John Lennon’s 1969 Honda Z50A ‘Monkeybike’ Sells for World Record £57,500
H&H’s line-up of 170 bikes included a number of gems that had the place heaving despite a week of atrocious weather that had kept people at home. The biking fraternity turned up in strength to bid for John Lennon’s 1969 HondaZ50A ‘Monkeybike’ which made £57,500. Along with a fascinating survivor, a pre-production Honda CB750 which reached £161,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £35,000 to £40,000.
There was huge excitement for the John Lennon Monkey-Trail bike XUC 91H when its turn came to go under the hammer.
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. Prior to the sale H&H Classics estimated that the bike would sell for £30,000 plus. It has now become the highest priced Monkeybike sold at auction.
Mark Bryan, Head of Sales for H&H Classics Motorcycle Department, said: “Naturally we were thrilled to be entrusted with the marketing and sale of this bike, given its extraordinary provenance. So to achieve this price is hugely satisfying.”
The Honda Monkey/Trail Bike XUC 91H was acquired by John Harington from Henry Graham, of Hook Hampshire, who at the time was owner of a business in Farnborough Hampshire - Motor Cycle City in around 1971.
Henry Graham said that he had bought the motorbike from John Lennon, who was living at the time at Tittenhurst Park in Sunningdale, near Ascot Berkshire.
John Harington, the current seller, had kept the bike for the past 47 years, since buying it from Mr Graham and had displayed it at various events and shows throughout that time.
The second historically important bike, the Honda CB750 is a very special motorcycle which collectors worldwide were clambering for. It was estimated at £35,000-£40,000 prior to
the sale but in an extended bidding fight finally sold for a total of £161,000 – a new world record for this model and for a Honda road bike.
A “Late” pre-production model it is one of only four built, only two are known to still exist, the other is in the USA and was famously sold on eBay in 2014 for a price of $148,000. The bike that H&H Classics are selling could well beat that price taking this rare motorcycle to establishing a new world record for this hugely influential seminal bike.
The bike for sale with H&H is a rare machine, mostly hand made in Japan in c1968. This bike came over to the UK in 1969, was registered by Honda UK and was used by them in the UK launch of the then new CB750 model. It is frame number CB750-2110.
Perhaps not surprisingly it has been in the same private collection for the past 35 years and was undergoing a restoration when the owner sadly passed away.
Head of Motorcycle Sales at H&H Classics, Mark Bryan, said of this bike: “This is one of the most historically important bikes we’ve had the pleasure to offer for sale. Referred to on its launch as the most sophisticated production bike ever. 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”
The two missing bikes suffered sad fates. A green version of this bike went to France and was never seen again and a red one was crushed about five years ago in the US.
This gold bike was first shown in Europe at the Brighton Motorcycle show between April 5-12 1969. It also appeared on the cover of Motorcycle Mechanics May 1969.
The idea for a four cylinder 750 wasn't even discussed until June 1968. Honda built a 750-4 test mule with a drum front brake, then the prototypes, all in just six months! This bike’s every single part is different from a production model.