Levis Model B motorcycle - 'prettiest single cylinder bike pre-WW2' - is for sale

We've said it before and we'll say it again: 2012 is shaping up to be 'the year of the classic motorcycle' in the worldwide auction markets. Recent vintage motorcycle sales in Las Vegas and elsewhere have pointed towards upwards trends.

In his recent interview with Paul Fraser Collectibles, Ben Walker, Bonhams' Head of Motorcycles, explained that "Motorcycle values are rising since the recession".

And you'll be surprised at potentially how little you need to spend in order to add a genuine rare classic motorcycle to your collection.

Examples auctioning in February include this 1938 Levis Model B motorcycle, originally manufactured by Butterfields of Birmingham between 1911 and 1940.

Butterfields was, for many years, England's leading manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycles. Its two-stroke bikes were manufactured from 1911, with the four-stroke engine later introduced in 1928. Production later ceased in 1941.

1938 Levis Model B motorcycle410.jpg
The Levis Model B motorcycle: estimated at just £6,000-£9,000

Bob Newey dreamt up the first Levis. When his idea was turned down by James Norton, owner of Norton, Newey teamed up with the family-run Butterfields operated by Arthur, Billy, and sister Daisy.

The Levis motorcycle company was thus formed, resulting in 1916's 211cc vertical two-stroke engine which produced 3hp. A slogan "The Master Two Stroke" was dreamt up to market the motor.

This Levis motorcycle for sale dates to 1938 and was treated to a full restoration two years ago. Its features include a black frame, black mud guards, a chrome petrol tank and chrome wheels. The wheels' rims have been painted red with gold lines to match the Levis logo.

The classic bike is powered by a single cylinder 249cc, twin port engine.

An original buff log book from the 1950s verifies this classic motorcycle's provenance, and is included in the sale. The sale also includes the bike's V5C registration document and a large file on Levis motorcycles.

Billed by the auctioneer as being "one of the prettiest single cylinder motorcycles built before World War Two," this bike - chassis no. 26529 - carries a presale estimate of just £6,000-£9,000. The auction takes place on February 18.

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