Amazing bikes under the hammer: Bonhams Summer Sale features everything from classic GP bikes to budget projects

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The Bonhams Summer Sale is nearly upon us and with a bumper auction full of exciting lots, there’s something to suit every budget. Right at the very top of the tree, is a unique Ducati that’s come to auction as part of the Morbidelli Museum collection.

The 1965 125cc four-cylinder GP bike is famous because it was so complex and took so long to make, and was obsolete before it even hit the track.

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Designed by Fabio Taglioni, whose desmodromic valve action remains on Ducatis to this day, the 125cc four was meant to challenge the dominance of MV Agusta and the emerging threat from Japanese manufacturers.

The bike was originally designed in 1958 but after Ducati withdrew from racing due to financial pressure, it wasn’t resurrected until their return in 1964. Unfortunately for Ducati, less then 12 months later Honda unveiled their five-cylinder 125 and condemned Ducati’s four-potter to the history books in the process. As you might imagine of a bike with such history, there’s a price tag to match with estimates between £400,000 – £600,000.

Heron Suzuki XR11

If that’s a bit rich, then aim a little lower by a factor of 10, you might fancy yourself a little bit of British racing history. Also in the sale is an ex-Texaco Heron Suzuki 750cc XR11 as ridden to victories by Percy Tait at the North West and John Williams at the TT. 

Offered in original and unmolested condition, albeit needing restoration if it’s to take to the track again, the estimate is a much more reasonable £42,000 - £48,000. However, if you’re anything like us, that’s probably still a lot more than you’ve squirreled away in lockdown.

Triton

Perhaps then, you might fancy this Triton, built from a Norton Featherbed frame and a 1956 650cc Triumph Thunderbird motor. Last on the road over 25 years ago, it’s not had much love of late but everything is there for a decent restoration. Estimate is £2000 – £4000 although it’s offered with no reserve, so you could pinch yourself a bargain.

For more info on all the lots, or to register for the auction, head to the Bonhams website.

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.