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Bonhams has some of the coolest items in the world at its auctions, and doubly so when it comes to anything automotive. At this year’s Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auctionand if you really like bikes it’s ratcheting things up with a ton of the world’s finest classic bikes. Here are just a few of the very best.

 
1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
Whereas some bikes are built to emulate the top racers of the day, this one’s the real McCoy. It’s an actual Grand Prix race bike that Ducati put together to race in the late 1950s. At any given race it was the fastest bike out there, but you should know it for a different reason: This was the first of Ducati’s legendary Desmo bikes.
1959 Ducati 175cc F3 Production Racer

With production of the overhead camshaft singles well underway for 1958 the Formula 3 superseded the Marianna (the Gran Sport’s nickname) as a catalogued production racer. The F3 was first offered as a 125 and 175, and from 1960, a 250, and was still largely Marianna based. Almost nothing, however, from the production street bikes was used in the F3.

1990 Honda RC30
It would be hard to argue against the RC30 as the most capable performance bike of the 1980s, considering it won virtually anything it bothered to compete in. In a lot of respects, it defines the entire genre of superbikes, and somehow, this one has remained virgin, having logged just 740 miles in 25 years.
1953 Triumph Tiger T100
Forget the classic lines for a second and check out everything else this bike has going for it. Every single performance option that Triumph offered can be found here, and Triumph has offered so many options on their street bike that Bonhams goes so far as to call the Tiger T100 the original cafe racer. A thought occurs while drooling over this one—they might just have a point.
1942 Harley-Davidson WLA
There are many reasons why Harley became such a prominent brand in the motorcycle world, but this is probably numero uno. Uncle Sam needed a bunch of bikes produced very quickly that could compete with ze Germans. Consequently, the WLA was sent en masse to everywhere there was a fight in WWII, which was, well, almost everywhere. This one saw action in the heart of Europe, where it remained until recently.
1938 Brough Superior SS 100
In its heyday prior to WWII, the SS 100 was considered by many to be the finest motorcycle made, which is probably a good thing, considering it was also among the most expensive. While designed to be a good rider, the SS 100 wasn’t exactly slow, setting and resetting the motorcycle speed record multiple times. As you can see, it’s still a stunner today.

Dawn in the desert was cool on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats on September 13, 1948. Later that morning, a motorcycle and Indianapolis 500 racer and sometime service station manager donned a Speedo-style bathing suit, a bathing cap and sneakers. Then, Rollie Free mounted a Vincent Black Lightning, a hopped-up version of the 1000cc British v-twin, which was then the fastest production motorcycle in the world. Running down the salt supine on the bike, with his legs stretched behind him and toes pointed like a high diver, Free broke the 150mph barrier and the U.S. motorcycle speed record.

A speeding car had captured a picture of the hurtling black Vincent with Free on top, seemingly floating in the white background of the endless salt flats. When it was published in Life magazine, the Vincent burst into the psyche of both American motorcycling and a startled public.

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BONUS KICK ASS CUSTOM BIKE THAT IS SURE TO BECOME A CLASSIC:
Akrapovic Full Moon Concept
You know Akrapovic as a high-end maker of exhaust components for some of Europe’s finest automobiles. Now you know them for this. It’s called the Full Moon. Aside from looking like an insect’s thorax, it features a 30 inch composite wheel and, thanks to an on-board hydraulic system, it can park vertically. If there was any justice in the world, this would’ve been the moon that broke the internet.
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