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Current Values are DOWN!

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jwonder
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Current Values are DOWN!

Post by jwonder »

I was watching the Mecum auction with wonder as I saw the market as a whole is down. Most of the motorcycles are down but the BMW's are not pulling the money they were pulling previously. Now, I was not at the auction, so I did not see the motorcycles with my own eyes, but I still feel these prices are way down.

A quick breakdown on the prices of the pre-1970 motorcycles are:

1948 R 35 - Sold for $12,650
1958 R 50 - Sold for $9,900
1968 R 60 US - Not sold for $9,000
1966 R 50/2 - Sold for $16,500 (very interesting)
1968 R 69 US - Not sold for $12,000
1968 R 69 S - Not sold for $12,000
1966 R 60/2 - Not sold for $10,000
1968 R 50/2 - Not sold for $12,000
1952 R 51 Racer? - Not sold for $24,000
1968 R 69 S - Sold for $19,800
1968 R 60 US - Not sold for $17,000
1959 R 26 - Sold for $9,900
1935 R 17 - Sold for $110,000
1929 R 62 - Sold for $82,500
1924 R 32 - Not sold for $130,000
1927 R 47 - Sold for $79,200
1969 R 60/2 with sidecar - Sold for $45,100
1966 R 50/2 - Sold for $8,800
1939 R 66 - Sold for $31,900 (I should have bought this one for close to this price)
1938 R 12 - Sold for $44,000
1928 R 42 - Sold for $46,200
1925 R 37 - Not sold for $50,000

ALL SOLD PRICES INCLUDE BUYERS PREMIUM, so the hammer price was less.
James Wonder
Vice President, Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners
2022 BMW Friend Of the Marque
Long Island, New York

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Darryl.Richman
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Re: Current Values are DOWN!

Post by Darryl.Richman »

It might be that the stock market is hitting record highs and housing prices are rising, so collectables are not in as much demand as a hedge.
--Darryl Richman

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Re: Current Values are DOWN!

Post by sherman980 »

James,
The sky is NOT falling even if the "weather" in Vegas was a bit "overcast" this year. Been attending Vegas for over 30 years now as both a buyer and seller, and some years are stronger than others for lots of reasons - economy, covid, etc. It is also a venue that LOVES "shiny"! So, while "significant" unrestored bikes occasionally do well, most "used" bikes just get a sort of "eh" from a pricing standpoint. Up until the last five or six years, it was NOT a great venue for BMW's unless they were super shiny AND from a known name. Last year was a bit of an exception when Mecum caught the BMW 100th anniversary bug and promoted the the heck out the marque. Not so this year. Last, while I didn't sort your list by day of sale, for the most part, any sale (or not) before Thursday really doesn't count from a pricing vantage point as the crowd is typically very small, the bikes for sale are typically not very interesting from a collector's vantage point (lot's of dealers loading up on shop inventory for the coming season) and mostly inexpensive. A great couple of days to buy a 1982 Honda rider or less interesting BMW that got consigned at the last minute so ended up on Tuesday or Wednesday because there was no space left on the "good days"... So...

How many average /2's could the crowd absorb this year, definitely not as many as showed up. I haven't done a population count of "used" /2's over the years, but it struck me as lot of them this year - most nice used bikes. And despite of (or maybe because of) the enthusiasm that was generated last year, there wasn't a significant presence of high dollar collectors for the more expensive offerings. There were two significant prewar sellers there that together brought a lot of pre-war BMWs than a more "typical" Vegas (not a super promoted 100th Anniversary year) can absorb. Most of the restorations were quite nice, but documentation was scarce, and to those who know, LOTS of questions about what was "real" and what wasn't. It's one thing to spend $10k on a bike you "think" is OK, it's another to do the same at $100K or $200K! I won't comment further here. If you were looking for a nice used /2, it was a decent place to buy. Better buys still show up on Craigslist from time to time.

Last, the less than enthusiastic "mood" of the audience was definitely a factor unless you were looking for the rising Japanese classics - early Honda CB750's, early Kawasaki 2-stroke triples, Z1's, etc., or classic dirt bikes (I just don't get that one, but clearly there are a lot of folks who do!). The prices for the more classic Vegas "staples" - pre & post war Harleys and Indians, Triumph twins, etc. - were soft, but mostly not awful. It was definitely a better year to be a buyer this year than a seller for the most part, but the world isn't ending, at least not yet.

Just one guy's view...
Thanks.
Chuck S

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Re: Current Values are DOWN!

Post by sherman980 »

James,
One last thought on this. I'm not (anymore) a "car guy". That said, when I got back from the Mecum Auction on Saturday night, I had a message from a friend inviting me to go to the last day of the Jackson-Barrett Car Auction here in Phoenix. Normally, that auction is either the week before or the week after the Vegas MC Auction. A lot of the car guys normally attend both and they generally bring very "fat" wallets (from an MC perspective) to the MC Auction. That wasn't an option this year, and guessing the results for the higher end $50K up stuff reflected that to some degree. Again, just a thought...
Thanks.
Chuck S

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srankin
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Re: Current Values are DOWN!

Post by srankin »

Could the lower prices be due to more bikes coming up for auction or sale now that older owners or their families are selling?

I don't see many guys under the age of 60 at my friend's airhead shop and sadly each spring brings drop outs who are selling out, thinning out or just died.

Since I don't go to rallies, I have no clue as to if there are young people who are interested in old bikes. NONE of my extended family and friends under 60 family members show any interest in motorcycles at all. The twenty something barely show interest in cars to get around.

With the exception of the latest, I feel, folly on Bring a Trailer, I don't see prices going up anytime soon. The bucket of guys with big bucks interested in these bikes is getting smaller. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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