Mid-America auction: Triumphs up, race bikes fluctuate

Mike Vaughan
Publish Date: 
Jan 23, 2013
By Mike Vaughan

THE 22ND ANNUAL Mid-America three-day auction was held Jan. 10-12 in Las Vegas. In contrast to last year’s event, when two auctions were held simultaneously, there was only a slight overlap with auction house Bonham’s Thursday event. The Bonham event was held during the day and Mid-America started things off Thursday evening with a dinner auction, and moved into high-gear Friday morning.

Generally, the quality of motorcycles offered was very good, with most in better-than-showroom condition. Mid-America had about 550 motorcycles on offer, ranging from a very extensive collection of beautifully restored MV Agustas to a rare and unrestored 1912 Pierce Flat Belt Single that had been in the same family since 1912; it sold for $132,000.

Overall prices seemed to have recovered from last year’s slump. Well-restored ‘60s Triumphs are back in the $10,000 to $15,000 price range, and there seem to be plenty of them, particularly T100s. For years T100s have been the red-headed stepchild to the more popular 650s, but this year it appears they have come into their own, with prices nearly twice what they would have been several years ago.

Looking at the high end of the spectrum, Vincent Black Shadows are still gaining value, but lesser Vincents don’t seem to be enjoying the same appreciation. Indian Chiefs seemed to have settled in the $20,000 to $25,000 range, but the fours still are bringing big dollars.

Race bikes were a mixed bag, a 1950s BSA factory flat tracker went unsold at $13,500, surprising many. A 1923 unrestored Harley-Davidson board tracker went unsold at $205,000, failing to meet its $240,000 reserve. But there were plenty of flat-trackers on offer, and other race bikes that sold well.

Harleys, reflecting the ongoing popularity of the brand did very well, with a 1961 “barn find,” an unrestored Sportster fetching $5,500.

For images and details on sales go to Mid America's website