Rare MotoGP race bikes up for grabs at Bonhams Stafford auction

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An astonishing 24-bike collection of rare racers – including five genuine MotoGP machines – is among the stars of the upcoming Autumn Stafford Sale by auctioneers Bonhams.

The MotoGP machines are all Aprilia ART 1000cc MotoGP bikes, raced by Paul Bird Motorsport between 2012 and 2014 and are part of a unique collection amassed by well-known British sponsor and team owner Phil Morris.

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The Aprilias, two of which are in running condition and estimated to fetch up to £60,000 each, hail from the short-lived CRT (Claiming Rules Team) era. Since then, all privateer MotoGP machines have been leased, meaning they don’t become available to buy.

Five MotoGP bikes are available in the auction

Morris acquired the Aprilias direct from Bird in 2015 and said: "They would have cost €850,000 per bike when new," adding: "This is such a unique opportunity for an individual to buy one or even all five Moto GP machines. You cannot buy a privateer MotoGP bike dating from 2015 onwards."

The bikes are expeted to fetch around £50,000 each. Other rare race bikes in both the Morris collection and Bonhams auction, meanwhile, include an ex-Niall Mackenzie Cadbury’s Boost BSB Yamaha YZF750 from 1995, an ex-David Jefferies 2001 V&M R1, an ex-Joan Mir 2016 Leopard KTM Moto3 bike, an ex-Phil Read 1971 Yamaha TD2 and a gorgeous replica of a Honda RC163 250.

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Morris began collecting in the early 1970s, most recently specialising in dedicated racers and set up a venue in Oswestry, Cheshire in 2007, with 40-60 people visiting every Thursday until the doors closed with the first lockdown last year.  

Apart from the Morris machines, over 500 lots ranging from classic bikes to memorabilia feature in the autumn classics auction - Bonhams' biggest show of the year.

The event will take place at the annual Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at Stafford on Sunday, October 10 and online.

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Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.