If you are looking for an ultra-exclusive investment, then here are ten of the rarest machines that are currently for sale in the UK. Brace yourself, some come with price tags that may require a second mortgage...
Currently for sale through Racing & Investment Motorcycles, the R7 itself is rare enough as only 500 were ever produced, but this one is even more exclusive as it was never a road bike. Imported into the UK from Italy, it is one of only seven R7s that were built purely as trackday bikes by Yamaha Italy and as such lacks all its road-going gubbins. This is both good and bad news – good news as it means it has made the price tag of £18,500 lower than normal, bad as it means you will need to spend a few quid trying to locate parts if you do want to ride it on the road, which will be a challenge. That said, it has only 600 miles on its clocks and has been stood still in a private collector’s garage for years and is therefore in excellent condition. But what is going on with those anodised bits? www.racing-motorcycles.co.uk
This is a great option for someone wanting a rare bike to actually ride and not just polish. Described as ‘cosmetically not in perfect condition’ the fact it has a massive service history (15 old MoT certificates!), is a UK bike and loads of old invoices is reassuring. Classics deserve to be ridden and that’s what this bike’s pervious owner has done. The price tag of £12,000 that Fondseca are asking is about right as it isn’t the iconic first generation H2, it is the second generation H2A model, which is worth less as it isn’t as powerful. www.fondseca.com
Norton are riding on something of a high after the unveiling of their new V4, but this is their most exclusive model and one you can actually ride tomorrow. The Bike Specialists have this Domiracer, number 9 of only 50 ever built and with just 650 miles on its clocks, for sale at £43,980. The Domiracer cost £24,000 new and every one was quickly snapped up, which is why they are commanding such a premium in the collector’s market. It uses the firm’s parallel twin air-cooled motor and matches it to some cool café racer styling with a carbon seat, aluminium tank and lots of other beautiful details. It is also catastrophically loud! www.thebikespecialists.com
Colin Seeley is a bit of a legend when it comes to motorcycle design and was also involved in running the Norton Rotary race team, which is why this more than affordable classic is interesting. Priced at just £5750 through www.vintagebike.co.uk, this Seeley Honda is one of only 150 machines built by Seeley and is a CB750F2 with a Seeley bodykit on a standard Honda frame and is the updated version of the original 1977 ‘Phil Read Replica’ TT F1 bike. It’s a very unique and interesting machine, but one for fans of niche models rather than popular headline grabbers.
If you are after rare bikes, look no further than Made in Italy Motorcycles (www.madeinitalymotorcycles.com) who specialise in searching out the best of the best – which is exactly what this is. Described as the ‘holy grail’ of Ducati models, this original 750SS (or green fame as they are known) is quite simply stunning. Only 200 were ever made and it was the first Ducati road bike model to feature a desmo valve train and is based heavily on Paul Smart’s Imola 200- winning machine. There is no price tag, but it is one of those machines that if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. As a guide, one was sold by Bonhams in 2008 for £41,100 and they have gone up considerably since then…
This is a bit of a strange one as while the NSR250 is rare, this generation isn’t stupidly rare just yet. However this bike still caught our eye, mainly as it is described as being in excellent condition and is priced at £4500 by dealer Motorcycle Mart in Kidderminster (www.motorcyclemart.co.uk) and is therefore worth a look. This is the MC18 model, which is the second NSR generation and isn’t that sought after compared to the MC28 SP, which is the cream of the crop. There was a Rothman’s Rep MC18 SP, but this looks like the cooker. Why should you consider it? The MC18 was sold from 1988 until 1990 when the MC21 replaced it, so although a fair few were built, most have either been crashed or seized solid by this point and that makes them collectable. Riders always go weak at the knees when it comes to two-stroke race reps and you can’t go wrong with an NSR. But what about an RS….
Brace yourself, this is sex on a stick and has a price tag to match. The Honda RS250 is not to be confused with the Aprilia RS250 as it isn’t a road bike, it’s a full-on racer that was made by HRC in limited numbers for 250GPs. The V-twin two-stroke makes around 80bhp and according to sellers Fastline (www.fastline.co.uk) is totally original and hardly used, which is great news and very rare indeed for a racer. Fastline were massive in the grey import world in the 1990s and they know their stuff, which is why it costs £13,999, but it has had a full strip and rebuild and new rings etc. If you like classic racers, this is pretty damn trick, just be aware it isn’t one of the works bikes, which are pretty much unobtainable, it’s very much a privateer-spec GP bike.
This bike is both criminal and beautiful in equal measures. Criminal as it has never been out of a crate and that means you can never remove it for fear of losing loads of money, beautiful as it is an MV Oro. Due to be auctioned off by Bonhams at the Spring Stafford Sale (www.bonhams.com), it has an expected price of £28,000 to £36,000, but it will probably go for considerably more. Released in 1998, the Oro was the first run of MV’s new F4 750 with the Oro standing for gold. Only 300 were built and this bike is number 8. So what are you getting? The Oro came with a magnesium swingarm, frame and wheels, sand cast engine cases and full carbon bodywork and tank to name just a few of its highlights. It was not only super-limited, it also cost in the region of £30,000, which was twice the cost of the stock F4. Absolutely stunning, but that’s a hell of a price for an ornament!
This is another bike from the Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale, but it is so rare it we simply couldn’t miss it out of our top ten. This actual bike won the first ever 350cc World Championship at the hands of British rider Freddie Frith in 1949. Yes, the first ever 350GP title, so it is a true one of a kind and has an estimated price tag to match of £120,000 to £150,000. Like so many racers, the bike was broken up after the race but the actual championship-winning motor and frame were reunited and then rebuilt using genuine works parts, so this is as accurate to the bike as it could ever be. What a piece of history – what a price! www.bonhams.com
There are some that dismiss the RC45 as a pale shadow of the legendary RC30, but the simple truth is that there were more RC30s built than RC45s, which makes the later bike rarer. This beautiful machine is for sale at Classic Superbikes (www.classicsuperbikes.co.uk) and according to them it is number 234 of RC45s 1270 built, which compares to the estimated 4800 RC30s that exited HRC’s workshops. What do you need to know about this RC45 other than the fact it is in excellent condition, standard aside from its screen and a hugger and has covered just 18,915 miles. It recently spent several years on display at the Honda Institute and has been completely recommissioned, so it’s a turn-key, ready to ride classic. Lovely, but it does cost £27,500…