Bonhams to Auction the Motorcycle Classics Project Honda CB350

Reader Contribution by Richard Backus
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Bonhams will auction off our 1970 Honda CB350 at its Vegas auction, Jan. 26, 2017, with all proceeds benefiting AHRMA’s Rider Benevolent Fund. Photo by Richard Backus.

The annual Las Vegas classic motorcycle auctions return in January and they promise to be bigger than ever as Mecum Auctions expands from a three-day event to a four-day event, with 1,000 motorcycles slated to cross the block Jan. 25-28, 2017, at South Point Casino and Exhibit Hall. Bonhams will hold its annual one-day sale on Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Rio Hotel & Casino, with an estimated 250 motorcycles to be offered. Mecum generated almost $14 million at its 2016 sale and Bonhams almost $5 million.

Featured lots at Mecum include a 1938 Indian Four and a 1913 Henderson Four, plus eight rare Italian bikes from the Guy Webster collection, including the only known surviving single- and twin-cam Ceccato Grand Prix race bikes. Featured lots at Bonhams include a 1937 Indian “Upside Down” Four, a 1953 Vincent Rapide, a rare 1914 Feilbach V-twin, a 1912 Flying Merkel V-twin, and the recently completed Motorcycle Classics Project Honda CB350.

Previous builds from the magazine have been given away in sweepstakes drawings, but this time we decided to auction our finished project, with the proceeds going to aid the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association’s Rider Benevolent Fund. Nobody races a 1973 Yamaha RD350 or prewar handshift Harley for the money — there’s isn’t any. They do it out of love for the sport and vintage motorcycles, and AHRMA’s vintage racing program has immeasurably furthered active interest in finding, fixing and riding vintage motorcycles. We chose the Rider Benevolent Fund because it aids riders injured during AHRMA race events, helping defray the burden of costly medical expenses, ensuring that riders who get hurt can get help when they need it most.

Mecum’s Jan. 25-28, 2017, Vegas auction will include this Bryan Thompson-built 1952 Triumph Thunderbird custom. Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions.

Bonhams won’t take a penny of the sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to AHRMA’s Rider Benevolent Fund. Specialty shippers Motorcycle Shippers will transport our Honda from Kansas to Nevada, and Federal Motorcycle Transport, which sets up every year at Vegas to help new owners get their bikes home, will ship it from Vegas to the winning bidder, within the lower 48 states, free of charge.

Our Honda never would have come together without the incredible support we received from parts suppliers and skilled restoration experts across the country, and we’re grateful for the continuing support from Bonhams, Motorcycle Shippers and Federal Motorcycle Transport, helping us help AHRMA, a non-profit organization that works to maintain a dynamic vintage motorcycling community. See you in Vegas! — Richard Backus

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