McQueen's and Knievel's bikes up for auction

Harley used in Knievel biopic and Bonneville owned by Steve McQueen to go under hammer

THE Harley-Davidson XL1000 custom from the film Viva Knievel and a Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled owned by Steve McQueen are to be auctioned at the Bonhams Las Vegas motorcycle sale on January 7.

The 1976 Harley Ironhead Sportster 1000 used in the Knievel biopic is set to go under the hammer with a guide price of £54,000 to £67,000.

George Hamilton played Knievel in the film but arguably the real star was this bike, built by Bud Ekins to look like one of Knievel’s Harley XR-750 jump bikes. At the end of filming, the bike went to a museum in California, where it’s remained since. It’s recently been cosmetically restored by the same guy who painted Knievel’s bikes in the 1970s.

Bonham’s is also set to sell the 1963 Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled owned by Steve McQueen, which was also built by Bud Ekins for the actor to hoon about on in the California desert. The bike comes with documents signed by McQueen and Bohams expects it to sell for between £34,000 and £40,000.

The Las Vegas motorcycle auction has been running since 2011 and as usual, next year's edition contains its share of beautiful, rare, classic and exotic bikes. The complete list of everything included in the 2016 sale is available on the Bonhams website.

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