H&H Classics Limited is one of Europe’s largest auctioneers of classic and collectible automobiles, motorcycles and associated paraphernalia and memorabilia; as such they sell many rare and historically important motorcycles in auctions all over the United Kingdom.
At the October 2010 Haynes International Motor Museum auction hosted by the company, they set a new high mark in our shared history. An unknown private buyer with an excessive amount of disposable income – and, we hope, a passion for this beautiful machine – purchased a 1929 Brough Superior SS100 for the new record high amount of £286,000 (US$450,188)! No motorcycle has sold for more at auction anywhere in the world in the British pound sterling. There is always an asterisk, eh?
The previous record-holder was a beyond rare 1915 Cyclone overhead-cam board track racer which pulled in US$551,200 at the MidAmerica Auction in Monterey, California. In July 2008 that was £278,400, thus making it second in the UK, but it remains first in the US owing to the different currency valuation. Ah, the monetary exchange and its twisted logic. That same year had another SS100 sell for £163,200 (US$323,136). Obviously, the last two years also made a significant difference in the value of the Brough marque.
Featured in the H&H auction alongside the SS100 were a 1954 BMW R54 Rensport production racer, a 1960 AJS 7R, a more modern but no less rare 1976 Suzuki RE5 Rotary, and a Moto Guzzi Le Mans MkI which traveled with the Guggenheim’s “Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit. Many interesting machines passed under the hammer, and they are too numerous to list here. Simply take away from this that it was a surprisingly lively event with more than its share of intriguing stories.
For more information, head straight to the auctioneer themselves – www.handh.co.uk.
Something is coming at us; something we may not be paying much attention to presently with all the other distractions in our lives – making money, buying food, etc. A new category is upon the industry – not completely new, no, but some manufacturers are unquestionably pushing the envelope nowadays.
News recently came out of the 2010 EICMA Milan show about an updated Gilera GP800 which is destined for world markets (not the US, unfortunately) and currently reigns as the world’s most powerful scoot. It has a sporting character and is no slouch on a twisty back-road. BMW was also at EICMA with what could be considered the world’s most sophisticated step-through. It certainly possesses its own character and will stand out anywhere outside of the set of TRON or the upcoming TRON: Legacy. Blue accented tires, really?
Actually, the scooter on display at the Italian show is just a concept, but the go-ahead for production has already come down from the executive offices. BMW has focused on making a scooter which will be worthy of carrying the BMW roundel, and by the looks of it, they have succeeded.
An early look at the machine has provided precious few details on the more technical points of the design or what aspects from the concept will be kept when it enters production. It is rumored to have a liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine – yes, the first models will be petrol-powered, but an electric version is in the works – which sends power to the rear wheel through a constantly-variable transmission (CVT) and into a maintenance free shaft drive enclosed in a new-tech single-sided swingarm. The C will also carry ABS, LED headlights, an advanced on-board computer, and it may have a rear-view camera with twin monitors in the dash (though, this final feature is unlikely to reach the production version).
The look is decidedly BMW; it has the split-face front end which is popular on their K bikes, for example. The bodywork is directly descended from the GS adventure bikes and the new S1000RR superbike. Edgy styling right out of a science-fiction film…hopefully the final production version will retain the Concept C’s personality combined with scooter-like efficient operation.
The Concept C is not a relative of the short-lived, but coveted and loved by many, C1; that scooter is not longer produced, but it still serves to influence BMW engineers. The “C” name here refers to Commuters, the sector of the market to which this machine is targeted. The German marque sees scooters as a rather intelligent mode of personal transportation for the congested urban landscape of today’s busy world cities.
This ideal city scoot is to be produced at BMW’s Berlin factory in two versions, but facts such as when it will be available and where you will be able to purchase it are unknown at this time. Watch this space for more when there is something to report.
The Chinese city/island of Macau has hosted the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix for nearly half a century now. The Guia Circuit has been used since 1972, making this the 39th time motorcycles have been run on that course. For the last three years, though, a certain Scotsman has owned that track during the real roads motorcycle race which draws racers and fans from around the world. Riding a Paul Bird Kawasaki ZX-10R, British Superbike regular and real roads ace Stuart Easton rode to his third victory in three years. Easton even broke his own lap record as he charged ahead of Paris AXA Ducati rider Michael Rutter, who was the pole sitter for the race.
The race itself was essentially split in two as Canadian rider Chris Peris had a nasty crash caused by running on an unfamiliar tire. During qualifying, Peris landed in the 12th spot – an enviable achievement for a newcomer. That red flag came in lap six; the race was stopped and then restarted with nine laps run afterwards. Easton took off on the second start with a mission to put some distance between him and second position man Rutter. At one point he managed a gap of 2 seconds, but Rutter came back. That forced Easton to put down his fast and record-setting lap in order to hold on to the win.
Once the checkered flag was dropped, the order was Easton in first, Rutter right behind in second and Lee’s Cycles Racing BMW rider Jeremy Toye rounding out the podium. For Paul Bird Motorsports it was victory number two at the event – both as the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT). Easton’s teammate on the KRT, and fellow Scot, Keith Amor finished in tenth position after qualifying in sixth; he had setup issues. The Macau race was a fine finish for last year’s Kawasaki ZX-10R. Next season will see the team using the brand new 2011 Ninja ZX-10R – a near complete re-design – so we might yet see Easton on the top step again.
The 45th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix will be held in November 2011 in Macau, China.
Foremost Insurance / Pegram Racing are trading in their Ducatis for BMWs for the 2011 AMA Superbike season. Larry Pegram just announced that he will be riding the BMW S 1000 RR.
Pegram and his team have been testing the BMW S 1000 RR over the last few weeks, and are very happy with the results.
“We have tested three times aboard a slightly modified, but mostly stock, BMW S 1000 RR and I am really pleased with the bike’s performance,” said Pegram. “I comfortably did laps that were already very competitive. Some minor modifications will make the RR race ready and a true contender to win AMA Superbike races” exclaimed Pegram.
“BMW is thrilled that Foremost Insurance / Pegram Racing have chosen to campaign the BMW S 1000 RR in the AMA Superbike championship,” saidTodd Andersen, Marketing Manager, from BMW North America. “Giving Larry’s race-winning history, we expect great things from the team.”
In 2012, the FIM MotoGP displacement will change to allow for 1000cc four-stroke motorcycles. This opens the doors for many manufacturers who have not had the funds or the recent experience to field a competitive team. BMW is one of those companies who may now have an opportunity to participate in the premier racing series and be competitive against the current big four of Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. Each of those marques has extensive knowledge and enormous budgets dedicated to their MotoGP efforts. Suter, Swiss racing technology and engineering specialist, is working on a BMW-powered machine and now has a team in place. Suter BMW has also selected a rider who will test their machine in very short order; that is Scott Redding, current Marc VDS Racing representative in the Moto2 series.
Gloucestershire (UK) born Redding is young and rising fast; his last birthday put him at 17 years. The 2010 Moto2 season was a good one for him with an impressive second place at Phillip Island two weeks ago and is sitting in ninth overall with one round remaining. He will have no shortage of opportunities to get even better as Marc VDS has signed Redding for at least two more seasons.
For the Suter BMW MotoGP team Redding will be testing their prototype race machine at Jerez in Spain. Initial reports had set this test for right after the Valencia round, and now rumors point towards a MotoGP promotion. That was quickly put to rest by team chief Michael Bartholemy who stated that the “plan” is for Redding to continue in Moto2 for two years. However, that could change if things align perfectly during the 2012 season.
The testing will be beneficial to all and worthy of watching, if we get that opportunity. Once again, here is a glimpse of what the future of the sport may hold for the fans.
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