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Mecum Las Vegas 2018 Preview

While the collector car world kicks off it’s auction season this week with the Scottsdale auctions, motorcycle collectors and enthusiasts wait for the following week for the Las Vegas events with their exclusive motorcycle events. Here are a couple dozen that stood out to us with most coming from two collections at the Mecum auciton. We take a stab at guessing sale values and hope you’ll chime in with your estimates in the comments as well.

Good luck to buyers and sellers!


Bob Weaver Collection

1988 Buell RR1200 1B9RR11G5J2133008

Our Estimate: $20,000

1993 Honda CBR900RR 8,300 Miles JH2SC802PM104757

Our Estimate: $8,500

1994 Honda CBR900RR with 419 Miles JH2SC280RM202085

Our Estimate: $7,000

1986 Honda VF1000R Very Low Miles (32?) JH2SC1604GM100402

Our Estimate: $10,000

1999 YAMAHA YZF-R7 OW02 697 Miles JYARM0111XA000401

Our Estimate: $27,000

1992 KAWASAKI ZX7RR 1 Mile! JKAZXDK14NA007139

Our Estimate: $23,000

1991 Yamaha FZR750RR OW01 8,710 Miles JYA3JVN07MA002114

Our Estimate: $25,000

1999 Laverda 750S Formula 5,006 Miles ZLVSSA107X0001340

Our Estimate: $9,000

1987 Suzuki RG500 Restored HK31A101535

Our Estimate: $17,000

1988 Ducati 851 Kit ZDM851S85009

Our Estimate: $16,000

1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight 4,725 Miles ZDM1LC4N9PB006479

Our Estimate: $12,000

Jeff Schwartz Collection

1985 Honda VF1000R Early Production, Fiberglass Panels JH2SC160XFM001811

Our Estimate: $12,000

Honda RC30 JH2RC3004LM200092 11,280 Miles

Our Estimate: $30,000

1988 Bimota DB1 SR DB100779 No Reserve

Our Estimate: $18,000

Other Lots

1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Limited JS1GR75AXG2107015

Our Estimate: $18,000

1988 Bimota YB7 ~6,500 Miles

Our Estimate: $8,000

1986 Yamaha RZ500 19,500 Miles JYA52X003FA04759

Our Estimate: $14,000

1989 Honda NSR250 MC18 13,300 Miles MC181106212

Our Estimate: $8,500


  • I’m curious why you think the 32-mile 1986 VF1000R which is dead stock and spotless will go for less than the 1985 with aftermarket pipes, missing front signals and mirrors and non-correct for US-spec 1985 European endurance tank? The 1985 serial numbers began JH2SC160*FM000001. This bike is 1811, not that early. More than likely the Euro tank was added by an owner at some point. So this one a a bit cobbled at best and the paint looks a bit tatty in spots on the lower fairing. Add in all SC16 bikes had true fiberglass fairings so nothing special on that 1985. The 1986 on the other hand is as near perfect as you’ll find, and should set a new record for that year as many US buyers prefer the dual headlight set up. I think the 1985 struggles to make $10K and the 1986 might push mid teens, and frankly will be well bought given that bike will likely never see the its 33rd mile on the road. Just my 2 cents as an owner of several of these.

    • Thanks for the excellent analysis and insights, joex-ray!


    • Dan. Thanks for the post. Forgot to mention in my comment but this is a great way to benchmark the kinds of bikes that are being offered.Thank you!

      20-30 year old bikes are bound to have had some improvisation over the years. My guess though is we’ll continue to see top dollar paid for only the best of the best.

    • Great points, thanks for bringing them up! I’ve owned one of these as well and had the same qualms as you. I thought “man, in that case, I’ve got some rare fiberglass bodywork to sell someone, lol” and spotted the tank, exhaust, and mirrors the same as you. I agree, the 85 is not that special, and on any regular day would be worth 4.5-6k imo. The 86 is definitely a peach though.

    • The ’86 VF1000R sold for $15,000 plus $1500 commission = $16,500. The ’85 with F1 slip ones and Euro tank struggled. $4500 plus $450 commission = $4950. Both prices indicative of the condition. I still think the 32-mile ’86 was well bought and has appreciation potential.

  • First of all, great post. Should spark much conversation. I’m sure other RC30 experts will weigh in on the 30 offered here but a few things to note. The bike is currently owned/consigned by Throttle Stop in Elkhart Lake WI (you can see their dealer plate). Ive seen this bike in person. Their listed asking price is $43,900. A few things to consider. The lower fairing has been repainted. You can see from the pics the spacing on the HONDA letters is wrong and it’s actually a brighter blue than stock (which is very dark, near black). The upper fairing has contact damage at the front peak just below where the white and blue meet on the left side. You can see in the pics if you look closely. There’s also left side scuffing on the footpeg, footage bracket and the exhaust pipe leading to the muffler. Beyond that a lot stock bits are in place including reflectors and decals. It will be interesting to see what this brings given an in-person visual inspection will show the defects I mentioned. To the right buyer there’s a lot to like here.

    • The RC-30 was $23.5K 16 months ago.


    • The RC30 is a little bit good (49 state bike; essentially one owner up until end of 2016) and bad (crash). I saw the bike on Craigslist, tried to buy the bike, but get not get to it in a timely manner in August of 2016. The bike was a one owner bike owned by an older gentleman named Randy in Columbia SC. He didn’t tell me details of the crash but was up-front about crash damage and repairs, but didn’t tell me the extent of what happened. It will go for 28-32K I’d guess too. I talked to Throttle Stop and they said they were expecting low 30’s. I don’t think a lot of people recognize what these parts cost as I have seen the last nice exhaust from France on Ebay go for 1k, a rearset on Ebay currently asking $500, decal kits for $300. Saw a lower fairing in San Luis Obispo repainted by Jim Grainger with the gentleman asking 2800 and he told me he sold it. Look up the parted out RC30 from Japan currently up on Ebay and click on sold settings to see what people have to pay for 30 parts when they need them. Watch out for you buyer premium too when bidding: 10% in person, 12% on the internet.

    • Seller was not accepting less than $23,500 on the phone and that was what I was going to by the bike for…if anything sold for $1k less.

    • I’m the guy who bought the Grainger repainted RC30 lower fairing that was on Craigslist. Gave $2500 for it including shipping. It looks new, but still, that’s the most, by far, I’ve paid for a single fairing piece. Like you said, RC30 cosmetics are just non existent, in good shape at least. Since then I’ve had Jim repaint another lower and a fiberglass fuel tank (I’m taking the RC on some track days don’t want to was the stock aluminum tank) – his work can’t be beat and his prices are fair. I wouldn’t hesitate to get a deal on a rashed RC and send the fairings to Jim to be restored.

      Good luck at the auction.

    • Billy. Thanks for joining the conversation. While that price might raise eyebrows, it is what it is if you want as close to original as availability allows. I previously owned a CA RC30 that had the upper and lower fairings repainted by Jim. Agree his attention to detail is exacting down to the slightly crooked front fairing HONDA decal placement. He has been using repo decals for a while as even his stock of originals has been exhausted. A few of us have socked away some original Honda decals just in case. Maybe even some NOS bodywork…but I’m not talking…

  • Any bets 2 of these 18 bikes will meet or exceed your estimates? I’d take a bet on that!
    I give you credit for putting $ estimates to them–that’s brave!
    Watching car Mecum lately, my take is prices seem down a little from last year, but I could be wrong.

    • We tried to reference recent sales of similar bikes. Of course at a live auction it always comes down to how many people in the room want to fight over the sale. But many of these have reserves, so we’ll have to see if high bid is reported as well.


    • The bike stuff is on the way up more so, especially when the car stuff is flat or down. More and more car people are looking at the bike stuff for lots of reasons. 100K doesn’t buy as much of car as you’d like to think, and this 100K buyer has no problem paying 60-70 and now even 80K for a new Desmodici that you saw for even a couple years ago for 40K+. Been to Mecum and Bonhams last few years in Vegas, and while there are some fair prices, you start believing you can purchase it, go ahead and try and you’ll realize that price will not remain ‘fair’ for long. Single buyers will bid/buy similar bikes say, all the homologation models, or all the Ducati Superbikes. You have to be in the bids early and quit when your at a bid or two above your max. The bikes that go for ‘fair’ prices really aren’t the norm. They are bought by experienced, confident, strong bidders that will jump the bids up and you’ll recognize that you should quit bidding. And a lot of the buyers of the bikes are the sellers that simply are buying if they sell a bike and swapping dollars and do pay more if their bike sale exceeds their expectations. If they transported the bike there and sell it, of course they want to bring a bike back with them for free shipping costs.

  • I’m going to the auction. I really hope your high on your estimates, as I already paid my $100 bidding fee. I am hoping, as all buyers are, that the prices will be reasonable. I’ve never been to a big auction, so I guess we will see. I am scheduled to go every day. If the prices are crazy high, I’ll avoid the last two days.

    • Rule #1: Know your limit and stick with it. It is so easy to get caught up in the bidding process- especially in a large format auction like Mecum. When you do bid, jump in with confidence; hesitation is a sign of weakness.

      Other than that, keep your eyes open. The feel of the room changes throughout the day, and good buys sneak through. You just have to be open.

      And finally, have fun! It’s not often you get to see this many bikes in one location, much less bid on them. Enjoy the show!

      – Mike

  • How about mentioning the 1985 RZ350NC Kenny Roberts with just 3 original miles going up there?

    $15k+ all day in my opinion…might have a $20k+ reserve though.

    Don’t forget the little guys!!

  • Thanks Dan for this update. I’m going out there as well with my close friend. Have my eye on about 6 but appreciate joe-x’s comments as the rc30 was one of em. I was staring at the pics for the last week and Have found myself picking it apart. His comments confirmed that it’s not a top dollar bike so better off importing one. One thing about these auctions…you just never know! I took a barn fine porsche super speedster to the gooding auction last jan and it went crazy. Really hope I can bring home at least one new toy but guess we will see. Fingers crossed!!! Hope to see some of you guys out there!

    • I would think prices will be high this year. The US stock market is up, taxes going down, so I’d think some people will be feeling flush and throwing caution to the wind if its a bike that tickles their pickle. We’ll see.

    • If the RC30 at Mecum goes for $30K or more it’s good for current owners given the investment it would take to get that particular bike cosmetically up to par. Probably bad for folks looking for one as an indication that even bikes that need attention have cracked $30K. As many have said before looks like the days of clean, relatively low-mile and unmolested RC30s going in the low 20s are probably over.

      If you want a no compromise original, take a break from the Mecum auction and head over to Bonhams for this 14-mile original.


      Note Bonham’s buyer’s premium is 15% of the first $100K.

    • Totally agree if that RC breaks $30k it’s a strong indicator that values are on the rise. Last “good deal” I saw on one was only a few months back right on this site. California bike with black wheels, dry clutch(!) And was owned by Grainger at one point and clean as a pin. Very nice example but I think the non-stick bits, as cool as they are, hurt the value. I almost pulled the trigger on that one to rob the cool parts off and replace with my stock bits, the guy was willing to take around $23k as I recall. But I was lazy and didn’t want the hassle at the time. For me, I like the trick ex-factory kit pieces on a homologation special, but I understand those who want 100% stock. I use mine as a track bike to remind myself I’m not 25 years old anymore, and for that, the trick stuff makes things more fun than stock.

      I expect overall, these 80s/90s gen sportbikes have a lot of upside. The guys like me who lusted after them when they were new are getting old enough to have extra money and big garages. I think this same thing fueled the muscle car craze – the guys who wanted them when new became grandfathers 20 years ago, wanted a remembrance of their youthful indiscretions and drove the prices up. While I think a Crocker or Vincent is cool and all, I don’t have a personal connection with the older stuff and I’d take a Kevin Schwantz Pepsi RGV or Bubba Shobert VFR all day long over the older more valuable stuff.

    • The RC30 lot S148 hammered sold for $40K US plus $4000 buyer commission. As I said I’ve seen this bike at Throttle Stop in Elkhart Lake. (Refresher: Had gone down on the left side. Upper fairing still shows rash. Lower fairing repainted with incorrect HONDA repo decal. Foot pegs, shifter and muffler connecter rashed.) This was at best a $25K bike a year ago…maybe still is. Kind of blown away.

  • I just heard that the auction is cancelled. Please let everyone you know that there will be no auction this year so cancel your hotels now so you can still get a refund. Trying a new tact since I have a feeling I won’t be able to afford anything. All kidding aside, with the buyer premium they tack on, regardless of bidding, not gonna be cheap! I think it’s 10% on top of the bids to the buyer…

    • For those who like digging through a pile to find a deal, this auction looks like a lot of fun: http://www.jwoodandcompany.com/

  • The Bonham’s 14-mile RC30 hammered today for $92,000 including commission. Wow!

    • Been at the Mecum Auction all week. Bid on 6 bikes. Won exactly ZERO! Haha. The completed sales are averaging 93% this year. Last year was 74% average, the year before was 65%. Bubble anyone?
      The only “deal” was the first 86 LTD that went for 11000 all in. The second one was a turd, and didnt sell.
      I guess I’m back to Craigslist, Cycletrader, and Ebay. Very very good time to sell.

    • James. Which bikes did you bid on? I was a phone bidder and got top bid on two. One for me and one I was bidding on for a friend. For anyone considering Mecum, while no one likes fees and commissions, they were true pros from bidder registration (Kelly is awesome), to phone previews, to actual bidding and then shipping/payment contracting. Really impressed.

    • I bid on the first 86 Ltd, the ZX7RR, 93 CBR, 94 CBR, RC30, etc. The only one I missed was the OWO1. 17k all in. It was the steal of the week. The 88 GSXR went for 7k. Funny, I offered 6k last year when it was on Craigslist in San Diego, but was turned down. With fees, seller netted $5950. You never know.
      The only solice on the OWO1: I keep telling myself the motor was blown up, even if it is probably perfect. Dang

    • Thanks James. Auctions are a bit crazy. Particularly trying to guess which periods and specific bikes have peaked and which are on the rise and have future potential even though they seem high compared to just a year ago. Like cars, the market floods a bit when a few great examples bring top dollar. But often the prices drivers bring aren’t better than Craigslist. That was shown with Honda CBXs. Values are flat or down as there are too many average drivers being offered. I think there were 6 ’79s and 6 ’81s or thereabouts. This auction confirmed that original bikes rule and low mileage is the holy grail in value (the only exception is under 10-mile 1981 CBXs as those were likely “school” bikes that have a stigma from being student practice bikes). The 32-mile ’86 VF1000R brought $16,500 with fees and probably was still well bought as that model has at least a few years of potential. But others 1000Rs that were more driver bikes struggled to make even $5000 and rightly so.

      Not sure why the OW01 didn’t go higher. Did you inspect it on site? The RC30 was the opposite. Way above values seen in the last year and shown here for better bikes. That was a seismic shift in the RC30 market. Despite its cosmetic damage it proved stock and relatively low miles count for a ton. You won’t see truly clean, original bikes under $30K again and if you do buy everyone and consign to Mecum. With the Bonham’s 14-mile RC30 going for $92K, it will be interesting to see if any of the couple zero-mile bikes that regularly pop up in the U.K. for $50-$60K get snapped up and flipped. Too rich a gamble for my blood or bank account.

      In full disclosure, I won the ’94 CBR900RR. It was a freak of originality with only 419 miles despite having an aftermarket windscreen. So I paid a bit more than I’d hoped but the 90s non-homologation bikes I believe are well before their peak. Particularly iconic ones. And still less than the top GB500s (which I think are near or at peak). A friend of mine took home the ’93 RWB CBR900RR. That bike too wasn’t cheap. But still less than some eBay sales for bikes not as original or low mile.

      A takeaway I’ve had is the power of this RSB4S site. Great job guys. In part it’s done for sport bike value what Bring a Trailer has done for cars. The exposure and accurate critique adds credibility that has directly increased values. Frankly when it comes time to sell any of my truly collectible bikes I’m starting with a featured listing here. There really is no better forum.

  • Also the Bimota went for only $4000 plus commission. That is cheap.

    • I was the last bid on both CBR’s before you guys got them. I gave up. Small world. Hope you enjoy them. I was stuck on the 93 because of the color, first year, blah blah. But man, I stared at the 94 for a LONG time. Yep, other than the windshield, absolutely beautiful mint condition. I’m a little jealous.

    • Thanks James. Sorry there weren’t more so we both could’ve been in. Yes small world.

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