Bonhams Harrogate sale has "something for everyone"

Collectors' Motor Cars, Motorcycles and Automobilia
14 Nov 2012
Harrogate, Great Yorkshire Showground

Many of the more than 100 motorcycles for the 14th November sale at the Yorkshire Event Centre are offered at no reserve

With more than 100 motorcycle entries, this year's Bonhams auction at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate on Wednesday 14th November is set to be the biggest yet.

Last year's record breaking event saw 86 per cent of motorcycle lots sell for a premium inclusive amount of £316,129, demonstrating not only the strength of the 'Yorkshire Pound' but also the breadth of bidding, with machines selling as far afield as the U.S. and Japan.

This year's sale offers something for everyone, including 1950 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series C that has had two recorded keepers from new (estimate £25,000 - £30,000). This matching-numbers and largely unmolested Rapide has been in the current ownership for more than 50 years. The machine is described as being in wonderfully original condition, has been used only occasionally, and has been dry-stored since acquisition in 1962.

A 1979 Harris-Honda 598cc TT Formula 2 Racing Motorcycle that is ex-Steve Tonkin and Isle of Man TT (estimate £10,000 - £15,000) offers a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a works-supported Honda with TT history. In 1978 Honda supplied five factory-prepared engines to well known dealer/entrant Bill Smith to be used in the construction of racers for the TT Formula 2 class. When completed in 1979, this Harris-framed machine was sold to Bill Head, the well-known dealer and race sponsor, who duly entered the bike for Steve Tonkin to ride in that year's Formula 2 TT on the Isle of Man. He finished third, recording an average speed of 98.59mph.

More than 60 per cent of the motorcycles in the Bonhams Harrogate Sale are to be offered at no reserve, including an assortment of hard-to-find Hondas. Off-road machines are plentiful and – be it trials, moto-cross or speedway – there is something for everyone.

Classic Italian exotica should bring some sunshine to the Yorkshire hills in the form of a 1977 Moto Guzzi 850cc Le Mans fully restored by Victory Motorcycles in 2000 (estimate £3,000 - £5,000), a 1960 Moto Guzzi 235cc Lodola GT (estimate £2,500 - £3,500) and a 1953 Moto Guzzi 250cc Airone (estimate £3,000 - £4,000).

James Stensel, Bonhams Motorcycle Specialist, said: "The Harrogate sale has real warmth about it. Not only is it an opportunity to acquire a hard-to-find motorcycle, but it is also the unofficial get-together for riders and enthusiasts from Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.

"We are delighted to be able to offer such a diverse range of machines in such wonderful surroundings."

Viewing for the Bonhams Harrogate Sale, which also features motor cars and automobilia, takes place from 5pm until 8pm on Tuesday 13th November, and from 9am on Wednesday 14th November.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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