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10 Rarest Motorcycles in History

October 18, 2020 6 min read

10 Rarest Motorcycles in History

Companies like Harley Davidson and Ducatti have been pushing out thousands of motorcycles for decades non-stop.  They have been around for about a hundred years or so, and in that time, they have made some pretty outstanding motorcycles. Some of them look like your run of the mill motorcycles, while others are unique and downright extraordinary. 

Harleys and Ducattis might be some of the most popular and impressive motorcycle brands, but they are not the only ones who have left a lasting mark on the motorcycle culture.  

Over the years, some fascinating and downright revolutionary bikes have been made by the giants of the motorcycle industry.  These bikes were so unique and progressive that only a few units ever made it past production.

1910 Winchester 6 HP

The Winchester 6 HP is one of the classic motorcycles that exists today. With only two left fully operational since its creation in 1910 by repeating arms company Winchester, it is valued at over half a million dollars. This exceedingly rare motorcycle still has the power to run and ferry motorcyclists across short distances.

The motorcycle has a single-cylinder, a 6-hp Marsh-Metz engine attached to a steel frame. The bike is a unique mix of a motorcycle and a bicycle. As with most motorcycles created in the early 19th century, it relied on bicycle features like handlebars, pedals, and bicycle chains for propulsion.  

The motorcycle is easily one of the earliest motorcycles in existence, and it was one of the most expensive of its era. It was reserved for the elite, and only the best parts, patented parts, and materials were used in making it. Today, it belongs to a reclusive gun enthusiast who is very satisfied with his purchase, and you should expect never to see this motorcycle running.

 

1919 Traub

The 1919 Traub is genuinely one of the most enigmatic and unique motorcycles created. Nearly everything about this hundred-year-old motorcycle remains a secret. The only things that are truly known about this motorcycle are the year it was made and the name it was given by its makers. Only one Traub unit exists today, and it resides in the Wheels Through Time museum. Initially discovered in 1968, it moved around a little bit since then, and was eventually restored by Walsksler and immortalized in the Wheels museum. No one really knows who created the Traub or why. There is a theory about it being a German motorcycle, but the parts and dates don't quite add up. The Traub has never really been driven by anyone. To the best of our knowledge, it will always remain a showpiece. 

1914 Levis

Levis was a British bike manufacturing company that produced amazing motorcycles from around 1911 to 1939. Although they made quite a few motorcycles in their time in the motorcycle production world, only a handful of their remarkable products exists to date. The 1911 Levis is one of those motorcycles. The Levis was reintroduced to the world after it was thought to be extinct at the British Biker Cooperative Rally in 2011. A bike enthusiast and restorer presented it by the name of Mike Crane, and it featured an impressive 211cc two-stroke power engine and slight bike designs

The Honda CX500 Turbo

Honda is known for its line of ridiculously successful motorcycles and cars. Honda motorcycles are popular all across the world, and although their numbers might dwindle ever so slightly, they are still trendy and relatively easy to locate.  

The Honda CX500 and a handful of other extraordinary motorcycles are the exception to the weird Honda popularity rule. Less than 50 Honda CX500 Turbo are licensed and driven in both the UK and America combined. This phenomenal machine did not survive the times and has nearly been completely wiped out from most of modern society. Although we cannot accurately give you numbers, it's safe to estimate that less than a hundred units exist today.

Ducati 907 i.e

The Ducati 907 i.e is an example of an unimpressive machine from a legendary brand. There is nothing particularly wrong with the 907 i.e, it was just too vanilla. It brought nothing to the market, and it never quite enjoyed any popularity. As such, only a few units made it to the market, and even fewer stood the test of time. Today, only a handful of the 907 i.e exists.  

 

1931 Coventry Eagle

Like the Levis, the 1931 Coventry Eagle is the product of a company that failed at a certain point in history. The Eagle served functioned as an amazing race motorcycle in its day, and when the company failed, it was all but abandoned. Several of the units that were made pre-World War were poorly maintained and are barely operational today.

The most impressive unit of the Coventry Eagle belongs to Mike Crane, and he showcases its virility with an unforgettable performance. The motorcycle comes equipped with a 172cc two-stroke Villiers single metallic chain final drive.

 

1938 Crocker

The 1938 Crocker is one of a hundred advanced motorcycles that were designed by the visionary Al Crocker. Crocker was an employee of the Indian in the early 90s. He mostly worked as a dealer/representative for most of his time at the company, and he eventually went into production. He used Indian engines and created a few motorcycles at first, but eventually, he started using engines of his designs and began production of his motorcycles.  He used OHV engines with 1000cc Hemi-heads with aluminum casing. 

He used this engine frequently in his works, and in his lifetime, he was able to make only 100 units. The 1938 crocker is one of those rare motorcycles that were crafted by the phenomenal man. His creations were far ahead of his time, and he might have been successful if he had more support. 

1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer

The Cyclone Racer is one of the rarest and most expensive bikes race motorcycles on the planet today. It was produced by the iconic Cyclone Company, known for its amazing race bikes and record-shattering performances. Unfortunately, most of the motorcycle they made back then are all but lost to history. Many of them collapsed shortly after their impressive runs on the board track racing circuits.

This particular unit is the exception to that rule. It has been kept in nearly mint condition for over a hundred years, and it is worth a little over half a million dollars. The Cyclone Racer was a true performer, and it spotted a 61 cubic inch, 1000cc 450SOHC V-Twin engine with about 45 horsepower. It tops out at 111mph, and it is still arguably fast for a motorcycle that was built over a hundred years ago.

 

The “Captain America” Harley-Davidson Panhead from “Easy Rider”

This one of a kind motorcycle is easily one of the most widely recognized motorcycles to ever grace Hollywood. Some enthusiasts would argue that it is too heavily modified to be even classified as a Harley. Still, at a certain point in time, the motorcycle was an FLH police vehicle. It was purchased and heavily modified for its movie role, and today, it is the rarest and most expensive motorcycle ever to be auctioned off. It was sold for well over a million dollars to a wealthy motorcycle enthusiast and will undoubtedly be forever confined to his garage or private museum. 

The 1949 Vincent Black Lightning Supercharged

The Vincent Black lightning supercharged motorcycles are custom made motorcycles created by Reg Dearden to break the world speed record in 1949. Only 11 Supercharged Black Lightnings were created for that sole reason, and they all survive to this very day. Although they are popular because of the speed and notoriety usually associated with them, they are even more popular because of how much they cost. All the motorcycles combined are worth close to 6 million dollars easily.  Although the bikes never actually used to attempt to break the world record. They are still considered one of the most iconic and fast motorcycles to date. 

Ever since motorcycles became an accepted means of transportation in the early 20th century, thousands of companies have tried to capture the essence of speed and freedom motorcycles represent. Over the years, there have been truly phenomenal attempts at creating the perfect motorcycles, and in this article, we went over some of the genuinely phenomenal ones. 


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