Found in a toilet: the $125,800 Harley-Davidson Peashooter motorcycle

Among the most fascinating things about collecting are the stories of dedication about those who collect them - not least the enthusiast who discovered an early Peashooter motorcycle in the bathroom of a Australian treasure mine.

Back in the 1940s, A LBicker had heard stories that the 1929 Harley-Davidson 21ci Peashooter motorcycle was still in a wooden crate and traced the Harley-Davidson to a mining operation in Western Australia.

His father located the motorcycle and it was indeed in the men's room of the mine. What's more, the machine was a factory racer with overhead valves. The bike was essentially a 20-year-old motorcycle at the time - although very desired, it was yet to be coveted as an antique.

The mine owner was unable to get the bike running. He sold it to Bicker, who was able to revive the Harley easily and perhaps run it for the first time since it was imported.

Saved from the flush... The 1929 Harley-Davidson 21ci Peashooter 

The starting procedures employed by Bicker are extensively documented - and were sold with the bike at Bonhams inLas Vegas on January 6, 2011.

Bicker stated that he believed this Harley-Davidson Peashooter may have been shipped over as part of a factory effort for 1929. However, this provenance was a matter of subjection.

Another possibility relates to the fact that factory rider Ralph Hepburn raced in Australia during those years. Australian grass tracks and cinder tracks were popular racing venues in those days and many 350cc Peashooters made it to those shores beginning in 1926.

In the end, the 1929 Harley-Davidson 21ci Peashooter was sold for $125,800 including buyer's premium. Watch this space for more news from Bonhams' incredible Las Vegas sale.


Join our readers in 200 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today 

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock