2009 Daytona Motorcycle Auction

Highlights and notes

| May/June 2009

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    Some of the 174 classic bikes that were offered at the 2009 Daytona Antique and Classic Motorcycle Auction.
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    Ski-equipped 1951 Indian Warrior: A no-sale at $11,000.
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    1993 Ducati 907IE with 13,700 miles fetched $4,600.
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    Lot 61A: The author’s “new” 1974 R90S, with Lester mag wheels.
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    This restored Whizzer brought $3,000.

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The 22nd annual Daytona Antique and Classic Motorcycle Auction and Vintage Bike Meet, held March 7, marked a turning point, as Jerry Wood, who has run the auction from the beginning, is handing over ownership to Glenn Bator of Bator International. A California classic bike dealer and event organizer, Glenn has the experience to take the Daytona auction to the next level.

The main auction started 11 a.m. Saturday, and 95 motorcycles were sold in about 10 hours. Total sales without buyers’ premiums were $772,060, only marginally down from last year’s $790,349, suggesting the down economy hasn’t significantly dampened interest in the classic motorcycle market. You can see full details on the Bator Auctions website (www.BatorAuctions.com) but here are a few highlights and notes on condition and price.

Lot 7 — 1947 Whizzer with Schwinn frame, $1,900: Original paint, nice patina and running. I didn’t plan to buy a Whizzer, but sometimes early lots sell cheap. It seems to take a little while for some bidders to get warmed up; perhaps that’s why this cute old Whizzer didn’t even break $2,000.

Lot 16 — 1961 Triumph TR6 Custom, $4,400: Nice period custom built in 1964, old California black license plate. This bike really appealed to me; the peanut tank, Bates megaphones, clubman-style seat and orange paint all screamed “Kaliforina Kustom.” Lots of chrome and polished aluminum made this bike stand out as a cool bike from the early 1960s. I wish I had bid higher; $4,400 was a bargain.
Lot 22 — 1978 Benelli Sei, $3,750: 9,200 miles. The big 6-cylinder Benelli. It had original paint but non-stock exhaust. Condition was average for its age with some leaking gaskets. A very reasonable price for a bike that will always be considered an Italian exotic, although much work needs to be done before this bike meets its potential.
Lot 35 — 1972 Honda CL 350, $3,100: 5,300 miles, near mint condition, excellent original chrome and paint showing light corrosion on spokes and shocks. This bike fetched a good price because of its “minty” condition. Although not as collectible as 1969 and earlier 450 and 305 Hondas, I think it was a good deal for buyer and seller alike.

Lot 44 — 1977 H-D XLCR, $8,250: 9,300 miles, good condition. These XLCRs show up frequently at auctions. They were a styling milestone for Harley Davidson but not very good sellers when new. If you ever rode one you would know why — a café racer that is slow, heavy and ill handling. On the other hand, they do have limited collector appeal and have been slowly rising in price at about the rate of inflation. 

Lot 46A — 1949 Triumph Speed Twin, $14,500: Some age on a less than perfect restoration, aging chrome and numerous paint chips. Seller stated “concours condition” — buyer beware!
Lot 58A — 1973 Norton 850 Commando, $5,000: 14,000 miles, Boyer ignition, good chrome, decent paint except for tape pinstripes. A little under the money if the bike runs as good as it looks.
Lot 59 — 1940 Indian 4 with sidecar, $39,500: Sidecar appeared to be mostly fiberglass, and yellow was not a good color choice. The polished engine cases detracted but $39,500 is at least $10,000 under the money for any decent Indian 4; the sidecar could be considered free at this price. Very well bought.

Lot 61A — 1974 BMW R90S, $4,500: 28,000 miles. Lester wheels, nice repaint a shade off from original, BMW tool kit under seat. This is the one I bought. Problems with clutch on first ride but still a bargain.
Lot 66 — 1949 Vincent Rapide with Hollandia sidecar, $45,000: Proper Amal 276 carbs, rare left side kicker to accommodate sidecar, nice paint and chrome. Appeared to be a very honest early C series that might need a little finesse to bring it back from storage. A good deal and top sale of the day.

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