What’s the most money you’ve ever spent on a motorcycle? That number will vary widely between KLR fans (“$1,200, and it came with a free milk crate!”) and Eurobike enthusiasts (“$20,000, and I get to spend another $4,000 on accessories!”). However, there are probably very few inmates on here who’ve spent six figures on a motorcycle, and nobody who’s spent £416,250 GBP (almost $550,00 USD) on a parts bike.
But, that’s exactly what someone did not long ago, at an auction in the UK. It wasn’t just any old pile of bike parts, though, it was as Brough Superior SS100 from 1930, with paperwork establishing George Brough as the original owner. The bike was actually raced at the 1930 International Six Days trial in Switzerland by F.P. Dickson, who teamed up with George Brough and Eddy Meyer for the event (maybe that’s how it ended up in so many parts?).
What exactly did the lucky buyer get? A “Partially and loosely assembled original SS100 with JAP engine,” with matching frame, engine and gearbox numbers. And, a bunch of paperwork, including expert authentication.
It’s hard to see how this bike fetched this money, as it was expected to sell for £160,000 – £200,000, and in its current state, it will require significant work before it ever runs again. Surely, the buyer could have found a running Brough for that kind of money?
But maybe that’s the problem. In recent years, prices on vintage motorcycles have climbed astronomically, and they’re no longer available for the bargain-basement prices they used to be, relatively speaking. Vintage car enthusiasts have priced that game out of the reach of many people, and they’re turning to bikes instead. For proof, just grab your local Buyer Flyer/Penny Saver, or log on Kijiji/Craigslist and see how much people want for even relatively common stuff, like early ’70s SOHC Hondas. So hang on to that $1,200 KLR, because 50 years from now, it could be priceless.