11 Iconic Motorcycles That Hold Their Value

Much like fine wine, motorcycles often become more coveted and cherished as they age. Yet, not all motorcycles achieve the coveted ‘classic’ status; only a select few ascend to this rank, standing the test of time in terms of aesthetics and value. This article journeys through the annals of motorcycling history to showcase these legendary machines. From iconic British engineering to groundbreaking Japanese design, join us as we delve into the stories, craftsmanship, and allure of these timeless two-wheeled wonders.

Vincent Black Shadow (1948-1955)

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Dubbed the “world’s fastest production motorcycle” in its time, the Vincent Black Shadow is the quintessence of British engineering. With its 998cc V-twin engine and distinctive black engine and gearbox, it reached speeds up to 125 mph. Its scarcity, historical importance, and incredible design make it one of the most sought-after classic motorcycles. Estimated Value: $70,000 – $200,000, depending on condition and model.

Brough Superior SS100 (1924-1940)

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Known as the “Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles,” the Brough Superior SS100 was hand-built, ensuring the highest quality. Sporting a 1000cc JAP or Matchless V-twin engine, it guaranteed a top speed of 100 mph. Given its limited production and the famous clientele like T.E. Lawrence, its value has only risen over time. Estimated Value: $250,000 – $500,000.

Harley-Davidson Knucklehead (1936-1947)

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This iconic American motorcycle introduced the overhead valve V-twin engine design, greatly influencing future Harley models. Its unique “knucklehead” rocker covers give it its name. Its role in shaping the future of motorcycles and its distinctive look ensures it remains in high demand. Estimated Value: $20,000 – $65,000.

Honda CB750 (1969)

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Often dubbed the “first superbike,” the CB750 revolutionized the motorcycle world with its inline-four engine, electric start, and front disc brake. Its groundbreaking design and role in transforming the market make it a must-have for collectors. Estimated Value: $10,000 – $30,000 for pristine models. (Note that a 1977 CB750 is pictured above).

Ducati 916 (1994-1998)

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Designed by Massimo Tamburini, the Ducati 916 is not just a performance powerhouse but also an art piece. With its twin-cylinder engine and striking looks, it won World Superbike Championships and hearts worldwide. Estimated Value: $15,000 – $40,000.

BMW R69S (1960-1969)

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Representing German precision, the R69S was BMW’s top-of-the-line sport bike. Its 594cc boxer engine and Earles fork front suspension give it distinctive handling and ride, making it a desired piece for BMW aficionados. Estimated Value: $15,000 – $30,000.

Indian Scout (1920-1949)

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An American classic, the Indian Scout has a distinct place in motorcycling history. With its robust V-twin engine and innovative design, it found a place in both war and peace times, adding to its legendary status. Estimated Value: $15,000 – $40,000.

Triumph Bonneville T120 (1959-1975)

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Named after the Bonneville Salt Flats, this bike symbolized the café racer culture. Its 650cc parallel-twin engine and timeless design have made it an icon in motorcycling. Estimated Value: $10,000 – $25,000.

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport (1971-1974)

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Italy’s answer to the superbike era, the V7 Sport featured a 748cc V-twin engine and a distinct Tonti frame. Its balance of performance and style ensure its enduring popularity. Estimated Value: $15,000 – $30,000.

Kawasaki Z1 (1972-1975)

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Japan’s answer to the superbike challenge, the Z1, with its 903cc inline-four engine, dominated its era. Its technical prowess and influential design have preserved its value. Estimated Value: $10,000 – $25,000.

Norton Commando 750 (1967-1977)

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Renowned for its ‘Isolastic’ system, this British twin was smooth and powerful. Its innovative design and role in British motorcycling history ensure its collectible status. Estimated Value: $10,000 – $20,000.

This article originally appeared on MyCarMakesNoise.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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