'Don't frighten the horses': classic Hobart motorcycle shines at Mecum

Classic motorcycle lovers are in for a treat, later this month.

Mecum Auctions will send nearly 200 motorcycles to the auction block during its sale in Monterey, California from August 18-20, 2011.

A present day one-off Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle, auctioned by television star Jay Leno and three-time motorcycle world champion Kenny Roberts, is among the highlight. But those with an eye on the classics won't be disappointed either...

Virtually every brand of motorcycle ever produced will be up for grabs, claims Mecum, with iconic names like Vincent, BSA, Triumph, Ariel, Matchless, Indian and Harley-Davidson joining more than 600 classic cars on offer.

Among our favourites to perform well is a rare Hobart, built between 1904 and 1911.

Produced in Coventry, UK, these unconventional bikes employed a vertical belt drive and engine.

Among its most engaging features was an adjustable exhaust damper, designed to prevent the noise of the machine from frightening horses.

Friend to the animals: the much coveted Hobart

Recently restored close to its original condition, the motorcycle comes to auction with no reserve.

Hobart, which started out as a push-bike manufacturer, is a highly collectible name among motorbike enthusiasts. A 1919 model sold for £2,530 at Bonhams in 2004.

"We've got everything from an 1885 Penny Farthing bicycle to a 2011 Yamaha R1," said auction house president Dana Mecum.

"With a range in values from as little as $2,000 to top level investment grade bikes at over $200,000, and with more than 75% offered at no reserve, there is truly something for everyone."

You can read all about the auction results here at Paul Fraser Collectibles.


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