A 1975 Suzuki 750cc race bike that was ridden by two AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers and later won the famed Isle of Man TT sold for $68,352 at a Bonhams auction held at Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire, in England Aug. 14-16.
Texaco Heron Team Suzuki works rider John Williams rode the 1975 Suzuki XR11 Formula 750 machine (above, Bonhams photo) to victory in the 1976 Isle of Man Classic TT. Before making its way to the UK, future AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers David Aldana and Pat Hennen rode it as part of Suzuki’s American racing effort.
Bonhams says the bike represents the final development of the Suzuki XR11 Formula 750 racer, which was also known as the TR750. The bike had a spindly frame that couldn’t handle the machine’s 116 horsepower, earning the bike the nickname the “Flexi-flyer.”
Benellis earned some big bucks at the auction, including a restored 1959 Benelli 250 Bialbero GP Mono that sold for $110,322. The bike is one of only four ever built and was purchased from world grand prix roadracing champion John Surtees in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, a 1954 FB 175cc Mondial Bialbero racer sold for $60,450. It’s an ex-factory machine ridden in the Italian Senior Championship in 1955/1956. The bike was restored except for the original fairing and rear enclosure that still have their original factory paintwork.
A 1959 Paton-Mondial 250 Grand Prix racing machine sold for $45,337. That bike was built by Giuseppe Pattoni, who produced “over the counter” racers with Mondial engines.
A 1956 Rumi 125c Formichino sold for $9,113. The manufacturer has an interesting history. Bonhams notes: “Rumi was founded in Bergamo, Italy, at the beginning of the 20th century. The company originally supplied components to the textile industry and during World War II produced miniature submarines and torpedoes. Headed by Donnino Rumi, it switched to motorcycle manufacture at the war’s end, introducing its first Turismo model in 1950. This little gem was powered by what would become Rumi’s trademark engine, a 125cc parallel twin two-stroke, the cylinders of which were inclined horizontally.”
A 1956 50cc four-stroke Pegaso sold for $2,569. All Pegaso 50cc motorcycles and mopeds featured the same engine and three-speed transmission. Most also had steel spine frames, telescopic forks and swingarm rear suspension.
Meanwhile, a 1909 Minerva 3.5 horsepower with a wicker sidecar sold for $39,492.
For complete information on the auction and results, go to bonhams.com/auctions/26111/#/.