Motorcycle Memorabilia and Collectibles

Motorcycle Memorabilia and Collectibles
The motorcycle collector's market is a world apart from the high prices and hysteria which surround automobilia.

 There is just as much biker detritus left in the wake of a Formula One motorcycle race as in any four-wheeled Grand Prix but it doesn't seem to engender quite the same loyal following. Naturally, motorcycle races lack the same high profile yet the thousands of TT enthusiasts who travel to the Isle of Man each year prove that there is the potential for a strong collectors' market.

 It's impossible to put an exact value on many motorcycle items. Old manuals and magazines, they have a kind of accepted price. So the first issue of'Classic Bike' magazine is worth around £25;$40 otherwise it's what someone's prepared to pay for it."

Motorcycle Memorabilia and Collectibles
Workshop manuals, original sales brochures and histories of individual marques are all very salable, ranging from £10-15 for a modern book  up to £30-50 $50-70 for a rare brochure. Even quite young accessories can be valuable. The motorcycle version of the 1960s' AA badge sells for around £30 $45 while the more common car equivalent would only rate at £5-10 $10 15

Like any collecting field, a few top names grab the lion's share of attention. Harley-Davidson is the one make that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Founded in Milwaukee in 1903 by William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson,

Harley-Davidson has become an American legend. According to Charles E. Deane and Brian Crichton, authors of 'A History of Motorcycling': "

Harleys have remained unique and that is one reason why the Japanese motorcycle invasion of the United States in the 1960s, although damaging to the company, could not destroy the special corner of the market the Harley had.

Motorcycle Memorabilia and Collectibles

The engineering behind the bikes parallels the huge gas-guzzling cars produced in Detroit. Harleys use engines so large they would be adequate for a medium-sized saloon car but these bikes are not geared for high speed; the 55mph speed limit in the USA makes that virtually impossible. Instead, they're intended for ciwsing the vast open spaces of North America in comfort.

Harley-Davidson, as the only US bike manufacturer to survive the 1930s, has a very special place in the hearts of enthusiasts and its iconic status has been exploited to the full by the company. Every conceivable spin-off product is available to the Harley owner - even Harley-Davidson aftershave and beer .

But it's not just Harley-Davidson which has jumped on the collectibles  bandwagon. Licensed products have poured forth, like the Franklin Mint Harley fob watch selling for around £75. $100
 Franklin mint collectors knife, £29.95; $50 Easy Rider video, £10-15; $20 25 and Harley toiletries, £2-3 $5 8 each.The high price of Harleys, both new and vintage, also puts owning one firmly into the middle-class bracket. The high income bracket of the average Harley owner makes them ideal potential collectors.

Motorcycle Memorabilia and Collectibles

Among the American competition, the only name that comes close is that of Indian. In its early days, this was a very innovative company; it became the first to introduce a two-speed counter-shaft transmission incorporating a clutch which won Indian the first three places in the 1911 TT.

Although Indian memorabilia can't compete with Harley-Davidson's vast reservoir of owners, the much shorter life of the company makes Indian memorabilia far rarer. An early Indian racing crash helmet £200- $300

In Britain,  there  motorcycling heritage is second to none. For an all-too-short period after the Second World War, the British bike reigned supreme. Models like the 1948 Vincent Black Shadow set a new benchmark in performance as one of the first 'super bikes': "Vincent memorabilia is very collectible because they were such high quality motorcycles.

Motorcycle Memorabilia and Collectibles

BSA, Triumph and Norton rank as the best British makes and anything - from parts to tank badges - are collectible.

Like the American bike industry before it, British bike producers were dealt a mortal blow by the introduction of a cheap, affordable small motor car that could compete with even the mid-range motorcycles, both in terms of price and running costs The Mini did to British motorcycle companies what the Model T had done to their American cousins.

Motorcycle Memorabilia and Collectibles

The final death throes were the recession of 1979-81 when the last few bike producers in England went under. But, as with so many British firms, ultimate commercial failure makes their associated memorabilia all the more collectible .

Each country likes collecting its own; the Americans have Harley-Davidson and Indian; we have Triumph, Norton, and a dozen others.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing example of Retro Culture the bikers photography is such a wonderful stuff to describe the bike rider’s moments and feelings. The bike rider’s are the very chill and crazy people they do and left any thing for their bike riding fun and experience, in know a days we also have these type of riders and I must advise them to please wear a best motorcycle helmet for making their riding experience very long , enjoyable and memorable for the future’s rider.