Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
Tilting three-wheeled motorcycles look like going mainstream with the showing by Yamaha of a sporting MWT-9 concept at it's press conference at the opening of the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show today. The three-cylinder 850 cm3 MWT-9 concept is described as a "cornering master" and the indications are that it is likely to extend the existing three-wheeled 125 cm3 Tricity scooter into an entire family of three-wheelers.
Yamaha surprised at the Tokyo Motor Show today when it showed a motorcycle-riding robot along with images showing the robot riding Yamaha's 1000cc R1M. The motorcycle-riding humanoid is part of an R&D effort aimed at creating advanced rider safety and rider-support systems.
The strength of the English motorcycle collecting world was on display this week in the United Kingdom, when Bonhams' Stafford Autumn Sale weekend realized
GBP£3.6 million, becoming the biggest (highest grossing) motorcycle
sale ever seen in Europe. The most discussion regarding the sale was not
the beautifully restored top-selling motorcycles but three "basketcases" that sold in the top six lots for US$400,039, $365,454 and
$144,113 respectively (a 1934 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50HP Project) –
three of the four most valuable basketcases in history.
Earlier this week a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase (SWB) Berlinetta (chassis 1995 GT – one just 167 ever built), sold for £7,392,000 (US$11,439,774), becoming just the 26th car in history to sell for beyond seven figures. The 55 year old red V12 Ferrari had been donated by the late Richard Colton, a Ferrari collector, to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (UK). Read on for full details of this new inductee into the de facto auction car "hall of fame" plus pics and auction links to all 26 cars.
Five separate auctions over the next week will see one of the greatest assortments of elite collectible motorcycles ever assembled go under the auctioneer's hammer, including a 1937 Brough Superior SS100 expected to fetch more than US$300,000 and a rare 1956 BMW Rennsport RS500 Type 256 expected to top US$250,000.
Two auctions at the extremities of the world on consecutive days last weekend highlight the importance of the internet in the modern elite auction process. One in Denmark was a raging success, the other, in New Zealand, was not. One employed full internet streaming and bidding, the other did not.
Several culturally significant cars and motorcycles from the sixties and seventies are going to auction in the near future: Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche 356, Steve’s 1958 Chevrolet Impala from American Graffiti, "Black Beauty" from The Green Hornet, Evel Knievel's Harley-Davidson Stratocycle, the Triumph motorcycle ridden by the Fonz in the TV sitcom Happy Days, and Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s Triumph "Sunset Tripper" from The Song Remains The Same.
A New Zealand motorcycle auction this weekend is worthy of the attention of motorcycle collectors worldwide. The sale of a number of important motorcycles and the current NZD-USD exchange rate means there are bargains to be had. Included in the sale are: six rare Bultaco road racing machines including the bike used by Ginger Malloy to finish second in the 1970 World 500cc Championships (estimated US$47,500 to $54,000); a 1950 Vincent Black Shadow ($57,000 to $70,000); a 1974 Ducati 750 Sport ($45,000 to $55,000); a 1975 MV Agusta 750S ($57,000 to $63,000), a 1959 Manx Norton 500 ($38,000 to $50,000); a 1971 Norton Commando 750 Production Racer ($22,000 to $28,000); a 1979 Ducati 900SS NCR F1 ($54,000 to $70,000); a 1974 Benelli 750 Six ($11,500 to $16,000), a 1978 Harley-Davidson XLCR 1000 ($11,000 to $17,000) and a 1969 Honda CB750 with sandcast cases ($17,000 to $22,000).
It's not all that long ago, that a car selling at auction for more than the magical million dollar mark would bring a round of applause, recognizing the significance of the sale. The continuing rise in values of top tier collectible cars has now seen more than 1300 cars fetch more than a million dollars, with hundreds more sold each year and 2015 set for a new record. Less than a month after Monterey Car Week saw more than 80 "Million Dollar Cars" sell, a further 14 cars topped the magic million dollar mark across six auctions in eight days. Despite some forebodings that the collectible car market had finally "topped out", it appears that predictions of its demise were somewhat premature.
The Monterey Car Week auctions have come and gone, and the analysts are still trying to sort through the numbers to figure out what they mean. There were more auctions and more cars presented this year than ever before, and the two biggest collectible car auction houses (RM Sotheby's and Gooding & Co.) grew sales considerably year-on-year, but the overall gross take for the combined auctions comes in within a few dollars of last year's record numbers. Like all those who ply the trade as buyers or sellers, the market appears stronger at the top end and slightly softer in the middle.