By Mark Donaldson
Each January for the last 30 years, motorcycle collectors, restorers and enthusiast met in Las Vegas for the annual Mid America Motorcycle Auction, which became the Mecum/Mid America Motorcycle Auction in 2013. Last year’s 2020 event was a six-day auction with over 1700 motorcycles consigned to cross the block. The South Point Casino and Arena had hosted the event since 2013 and a few years ago moved the auction into South Point’s Arena. With the number of motorcycles being auctioned, this allowed the viewing section to be separate from the auction area. Holding the auction in January and being located in Las Vegas allowed attendees to escape winter in the colder climates and allowed for other activities in the evenings.
Attendees arrive from all over the world, including many motorcycle legends and over the years of attending the event the famous personalities became your acquaintances and friends, sharing the common passion of motorcycles. If there is a marque you know little about sold at the auction, you can be assured there with be multiple experts on that marque. All you have to do is ask and someone will be able direct you to them. The 2020 event, completed about a month before the Covid-19 lockdown arrived, set new sales records.
Which leads us to the 2021 Mecum auction event, which like so many other events this past year was postponed, until last week, April 28 through May 1. Because of a scheduling conflict at South Point Casino the event had to be moved to the Las Vegas Convention Center. The temporary venue allowed for plenty of room for the auction to take place with tables set up with seating for four and properly spaced for this new world we live in. The number of days the auction ran, along with the number of motorcycles crossing the stage was down, but so was the attendance (but not the participation). Having the auction live streamed allowed you to follow the events online, with many of the motorcycles being bought via the web or by telephone. Dirt bikes of all brands saw an increase in numbers being auctioned, with prices climbing over the past few years, and this year was no different. Mini bike sale prices continued to be strong. We followed the auction this past week and charted the sales for motocrossers, dirt trackers and a few other interesting sales.
Hopefully next January we will once again get to meet our friends in Las Vegas for the scheduled 2022 event. I look forward to continue the tradition. What follows is MXA’s sampling of 30 bikes spanning the range from expensive to affordable.