2010 MidAmerica Vintage Motorcycle Auction

Viva Las Vegas!

| May/June 2010

Interest in classic bikes remains strong, a fact amply proven at the annual MidAmerica Vintage Motorcycle Auction in Las Vegas where 388 — 76 percent — of the 509 motorcycles that crossed the block Jan. 7-9, 2010, found new homes.

Although attendance was down slightly this year, it was pretty much business as usual in Vegas and, as usual, Triumph was the most prolific brand, underscoring the continued popularity of Fifties and particularly Sixties Triumphs.

Triumphs enjoyed a better than average sales ratio compared to other makes. Of the 82 Triumphs in the auction, only 12 failed to sell, a strong 85 percent sell through. Compare that to Indians, with 34 Indians in the auction but only 16 sold, giving a sales percentage of less than 50 percent for the Springfield twins and fours.

So in a down economy, do the Triumph sellers simply have more realistic expectations of what their bikes are worth? That might be part of it, although it doesn’t hurt that interest in Triumphs also remains high. Further, Indian prices are significantly weaker than three to five years ago, meaning many Indian owners are looking at taking a loss if they sell in today’s market, and most are trying hard not to lose any of their investment.

Harleys, on the other hand, fell between the two, with 47 of 64 offered, or 73 percent, finding new owners. Top price for a Harley-Davidson was $49,000 before buyer’s premium for a 1926 replica 8-valve FHAC board track racer.

Overall, European bikes appeared to hold their value better than their American counterparts. One little known but much revered European motorcycle is the peerless Munch Mammoth, or “Mammut” as it’s called in its creator’s mother tongue, German.

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