Saturday, April 09, 2011

TRENDS, CONTINUED...

As predicted in my January post from Las Vegas, big changes are afoot in the further integration of vintage motorcycles into the 'car world'...
Bonhams leads the pack in international motorcycle auctions, and combined motorcycle/auto auctions, as at their Grand Palais sale last February
Two days ago, automotive auction house RM Auctions announced the purchase of Bator Vintage Motorcycle Auctions, owned by Glenn Bator.  Bator shifted his vintage motorcycle brokerage company into 'auction mode' two years ago, after purchasing the J.Wood and Co, and conducting auctions at Daytona's Bike Week and at the Barber Vintage Festival.  RM will sell bikes under their subsidiary Auctions America, created two years ago to cater to American muscle cars and customs.
Shelby Myers of RM Auctions, at Las Vegas 2011
The expected move of RM into the motorcycle world (made quite clear by owner Rob Myers at Las Vegas) is a further reflection on both the increasing dollar volume of vintage motorcycle sales, and the increasing interest of automotive collectors in old bikes.  Tthe entry of RM into the 'old bike' auction fray will certainly mean new faces at dedicated motorcycle auctions, increased pressure on the price of the 'best' machines, and further integration of motorcycles into 'Car' events - both auctions and Concours d'Elegance.

In that vein, it has recently been announced that vintage motorcycles will appear at the ultra-prestigious Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza for the first time ever, this May 20-22.  Surely the world's most elegant location for an automotive event, the Villa is situated on the shores of Lake Como in Italy.  Event sponsor BMW made the decision just two months ago to include motorcycles, and esteemed motorcycle author Stefan Knittel had the task of arranging the bikes for display.  Exactly how the motorcycles are physically integrated into the Concours will be very interesting...consigned to a side patch in the 'rough' as at Pebble Beach, or displayed, finally, with the automobiles?

11 comments:

Buzz Kanter said...

It was a matter of time before the car guys figured out how spectacular some of our motorcycles are. I suspect this will push up the prices and demand of the more interesting motorcycles.

Nortley said...

As long as motorcycles continue to be more fun than cars, I'd guess the side patch. But I hope I'm wrong.

Bob Patterson said...

Yep, there goes the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Having been the only guy in my high school to wear engineer boots (early seventies) in my elitist Ivy League hometown, I developed a disdain for the snooty lifestyle. These recent changes of venue for our motorcycle scene is very sad for me. At least it's more difficult for someone to get their head up their ass with a helmet.

The Vintagent said...

I've seen some pretty small helmets in my day...
;)

GuitarSlinger said...

The good thing - Motorcycles are finally getting the recognition due to them .

The bad thing - This will drive the prices right out of the hands of the genuine Enthusiast and into the hands of the obsessive collector who'll never show the thing , never mind ride them .

I've watched this happen with Classic Guitars , driving the prices out of the hands of players , cars , with Ferraris etc. spending more time in garages than seeing the light of day etc. etc.

With a few exceptions of course . But not many .

So I guess my fellow VOC mates will have a nice retirement plan on hand , but it'll push the prices out of my ever owning one myself .

A mixed blessing at best .

The Vintagent said...

Ah, was ever a change purely good, or ill?
My two cents; there is a huge glut of mass-produced motorcycles from many eras, which will remain relatively affordable, for those diminishing few who want them. We are already witnessing a downward slide in price for Edwardian machines. Yes, big English v-twins will continue upward; if you need one, buy it now. If it needn't be English, American v-twins are weak, barring the very earliest.
True enthusiast-riders will always have a broad choice of machines...

Don O'Reilly said...

Though nobody's beating down the door for it, they'll get my commando when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!

meshplate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark said...

the villa d'este/pebble beach crowd are like the british hunters wilde described: 'the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible,' in this case the so-expensive-as-to-be-effectively-unusable. if there ever was one, they seem to be the definition of a toadying sycophants. they just take the f out fun. moi, opinionated?!

Lance larson said...

Until they burn there finger tips while attempting road side repairs , i asure you they will never appreciate the beuty and magic of these machines.