Ex-Beatle’s bike sets record at H&H Classics auction

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John Lennon's motorcycle sets auction record at H&H Classics | ClassicCars.com
John Lennon's 'Monkeybike' sells for more than $41,000 | H&H Classics photos

John Lennon’s 1969 Honda Z50A “Monkeybike” wasn’t the only two-wheeler to sell for a world auction-record price Sunday at H&H Classics auction at Britain’s National Motorcycle Museum.

A pre-production Honda CB750, one of four produced and one of only two surviving, also set a record at the sale in Solihull.

Although 170 motorcycles would cross the auction block, pre-sale interest was most keen on the small machine formerly owned by The Beatles’ star.

John Lennon's motorcycle sets auction record at H&H Classics
John and Julian on the ‘Monkeybike’

“John Lennon used the bike as a fun way of getting around his Tittenhurst Park estate in Surrey, where he lived from 1969 to 1971,” H&H reported, adding that the bike was expected to sell for at least £30,000 ($41,421). But the bidding didn’t stop until the bike was hammered sold for £57,500 ($79,390).

Also far exceeding pre-sale expectations was the Honda CB750, which was expected to bring just slightly more than the ex-Lennon bike but instead sold for a whopping $£161,000 ($222,292). The other surviving CB750 prototype sold in 2014 for $148,000.

The bike sold by H&H Classics had been in a private collection for 35 years and was undergoing restoration when the collector died.

John Lennon's motorcycle sets auction record at H&H Classics | ClassicCars.com
One of two remaining Honda CB750 pre-production bikes brings $222,292

“This is one of the most historically important bikes we’ve had the pleasure to offer for sale,” Mike Bryan, head of motorcycle sales for H&H Classics, said in a news release.

“Referred to on its launch as the most sophisticated production bike ever,” he added. “The standard bike at launch was capable of 120 mph and was equipped with non-fade front hydraulic brakes. The bike has gone onto become a true icon rated as one of the top landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology”

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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