4 bikes you won’t want to miss at Monterey 2021

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RM Sotheby's/Stan Evans

Sure, we call it Monterey Car Week, but among all the tours, rallies, races, shows, auctions and even strolls through the parking lot, some of the coolest vehicles in Monterey each August ride on two wheels. And since we’re already watching the auctions so closely, here are the four coolest bikes that will be up for grabs at Monterey 2021.

Steve McQueens 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360

Husqvarna Viking side profile
RM Sotheby's/Stan Evans

 

Estimate: $80,000 – $100,000

When it comes to the world’s most famous and valuable motorcycles, Steve McQueen’s name is attached to more than a few of them. For example, the Husqvarna from McQueen’s 1971 film On Any Sunday sold for $230,500 back in 2018. How that bike went from just a used old $1500 Husky to a $230k auction star is quite the story, and this bike coming up for auction at RM’s Monterey sale is another one of McQueen’s Husqvarnas. This one doesn’t quite have the proven provenance of the On Any Sunday bike (McQueen owned a lot of motorcyles) but, according to RM Sotheby’s, after McQueen went to watch some motocross races in California and saw Swedish rider Bengt Åbergbut competing on this very Viking 360, he was so impressed that he bought the bike then and there.

1964 Ducati Formula III

Ducati 250 Formula III Racer side profile
Mecum

Estimate: N/A

Of all the Ducati racing motorcycles from the 1950s and ’60s, the factory Formula III race bikes hold the top spot on the podium. They were hand-built, exotic, extremely expensive, and rightfully won race after race. Produced in 125, 175, and 250cc displacements in very limited numbers, genuine Formula III bikes rarely come up for sale. Especially in documented or original specification. This example comes with provenance and authenticity documented by Ian Falloon, the man who literally wrote the book on Ducatis, and that could bring in buyers who might otherwise not pay top dollar. We’ve seen these sell for upwards of $60k, and that seems like a fair bargain when Vincents bring double that amount.

Steve McQueen’s 1970 Triumph Bonneville TR120

Triumph Bonneville TR120 side profile
RM Sotheby's

Estimate: $40,000 – $50,000

McQueen and Triumph are a pair that are still inextricably linked. Triumph came out with a Steve McQueen edition 1200 Scrambler in 2021, 51 years after this ex-McQueen TR120 Bonneville was produced. That solidifies just how strong the connection is, and just how much the scrambler style is associated with McQueen. The bike was restored in 2016, and it is uncertain what original parts remain from when McQueen’s production company bought the motorcycle. That would be good to know because it features many non-stock items such as the front forks, shocks, seat, aluminum shoulder rims, and high straight pipes. The #1 value in the Hagerty Motorcycle Price Guide is $16k, and RM estimates this reaching three times that.

1938 Vincent Series A Rapide

Vincent HRD Series A Twin side profile
Mecum

Estimate: $400,000 – $500,000

A Vincent, any Vincent, is desirable. But a Series A Rapide is near the very top. The Series A Rapide was the first Vincent to get a V-twin engine, and it quickly knocked Brough Superior from its throne as world’s fastest production motorcycle. The model was produced from 1937-39 before World War II put an end to production. After WWII the designs, parts and manufacturing were all changed for many industrial items, and now the early bikes carry the largest appeal for collectors. This particular bike has been offered for sale for a while and has yet to find a home. The recent high bid of $300k at Mecum’s Vegas auction in April is a long way off the $1.1M asking price on eBay for the bike, but crazy things can happen in the current market and it just might find a new home.

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