcycle to the museum.

Mike’s love affair with Triumph motorcycles began in the early 70s when he was at Lincoln College of Art studying museum conservatorship. As an 18-year-old student, he was the proud owner of a 350cc Triumph 3TA “café racer” complete with clip-on handlebars.

BSA / Triumph had just swept to success with their 750cc triple production bikes, the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3, with the most famous Trident, “Slippery Sam” – so called after springing major oil leaks in an early race – winning five consecutive production 750cc class TT races at the Isle of Man from 1971-75.

The Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 was made by Triumph Engineering and BSA (both part of the Birmingham Small Arms Company) from 1968-75. The high-performance bike was technically advanced, bringing a fresh face to street bikes and marking the start of the superbikes era.

Mike said: “That was the golden era of the Triumph Triple just ahead of the Japanese multi-cylinder tsunami which swept the British motorcycle industry aside. Every young enthusiast coveted one, and as soon as I graduated and found employment in 1976, I remember rushing out with my first pay cheque and buying one of the last Triumph Trident T160’s – a dream come true!”

However, with Japanese superbikes hot on their heels, BSA decided a revamp was on the cards. The company sent one of their Rockets over to American fairing creator Craig Vetter to boost the showroom appeal of their Triples.

Vetter employed a sweeping fibreglass combined fuel tank/seat and extended front forks giving it the now-vintage “Easy Rider” look. With its stunning paint job and outlandish triple exhaust, the bike stood head and shoulders above the standard BSA range and, winning popular public appeal, the X75 Hurricane was badged as a Triumph motorcycle.

Norton Villiers Triumph (1973-78) was liquidated in 1978 and in the end only 1,172 Hurricanes were built. Since then, the Hurricane has remained a rarity and one of Britain’s most exciting motorcycles of the 1970’s.

“The Triumph Hurricane has such an amazing story attached to it, said Mike. “It’s a really colourful and cheerful machine – and everyone needs cheering up just now, don’t they?”

 

UK considers scrapping Trump-era tariffs on US whiskey and motorcycles

By General Posts

by Stefan Boscia from https://www.cityam.com

The UK will review its tariffs on US products like whiskey, tobacco and motorcycles in a bid to get Joe Biden to drop Trump-era tariffs on British steel.

International trade secretary Liz Truss announced today that she would launch a six-week consultation with British businesses to consider “re-balancing measures” that could see some of the tariffs scrapped.

Truss said she wanted to “de-escalate trade tensions” so that the “US and UK can move forward to the next phase of their trading relationship”.

The UK’s tariffs on US goods were in retaliation for Donald Trump’s Section 232 tariffs on British steel and aluminium.

Trump’s White House said the trade barriers were required for national security reasons, however the policy was widely thought to be a part of the ex-president’s attempt to boost US manufacturing.

“We now have the power to shape these tariffs so they reflect UK interests, and are tailored to our economy,” Truss said.

“The UK will do whatever is necessary to protect our steel industry against illegal tariffs that could undermine British industry and damage our businesses.

“Ultimately, however, we want to deescalate these disputes so we can move forward and work closely with the US on issues like WTO reform and tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies.”

Truss successfully got the US to agree to suspend US tariffs on Scotch whisky and other products earlier this year in a large step toward de-escalating trade tensions.

City A.M. exclusively reported in March that Truss and her allies believed this milestone could provide a path to the US scrapping other Trump tariffs.

Read more: Exclusive: UK to begin backdoor push to get Joe Biden to dump Trump’s steel tariffs

Resolving the trade dispute with the US over steel tariffs could mark another step toward the UK and US agreeing to a free trade deal.

It is believed that at least half of the deal has been drawn up, however there are a number of sticking points around US agricultural exports and the UK’s current digital services tax.

British engineers will try to break the 376.3mph motorcycle record in a 30-ft-long vehicle

By General Posts

by Ian Randall from https://www.dailymail.co.uk

Guy Martin will attempt to break the 376.3 mph motorcycle speed record in a 30-ft-long vehicle incorporating a Rolls Royce engine used in helicopters

  • British engineer and ex-bike racer Alex Macfadzean, 77, and his team designed the new ‘streamliner’ bike
  • Racer turned TV presenter Guy Martin will make the record-breaking attempt in Bolivia next year
  • Britain last held the motorcycle land-speed record in 1937 after Eric Fernihough broke 169.72 mph
  • But Italy’s Piero Taruffi took the title by an extra 3.31mph in the October of 1937 and the title has changed hands amongst Germans, Italians and Americans since

A 30ft-long vehicle sporting a Rolls Royce engine normally used in helicopters will attempt to reclaim the motorcycle land speed record for Britain.

Engineer and ex-racer Alex Macfadzean, 77, and his team designed the ‘streamliner’ bike which will make its record attempt next year at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia.

Behind the wheel will be motorcycle racer turned TV presenter Guy Martin, who will attempt to beat the current record of 376.3mph and cross the 400mph threshold.

To try to advance the record, Mr Martin will run the new streamliner on a mile-long course twice in opposite directions, as per official land-speed record rules.

The bike’s 1,200 shaft horsepower Rolls Royce engine is the same found within the Westland Lynx helicopter once employed by the British Army and the Royal Navy.

The first official motorcycle land-speed record was set in 1920 by the American racer Gene Walker 103.5mph, building on unofficial efforts dating back to 1903.

Britain last held the record for six months in 1937 after Eric Fernihough broke 169.72mph on his Brough Superior-JAP.

But Italy’s Piero Taruffi took the title by an extra 3.31mph in the October of 1937.

The title has changed hands amongst Germans, Italians and Americans ever since.

At present, the motorcycle land-speed record is held by American racer Rocky Robinson, who claimed his title at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 2010.

‘It is a great target and just one of those things I have to do,’ Mr Macfadzean told the Telegraph.

‘I was asked recently where the line was between commitment and obsession.

‘I laughed, because I couldn’t say.

‘I guess I have always been too obsessed to have noticed.’

Mr Macfadzean has worked with engine builders for Formula One and Moto GP racing, and designed the vehicle that broke the 200 mph threshold in the British motorcycle land-speed record back in 1991.

A decade later, he also aided US driver Don Vesco who set a four-wheeled speed record of 458.4mph in the ‘Turbinator’ — a car which, like Mr Macfadzean’s streamliner bike, was also equipped with a helicopter engine under the hood.

For their streamliner — which began construction in 2008, and is still being refined — Mr Macfadzean acquired a Westland Lynx engine from military surplus.

Before Mr Martin takes his shot at breaking the motorcycle land-speed record, the new streamliner will first be assessed both on the road and in a wind tunnel in order to refine its aerodynamic design, which was inspired by RAF Tornado aircraft.

Following this, the bike will undergo relatively ‘low-speed’ tests at 200mph on a former RAF airfield.

Mr Martin is no stranger to record-breaking rides.

In 2016, he reached 274.2 mph on a specially-designed Triumph — the highest speed ever achieved by the British motorcycle manufacturer.

Bonhams Motorcycles Kick Start 2021 with Return to Stafford

By General Posts

by Ben Walker from https://www.bonhams.com/press_release/31686/

The Summer Sale
The International Classic MotorCycle Show (The Postponed Spring Sale)
3 – 4 Jul 2021
Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
The Gentleman’s Collection

A selection of wonderfully restored Vincent-HRD’s consigned to the Spring Sale

Following a successful year of sales at its Bicester Heritage base – with a 93 per cent sale rate – Bonhams Motorcycles is returning to Stafford for the first auction of 2021. The Summer Stafford Sale will take place on 3 and 4 July, in line with the rescheduled International Classic MotorCycle Show.

Consignments are now invited to the auction to join early confirmed lots including two important collections, one of Italian sports bikes and the other a selection of classic Vincent-HRDs, the world’s fastest motorcycles of their time.

THE RON CODY COLLECTION

A selection of motorcycles offered from the Ron Cody Collection

Well-known in MV Agusta club circles, the late Ron Cody, a former sports car racer and engineer, turned to his passion for building up and restoring his collection of Italian machines as a retirement hobby. This collection offers 48 motorcycles, with many examples of MV Agustas as well as other Italian marques. Highlights include:

1964 MV AGUSTA 150CC RAPIDO SPORT, £3,000 – 4,000
Like their larger siblings, the small MVs were very expensive, costing as much as a British 500, which explains why so few of these exquisitely engineered little motorcycles were sold in the UK. This 150 Rapido Sport displays a total of only 125 kilometres on the odometer since restoration.

1953 MV AGUSTA 125CC TEL ‘SPORT COMPETIZIONE’, £4,000 – 6,000
With superb engineering compared with any British contemporary, the MV Agusta’s 125cc TEL ‘stroker’ of 1949 was powered by a neat unitary construction single-cylinder engine which, somewhat unusually for a post-war design, featured detachable transfer ports. The 125 MV offered here is presented in Competizione specification, intended for Italy’s popular long-distance races such as the Milan-Taranto and the Moto Giro d’Italia.

C.1958 GILERA 175CC ROSSA EXTRA RACING MOTORCYCLE, £2,400 – 2,800
Throughout the early 1950s, Gilera’s racers made the headlines, taking six individual World Championships and five manufacturers’ titles. Its road bikes paid the bills, with the 175cc being a top seller, although its high price abroad made it a relatively rare sight outside Italy.

Introduced for 1957, the Rossa Extra was essentially a deluxe version of the 175 Sport. Apparently cosmetically restored and very nicely presented, this Rossa Extra racer features a Scitsu tachometer, Dell’Orto UBF24BS carburettor, Ceriani forks, and ventilated brakes.

1958 PARILLA 175CC SPORT, £4,000 – 7.000
One of the first Italian motorcycle manufacturers that went into production after the Second World War, Parilla introduced the ‘high cam’ (camme rialzata) model, for which it is best remembered, at the 1952 Milan Show. This 175cc single-cylinder motorcycle featured a chain-driven camshaft mounted on the side of the cylinder head, the valves being operated via short pushrods. Stunningly beautiful, Parilla’s production racer was also exceedingly quick.

AN IMPORTANT VINCENT-HRD COLLECTION
A stalwart of the golden age of British motorcycles, the Vincent marque is synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence but mostly record-breaking high performance.

1951 Vincent-HRD 998cc Black Shadow, estimate £60,000 – 75,000

Leading this important collection of Vincent-HRDs is a matching numbers 1951 Series C 998cc Black Shadow, an example of the marque’s most famous model and the first genuine two-miles-per-minute production bike, with a reputed top speed of around 125 mph.

Off the road for 40 years, the motorcycle was completely restored by the vendor over a four-year period, with the result being judged ‘Best in Show’ at Stafford in 2010. Having since been displayed at the Lakeland Motor Museum, the Shadow is offered with a continuation RF60 buff logbook dating from April 1963 and the original registration number ‘LOV 579’. Estimate: £60,000 – 75,000.

Lining up with the Shadow is a loving recreation of its racing sibling, a Vincent HRD 998cc Black Lightning Evocation Special. Only 31 Black Lightnings were produced between 1948 and 1952 and their value reflects their rarity – Bonhams set a world record for the model in 2018 when the ex-Tony McAlpine, Jack Ehret, Australian Land Speed Record Breaking example sold for $929,000 (£656,630).

The vendor decided to create this Evocation for parades and track days. Buying a quantity of engine parts and main frame components in 2003, he embarked on a three-year project, restoring the rolling chassis himself, while entrusting the engine rebuild, to Black Shadow-plus specification, to well-known Vincent exponent Mick Ruocco.

Completed in 2006, it was commissioned by John Renwick, who made adjustments to the carburetion and started and ran the bike on his dynamometer. The Lightning was voted Best Classic Racer at the TT 2006 Lap of Honour and judged Best Classic Racer at the 2006 Stafford Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show.

It has since completed many closed-road parades at the TT and Classic TT and was used the machine regularly until 2014, when it was put on display at the Lakeland Motor Museum. Estimate: £30,000 – 40,000.

1937 Vincent HRD 498cc Comet Series A, estimate: £35,000 – 45,000
The rare Series A was the first model to use the Philip Vincent-designed engine, with high-camshaft layout. This example also underwent a complete restoration, from rebuilding the engine and gearbox to refurbishing the petrol tank.

The restored Comet was awarded Best Post-Vintage machine at the 2009 Stafford Spring Classic Motorcycle Show. Covering a mere 100 ‘shake down’ miles since restoration the bike has, for the past decade, been displayed at the Lakeland Motor Museum.

Ben Walker, International Department Director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles, said: “We are looking forward to coming home to Stafford and hosting the UK’s longest established dedicated motorcycling auction in a live format again, subject to the local restrictions relating to Covid-19.”

“Entries are coming in thick and fast and with two important collections already in place, we are sure there will be much interest. As we’ll be heading into summer, the auction will provide the perfect opportunity to buy a classic motorcycle and enjoy post-lockdown freedom of the road.”

Further early highlights of the sale include:

c.1950 Peugeot 125cc TD55, estimate £5,000 – 7,000 (pictured back row)

c.1947 Norton ‘Manx’ Sprint Special, estimate £10,000 – 15,000 (left middle)

Norton Sprint Special, estimate £6,000 – 8,000 (right middle)

1925 Sunbeam 347cc Model 2, estimate £5,000 – 7,000 (front left)

1916 Levis 2.5hp, estimate £4,000 – 6,000 (front right)

Further entries are invited to join the motorcycles already consigned.

Visit www.bonhams.com/motorcycles to submit a complimentary auction appraisal request or contact the Bicester Motorcycle Office +44 (0) 20 8963 2817 ukmotorcycles@bonhams.com to discuss the sale of your important motorcycle(s).

Norton Motorcycles invests in advanced new factory headquarters

By General Posts

Norton Motorcycles invests in advanced new factory headquarters in Solihull

  • The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd has moved to a new location in Solihull, West Midlands
  • The new HQ will be a permanent base for all staff and incorporates state-of-the-art design, engineering, manufacturing and quality capabilities
  • Opening of the newly fitted out factory comes after a multi-million pound investment from Norton’s new parent company, TVS Motor Company
  • Commissioning is near completion and opening is expected in Q1 2021
  • Over 50 high quality, new jobs have already been created and more are expected to follow as the business activity grows providing a welcome boost to the local economy.
  • The site in Solar Park, Solihull is the most advanced facility that Norton has ever had

The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd has announced that the company is moving to a new headquarters. The state-of-the-art production site located in Solihull, West Midlands, will open following a multi-million pound investment by Norton’s Indian parent company, TVS Motor Company. It will be the most advanced manufacturing facility in the 122-year-old motorcycle brand’s history.

The premises will be the central hub for all of Norton operations, providing a permanent base for all staff. The new headquarters will be home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support teams as well as the skilled production team that is resuming manufacture of motorcycles. Some of the specialist tooling and equipment previously used by Norton has been carried over to the new site in Solihull, but the site is benefiting from substantial new investment.

The new manufacturing facility will make use of modern-day, quality-assured production processes. Skilled technicians will deploy bespoke bike building techniques and state-of-the-art new manufacturing equipment to ensure all bikes are built with great precision and quality, a hallmark of both Norton and TVS Motor Company. Norton will resume production of the Commando Classic model at the Solihull site, building a limited quality to honour customers that had ordered and paid for a deposit on these bikes. Production of the V4SS will commence soon and the full opening of the facility is expected in Q1 2021.

Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director of TVS Motors, said: “The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcycles. The opening of this state-of-the-art facility will create the foundations for a sustainable long-term future of Norton. The new bikes will meet the world class standards our customers expect.

“2020 has been a tough year for the world but we are excited to be moving into our new home and we are delighted this has been created by the Norton and TVS teams in just 9 months. This new facility underpinned by strong quality processes will produce bikes truly worthy of the illustrious Norton brand and take it into the future. We are setting out to create a future for the company, our employees, our customers and our partners that lives up to the highest expectations and enable Norton to once again become the real force its history deserves.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The arrival of Norton’s global headquarters to Solihull is a real vote of confidence in our region as we look to recover from the pandemic. It speaks volumes to the strides the West Midlands has taken forward in recent years that Norton has chosen to come home after more than a decade based outside the region. This investment not only re-establishes our historic partnership with Norton, but will set a world-class benchmark for exceptional motorcycle manufacturing at the heart of our region, creating hundreds of jobs in the process at what is an incredibly challenging time economically.

“This investment also represents the start of an important partnership between the West Midlands and TVS Motors. With Tata-owned JLR also based in the region, the West Midlands has a good relationship with India that we are constantly looking to improve through the West Midlands India Partnership. This investment by Norton exemplifies what exactly we are trying to achieve with the partnership, and I am delighted to welcome the company back home.”

The new Norton headquarters demonstrates the continued investment by parent company, TVS Motor Company. The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd was acquired by TVS in April 2020. TVS is committed to ensuring the long-term of Norton as a self-sufficient brand, true to its core values and heritage.

About Norton Motorcycles

Norton Motorcycles was founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of fittings and parts to the two-wheel trade.

Norton Motorcycles went on to become one of the most iconic British motorcycle brands, manufacturing famous models such as the 650SS, Atlas, Commando, Dominator, Manx, Navigator and more – constantly innovating in motorcycle technology, with features advantageous for lightness and strength in motorcycle racing. Norton Motorcycles has an unrivalled history in motorsport and the brand name is synonymous with Isle of Man TT racing.

In April 2020, Norton Motorcycles was acquired by TVS Motor Company, India’s third-largest motorcycle manufacturer. Under the leadership of TVS, Norton is based out of a new manufacturing facility in Solihull, West Midlands, building British bikes in England using traditional hand-crafted techniques with modern day machinery for consistently high quality.

Former home of Triumph Cycles founder up for grabs

By General Posts

by Elis Sandford from https://www.coventrytelegraph.net

The building has been brought back into use. The former home of Triumph Cycles founder Siegfried Bettmann is on the market having been converted into a series of luxury apartments and bungalows.

Located in the Stoke Park area of Coventry, the Victorian villa has been transformed as part of a huge development project.

The former home was sold by Coventry City Council to property developers three years ago having fallen into disrepair.

Since then, it has been restored and now exists as 14 one and two-bedroom apartments and garden bungalows.

It is described as being located in a leafy conservation area of the city.

According to the developers: “Each property has been individually designed with an emphasis on lifestyle and space. All properties have luxury fully fitted SieMatic kitchens, large living areas, good size bedrooms and fully equipped Porcelanosa bathrooms.”

Apartment sizes range from 840 sq ft to 947 sq ft, the bungalows from 430 sq ft to 915 sq ft and the mews range from 431 sq ft to 721 sq ft. All properties come with either one or two parking spaces.

Prices range from £180,000 to £360,000 and the Help to Buy Scheme is available for first-time buyers. All properties will be owned on a shared freehold basis.

What has been said about the properties?

Laura Wilson, New Homes Manager at Loveitts Estate Agents, said: “Witnessing this stunning Victorian villa – notably known as Siegfried Bettmann’s former residence – being restored to its former glory first-hand has been something of a marvel.

“Elm Bank’s clear historical significance coupled with its beauty as a property makes it a hugely sought-after location for any home hunter. The combination of the Victorian feel with modern furnishings truly epitomises luxury living – and all are up for grabs for a reasonable price.

“The development exudes the elegance of the Victorian era. All the properties on the site have held their unique character, retaining their original sash windows, brickwork and high vaulted ceilings.

“The jewel in the crown of the property is the bungalow which emulates the feel and style of a stately home with many of the original features retained including eight murals painted on canvas in the pre-Raphaelite style by artist Oscar Mancine, the original fireplace and parquet flooring still as it was nearly 100 years ago – just without the eye-watering price tag.”

History of Elm Bank

Born in 1863 in Nuremberg, Germany, Siegfried Bettman moved to Britain in the late 19th century and settled in Coventry. Soon after he founded Triumph Cycle Company which became one of the most famous motorcycle marques in the world and established Coventry as the home of the British cycle trade.

Bettmann lived at Elm Bank from 1905 until he died in 1951. Within those years Ramsey McDonald, a British Prime Minister in the 1920s, visited him at the property twice in 1925.

In 1952 the building was donated to the Coventry Education Committees and was used as a teacher’s clubs and resources centre until it moved in 1974.

In 2015 a blue plaque was erected by the Coventry Society that marks the property as the home of Bettmann.

New Auction World Records Set at Successful Bonhams Motorcycles Winter Sale

By General Posts
The Winter Sale
including The National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection – Bicester Heritage

11 – 12 Dec 2020

Bicester, Bicester Heritage
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS100
Registration no. VD 6582 Frame no. M1/1661 Engine no. BS/X 1001

£3 MILLION TOTAL REALISED WITH 92 PER CENT SELL-THROUGH RATE

1936 Brough Superior 982C SS100 from the National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection, SOLD for £276,000

Two world auction records for a Sunbeam and Norton F1 motorcycle were set over the weekend at the successful Bonhams Motorcycles Winter Sale at Bicester Heritage, which realised more than £3 million and had an impressive sell-through rate of 92 per cent.

A 1928 Sunbeam 493cc TT Model 90 Racing Motorcycle, which had raced at Pendine Sands, powered through its top estimate of £24,000 selling for £41,400, while a 21,188-mile 1990 Norton F1, the roadster inspired by the sporting partnership with John Player Special, made £40,250, both setting new world auction records.

However, the name dominating the sale was Brough Superior, with no fewer than five examples featuring in the sale’s top ten, led by a highly original 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS100, bearing the earliest engine number in a production model, which sold for £276,000.

All three machines were offered direct from the National Motorcycle Museum’s Reserve Collection, an exclusive selection of 52 British motorcycles – and motorcycle-related cars – presented on the first day of the two-day sale.

A brace of 1937 Brough Superiors offered from The Connoisseur Collection – comprising blue-chip examples from the estate of a late motorcycle enthusiast – also featured in the sale’s top ten, a 982cc SS80 and a 1,096cc 11-50hp which both exceeded their top pre-sale estimates selling for £73,600 and £71,300 respectively.

The Connoisseur Collection also offered an example of one of the most desirable pre-war American motorcycles, a 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four, which made £48,300, again rising above its pre-sale estimate, despite requiring re-commissioning.

Another 1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp, a project motorcycle offered for restoration rounded out the sale on a high note, trouncing its pre-sale estimate, selling for £57,500.

Modern Marvels

More modern metal also fared well at the Bicester auction, with three MV Agusta motorcycles achieving a combined total of more than £186,000, including a 1973 500cc Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle which made £82,800, comfortably within its estimate, and a 1978 832cc Monza which pipped its top estimate, selling for £48,300.

Another 1970s superbike that found favour in the Bonhams saleroom was a 1976 Honda CB750 K6, with a believed 3.6 ‘push’ kilometres reading, which cruised past its pre-sale top estimate of £4,000 to achieve £9,800.

There was also success for the motorcycle memorabilia sale which offered two special collections from the families of two late motorcycling greats: Barry Sheene MBE and Percy Tait.

Highlights from the Sheene Collection included a leather team holdall, featuring the motifs 7, Sheene and Suzuki, which sold for £3,187, ten times its pre-sale estimate, while a stainless-steel Gabriel chronograph wristwatch awarded at the 1976 ‘France de Chimay’ race made £7,650, again more than ten times its estimate, while a set of Percy Tait’s race-worn one-piece leathers raced away for £5,737.

Ben Walker, International Department Director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles,”We are more than pleased with the sale which has been the subject of much interest from collectors around the world and competitive bidding.

We were also honoured to have been entrusted with the premium collection from the National Motorcycle Museum, one of the most prestigious names in the motorcycling world, and well as the collections from the families of two of motorcycling’s national treasures, Barry Sheene and Percy Tait.”

The Winter Sale was a fitting end to another successful year for the Bonhams motorcycle department, with the two UK sales realising a combined total of more than £6.7 million in 2020.

The Motorcycle department is already looking ahead to next year and is currently consigning collectors’ motorcycles and collections to The Spring Sale on 24 and 25 April, when Bonhams returns to the Stafford Showground for The International Classic MotorCycle Show.

BSA to be reborn as electric motorcycle

By General Posts

by Jasper Jolly from https://www.theguardian.com

Revived company plans to start assembling motorbikes in UK as soon as next year.

An Indian billionaire hopes to “resurrect the British motorbike industry” with a plan to build electric motorcycles in the UK under the venerable BSA brand.

Anand Mahindra, the chairman of the Mahindra Group conglomerate, is the main backer of a plan to restart production by the BSA Company, assembling motorbikes in the Midlands as soon as the middle of 2021.

The revived BSA Company will shortly begin building a research facility in Banbury to develop electric motorbike technology, before launching motorbikes with internal combustion engines closely followed by an electric battery model by the end of 2021.

BSA, which stood for Birmingham Small Arms, was originally founded in 1861 to manufacture guns at Small Heath, a setting for the hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders. Its metalworking factories were later turned to bicycles and then motorcycles. By the 1950s, it was the world’s largest motorcycle maker, but it went bankrupt and ceased production in the 1970s.

Anand Mahindra, who is worth $1.7bn (£1.3bn) according to Forbes magazine, said he had chosen to invest in the UK because of its history of motorcycle production. The company also received support from the UK government, which awarded the BSA Company a £4.6m grant to develop electric bikes, in the hope of creating at least 255 jobs.

“The UK was the leader in bikes right from the start,” Mahindra told the Guardian. “That provenance is something that we really want to retain.”

Mahindra Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of tractors and the 20th largest carmaker by sales. It owns the Reva electric car brand that produced the G-Wiz city car, and it is also the world’s biggest producer of three-wheeled electric rickshaws.

Mahindra also has experience in reviving motorcycle brands. In 2016, it picked up a controlling stake in a company that had bought the BSA brand, as well as Czech brand Jawa. Jawa was relaunched in 2018, with 50,000 sales in its first full year, an achievement Mahindra now wants to repeat with BSA.

The project is being run by Anupam Thareja, a former investment banker who initially bought the BSA brand. He said he wanted to continue the “quirky English charm” of the original BSA company. Thareja said he hoped to build a factory near the original Small Heath site but declined to give estimates on annual production.

Mahindra said its experience with electric bikes would help the broader group in its eventual move away from products that burn fossil fuels, although he said the company would not “be dismantling our [internal combustion] engines” until the market reached a “tipping point”.

The new BSA Company plans to start with assembling traditional internal combustion engine bikes costing between £5,000 and £10,000 with parts from various suppliers in the UK and beyond.

Thareja said it was wary about possible tariffs for exports under a no-deal Brexit, but believed motorcycle brands could benefit from customers’ desire to travel once the worst of the pandemic is over.