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Bobby Sirkegian's Daytona BSA headlines Bonhams’ Las Vegas Sale

by Richard Backus

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 Bobby Sirkegian's Daytona BSA Gold Star 
Bobby Sirkegian's factory-prepped BSA Gold Star took second at Daytona in 1957. It will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Bonhams auction January 6, 2011, in Las Vegas. Photo: David Edwards 

Bonhams & Butterfield, known the world over for its class-leading auctions of everything from exotic motor cars to fine Chinese vases, will hold its first Las Vegas vintage motorcycle auction this January 6, 2011. The sale will include an ex-factory 1916 Excelsior board track racer, a first year 1901 Indian from the Otis Chandler collection, plus former racer Bobby Sirkegian’s factory-prepped BSA Gold Star that raced at Daytona in 1957, 1958 and 1960.

1916 Excelcior Big Valve Factory racer 
1916 Excelsior board track racer is an original factory bike. 

This is set to be an incredible auction as Sirkegian’s BSA, spectacular in its own right, joins a who’s-who list of important motorcycles set to cross the block at Bonhams’ inaugural motorcycle auction January 6, 2011, at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino. Former Cycle World editor-in-chief David Edwards gave us a preview of Sirkegian's BSA and his old Triumph drag bike, Pretty Boy III (also slated for sale at the Bonham's auction but since sold privately) in the latest issue, telling us that while Sirkegian will miss his bikes, he’s happy to see them move on to new owners who, he hopes, will display them.

 1894 Hildebrand and Wolfmuller 
Circa 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller is expected to fetch $130,000-$150,000. 

The sale will also include yet another Hildebrand & Wolfmuller, the world’s first production motorcycle, this time a circa-1894 model. Bonhams’ sold an original, unrestored 1895 example at its April 2010 Stafford auction. Final price? $131,866. The April bike was original and complete, but in need of a complete restoration. The bike currently on offer is restored and apparently runs. Bonhams’ presale estimate is $130,000-$150,000.

There will also be plenty of bread and butter machines, with a particularly large selection of Hondas on offer. All told, more than 200 classic bikes are set to cross the block during the auction. You can check out the full auction catalog by clicking here. Regular contributor Robert Smith plans on attending the auction, so stay tuned for post-auction results. – Richard Backus