This rare 1928 BMW R57 motorcycle will drive at Bonhams live auction – Robb Report


The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama houses a collection of over 1,600 motorcycles, of which over 900 are on display at all times. As the largest motorcycle museum in the world, the venue provides an ideal backdrop for the Bonhams live auction which will take place on October 10. This year’s event titled Collectors’ Motorcycles and Motorcars at the Barber Museum will feature a particularly interesting motorcycle from the formative years of the industry.

BMW Motorrad was quickly recognized as an innovative manufacturer when it started producing motorcycles in 1923. Its early racing efforts and speed record attempts resulted in some machines that are highly collectable today.

“Among these parts, one of the rarest and most sought after will probably be the BMW R57 from 1928”, explains Mathieu Guyot-Sionnet, specialist in the Bonhams motorcycle. “Appearing just a few years after the introduction of BMW’s very first motorcycle, the historically significant R57 is not only extremely rare, it is true proof of the German marque’s motorcycle engineering at era, besides being beautifully styled and a capable pilot. It brings an extremely reasonable estimate of $ 50,000 to $ 70,000 and will be offered without reservation. “

The 1928 BMW R57 motorcycle donated by Bonhams on October 10.

Photo by Pawel Litwinski, courtesy of Bonhams.

As the global auction landscape has recently shifted almost exclusively from in-person to online auctions, buyers and sellers have adapted quite well to format changes, largely due to the fact that the fundamentals live auctions remain roughly the same, despite the location and manner in which bids are communicated. Even telephone auctions have long been a preferred strategy for serious and successful bidders. In recent years, silent auctions behind a keyboard (perhaps time zones far from the live event) have been done in real time as the auctioneer launches bids in front of a live video feed. After the last few months of online-only action, the return to an in-person auction such as the Bonhams event (although there will be an online component), almost now looks like a paradigm shift.

A 1928 BMW R57 motorcycle.

This model was produced only a short time after BMW built its first motorcycle.

Photo by Pawel Litwinski, courtesy of Bonhams.

Bonhams offers overviews of lots for sale by appointment and from a few regional centers, so that potential buyers – or their representatives – can examine lots for sale in person, as well as request good condition reports. before the auction. “This method was warmly welcomed by the sellers,” explains Guyot-Sionnet. “Without having to ship vehicles across the country to be sold, the convenience – and in many cases the cost savings – can be substantial, and the feedback from sellers has been very positive.”


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