• New Member Special Offer

    Join the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club today, and get a special offer of 14 months for the price of 12 (your membership will expire on 31st December 2020)!

    There is a mass of information, including many thousands of technical articles which have been written since the Club started in 1948, which are only available to Members of the Club. Once you join, your membership of this forum will be upgraded and you'll get access to them, as well as many other features.

    To join, simply click HERE and follow the simple instructions.

    Ron and Linda Thomas - Membership Secretaries.
  • Welcome to the website of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club.

    Should you have any questions relating to the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club, or Vincent H.R.D. motorcycles in general, please contact Graham Smith, Hon. Editor and Webmaster by calling 07977 001 025 or please CLICK HERE.

    You are unrecognised, and therefore, only have VERY restricted access to the many features of this website.

    If you have previously registered to use this forum, you should log in now. CLICK HERE.

    If you have never registered to use this website before, please CLICK HERE.

Classic bike values


Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I exported an early B to Australia some 3+ years ago and had to sign an affidavit that there was no asbestos in the brakes. As I had had them relined here in town and knew exactly what was in them, I could do that easily. They didn't ask about the clutch, or the friction disks in the front suspension or steering damper.
Can you imagine having to deal with a car with an older automatic transmission when the customs guys twig that there are clutches in it!

On the subject of value, as some may know I do have a couple of more pricey Vincents, and frankly if they dropped in value it would bother me a bit BUT in some ways I would be fine with it. I remember having a wonderful tear up the Duffy Lake road a few years ago on one of those bikes, and really (no I mean REALLY) enjoying it and at one particularly tight corner with not much between me and eternity suddenly thought -- it would be foolish to bin it (and me) up this road. It did slow me down a bit, but as has been stated, the real value I have got from my Vincents (and perhaps my RC51) is riding them.

This picture is at the north end of the road just before Lillooet. Ask Arthur Farrow about this road........2013-09-10 13.25.27.jpg
 

Sakura

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Magnetoman,
All your points are very valid. Regarding the last one about monetary value, that is also understandable. I too am a family man and would wish to pass on what I have accumulated. I have a very comprehensive workshop with machine tools, neither of my sons have any interest in things mechanical. So, when I shuffle off my mortal coil all will have to be sold or passed on to others. As most stuff is imperial it won't fetch a fraction of its initial cost but it has all earned its keep for me. I'm aware this doesn't completely address your last point but my point is I love my bikes purely for their value to me, I pay what I have to to possess them and sell them in order to buy something else. If their value was less, true enthusiasts could afford them. I have a close association with a big classic bike dealers and think prices are crazy. Just my views of course, I have no monopoly on vision for the future.
All the views expressed here are just what I expected from true enthusiasts.
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
had to sign an affidavit that there was no asbestos in the brakes.
I think things have changed since then. A 5-page document dated 2019 from their Border Force points out that "A 'face value' letter from the supplier, or the supplier's mechanic, merely stating there is no asbestos content is unlikely to provide sufficient assurance." Elsewhere in that document it says "This highlights the necessity for the owner to know the vehicle they are importing, to understand where asbestos is likely to be present, and to be able to provide evidence of having addressed that risk." This is an issue of no small concern to me at the present because of a major project I'm involved with.

As an aside, Border Force accepts asbestos tests "carried out to meeting Australian requirements for laboratory reporting." Those requirements accept analysis using a polarized microscopic technique called 'dispersion staining'. As an indication of my level of interest in this issue, I'm set up with the necessary polarized microscope, dispersion staining objective, and high dispersion refractive index liquids.
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
neither of my sons have any interest in things mechanical.
You've done things wrong. I got my younger daughter interested in motorcycles at a fairly early age. She's accompanied me on the past 3-4 Irish Rallies, as a rider not a pillion passenger, and she "owns" a Gold Star Catalina. I put that in quotes because I gave it to her with the condition I get to keep it myself until I no longer "need" it. I'm also working on the next generation. My Christmas shopping assignment this year is to find an electric motorcycle suitable for my 7-year old granddaughter.

We each have a "supply" of classic motorcycles but it's up to us to generate our own "demand" for them when we're gone.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My son Ben is very much into motorcycles and building them. But it is a two edged sword I only had to say "its getting harder to kick the twin in a rush nowadays" and he talks me into letting him have it to race. I dont think I encouraged him to much, (I cant stand 'side line shouters') but he always wanted to come to the racing with me and I found this picture from forty years ago....
1575221223887.png
Now he is suffering with Grandson Ruben (11) who is into British Mini Bike racing(BMB)
And believe me if you think you have seen all motorcycle sport that's an eye opener!
 

Whiteshadow15

Active Website User
VOC Member
I think there's another factor. Most of us are getting up in years. That seems to be true for owners of vintage bikes of all sorts. By and large younger folks, if they have any interest in motorcycles at all are into the new stuff. So as we age out, a glut of bikes will inevitably wind up on the market. I think that process is already playing out. It will only increase.

Gary

I think this will be more and more apparent as the years go on. I have been an avid bike-enthusiast and have been around like minded friends since I was a teenager. I am in my early-ish 30s and have been amazed at how the majority of my biker friends know next to nothing about Vincents, Brough Superiors, or anything of the sorts. We all grew up lusting over sport bikes early on and have noticed some shifted to the big cruisers and others to making cafe racers from old Hondas and Triumphs, yet I am the only one who ended up in the Vincent world after some sheer good fortune.

We have already begun to see the mid-80's-90's Japanese car market begin to go crazy and I suspect the motorcycles are not far behind.
 

Sakura

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
You've done things wrong. I got my younger daughter interested in motorcycles at a fairly early age. She's accompanied me on the past 3-4 Irish Rallies, as a rider not a pillion passenger, and she "owns" a Gold Star Catalina. I put that in quotes because I gave it to her with the condition I get to keep it myself until I no longer "need" it. I'm also working on the next generation. My Christmas shopping assignment this year is to find an electric motorcycle suitable for my 7-year old granddaughter.

We each have a "supply" of classic motorcycles but it's up to us to generate our own "demand" for them when we're gone.
I don't agree, I never wanted to influence my children regarding jobs, hobbies, politics, religion, etc. Their lives are theirs to lead. My job was to love, educate and support them. My parents never told me how to lead my life, my mistakes are mine alone. I wouldn't have it any other way. When my oldest son was about 18 I pointed to my two genuine Rocket Goldies and said "one day these will be yours". Quick as a flash he said "yes, but not for long!". Just as it should be.
 

Sakura

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I think this will be more and more apparent as the years go on. I have been an avid bike-enthusiast and have been around like minded friends since I was a teenager. I am in my early-ish 30s and have been amazed at how the majority of my biker friends know next to nothing about Vincents, Brough Superiors, or anything of the sorts. We all grew up lusting over sport bikes early on and have noticed some shifted to the big cruisers and others to making cafe racers from old Hondas and Triumphs, yet I am the only one who ended up in the Vincent world after some sheer good fortune.

We have already begun to see the mid-80's-90's Japanese car market begin to go crazy and I suspect the motorcycles are not far behind.
There will always be people like you that buck the trend and follow a different road but you will/are in a minority. With luck, classic bikes will fall heavily in value in years to come and you will be able to expand your experience with other quality classic bikes. I know, from experience, that the upcoming interest is in Japanese, Italian etc bikes and prices for those bikes are rising.
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I don't agree, I never wanted to influence my children regarding jobs, hobbies, politics, religion, etc.
I'm not sure we disagree by all that much. I'm sure you did try to influence your children in certain ways, like avoiding drugs. We tried to expose our two daughters to every experience we could as they grew up, never knowing which ones would "stick" and which wouldn't. Just the act of exposing them to things, as opposed to minimizing their exposure to the world, was an act of influencing them. But, what they wanted to pursue, or not pursue, was up to them.

My older daughter had zero interest in motorcycles, which was fine, and my younger daughter did have an interest, which also was fine. When I wrote "I got her interested," it actually was by accident. My wife already had left for work and my car wouldn't start one morning so I asked her if she wanted to ride to elementary school on a motorcycle. She jumped at that. At some time around then we took another ride, were going pretty fast when the road had an undulation in it, and she screamed "faster, daddy, faster!" So, since she liked motorcycles, when she was older the opportunities to attend two motorcycle road racing schools and a performance car driving school were offered to her , but it was up to her whether or not to take advantage of those opportunities (which she did).
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Mine must have been a bit younger, she screamed "More speed full, more speed full" although I do remember she was siting on the gas tank at the time! Went on to horses (following her Mother) for the adrenaline rush but now she says when her children get a little older she will go get her m/c licence and has an eye on the GB500 (and the Comet!)
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Went on to horses (following her Mother) for the adrenaline rush but now she says when her children get a little older she will go get her m/c licence
Both of my daughters went into horses. The one with zero interest in motorcycles went into the highly controlled dressage, while the younger one went into the adrenaline-generating hunter-jumper and cross-country. She had been thrown and knocked out in competition, got her mc license soon after it was possible, and then learned to ride on a Ducati 900. I thought this was going to be a big issue with my wife, but she said that she wished it had happened sooner because not only are motorcycles less expensive than horses, they're less dangerous.
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I always tell the horsey crowd when they start going on about horse accidents that they need to take up a safe sport - like racing motorcycles.
At 16 the daughter was BC provincial Dressage champion, and was eventing. later on got kicked in the warm up ring, rode the cross country course, went past me with tears streaming down her face, and I gave her a bad time about her jumping style. Dragged her off the horse, having gone clear and iced the sore ankle. When home several hours later took her to emergency for x rays, now late in the evening, and as we walk down the hallway the doc holds the x rays up to the fluorescent ceiling light and says, wow, that is a very unusual break! Went on to A pony Club. Ended up with a Dressage schoolmaster and still loves the horses to this day!

But enough of this, the bikes are worth what you value them at, whether pleasure or financial, and to each his own!
 

stu spalding

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My father, on hearing of my broken leg (1987), said "Bloody dangerous things, motorbikes" I asked him if he had any broken bones to which he replied that he'd broken a collarbone falling off a horse. I said "Bloody dangerous things, horses" He was not amused. Cheers, Stu.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Much as I love my Vincents, Which I got when they were cheap, They are not that good, Lots of faults,
Mind you it was still hard for me to get the money together at the time.
These prices have got out of hand, So they need to come down, Or they will only be owned by investers.
If I sold mine, I don't think I would or could ask these stupid prices.
 

erik

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My son and me on the windy Corner Meeting near Bonn this year .first time he went with the comet.First time with right Hand gearlever and lefthand footbrake.No Problem.Erik
 

Jorgen Rutegard

Active Website User
VOC Member
I own and ride a Vincent because I like the machine, and still more, I like riding it. The value is secondary, but not unimportant. It urges me to look after the bike, keep it roadworthy, and keep an eye upon it when being out and about.
 

erik

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Jorgen I can follow you 100%. It is a good Thing if the next Generation has a Little bit interest on the Vincent motorcycles.The high value makes it easier to decide buying expensive spareparts.This is a big difference to my Yamaha sr500 which costs a Little bit more than my black shadow speedometer.
 

John Oakes

Active Website User
VOC Member
Firstly Magnetoman. Greetings. I imported a Black Shadow into Australia two years ago. I will not confirm or deny there was a substantial amount of asbestos in the AM4 brake linings. The bike sailed through customs.
Sakura. Yes and no. I think quality will always win out as investments and for long term owner/collectors. Grey porridge has merely benefitted from the trickle down effect. I always rebut the issue of young people vs old bikes by looking at the prices of veteran and vintage vehicles; they are on the up. Not sure what is happening but any quality pre 1920s machinery seem to be doing just fine and the mid 20s to 30s stuff seem to be holding station. The availability of parts for Vincents is a major plus when selling compared to Douglas, Sunbeam and Raleigh. I have no idea what Brough owners can get. What also interests me is I know a few 30 and 40 somethings who rent but own significant machinery. Priorities are changing maybe.
I agree with the above. The prices of pre war bikes have been solid this year. Just look at the strong prices of cammy velo projects and spares at bonhams and brightwells. The ss100 brough that fetched £420k in March at the h and h auction in need of full restoration. Also there was the series A comet (non matching numbers) that fetched £100k at bonhams in April. Flat tank Norton’s, bullnose sunbeams, rudge Ulster’s, 1938/39 triumph twins all fetching strong money. Much of the brit 50’s to 70’s bikes even Vincent’s have stepped back in price ( particularly series d) only the Japanese sports and lightweight 2 strokes and bikes like rd 350’s fetch rising amounts even fs1 tiddlers are regularly going for over £5k now. So there’s never been a better time ( in the last 5 years at least )to buy a norton, Bsa or triumph twin which gives greater opportunity to enter and be part of the classic bike world. I am 41 and know of a growing number of my peers and younger getting into the classic scene ( including Brit bikes) but through different routes than picking up the old bike mart or joining the vmcc and going to stafford. They follow and feed their interest through instagrammers at the bikeshed, Seymour motorcycles or read the blogs of vintagent and venues like caffeine and machine. The interest is definitely out there and growing if you look in the right places.
 

Latest Forum Threads

Can't Find What You Need?

Top