You Could Buy Chris Cornell’s Old Voxan Motorbike For Little Money

The late rock star’s unusual French-built motorbike is set to be auctioned next month, and the estimate isn’t that high

Voxan Black Magic - side

It’s not often you see a Voxan motorcycle for sale, if you’ve even heard of one before, but there’s something else that marks this bike out as being special. The Voxan Black Magic seen here used to belong to rock star Chris Cornell. 

The former Audioslave and Soundgarden frontman, who sadly died in 2017, previously gifted the Voxan to a friend, who’s now decided it’s “the right time to let another custodian own this wonderful piece of motorcycling history,” notes auctioneer Bonhams. 

The bike will be available via the auction house’s online summer sale on 24 June, so you don’t even need to worry about the intimidation of a live auction and trying to work out what the hell the auctioneer is on about during their rapid-fire delivery. It’s not even going to be that expensive, with an estimate of £7,000 to £10,000.

So, potentially, you could come away with a unique piece of music and motorcycling history for less than the price of a Suzuki GSX-8S. And you’d have something far more unusual. 

The company's roots can be traced back to 1995, when it was founded by a chap called Jacques Gardette in Issoire, France. Financial backing came from the Dassault Group, known primarily for its aircraft division and fighter jets like the Mirage. 

Influence from outside the bike industry continued with the firm’s 996cc V-twin designed and developed by Sodemo Moteurs, a French company specialising in motorsport of the four-wheeled variety, especially touring car racing. 

It was an oddball of an engine, with the eight-valve twin using a 78-degree bank angle. It was also strangled by France’s 100bhp power limit for motorcycle engines. The tubular frame, meanwhile, was the work of Grand Prix motorcycle engineer Alain Chevallier.

Like a lot of start-up motorcycle companies, things weren’t exactly plain sailing for Voxan, which ran into financial difficulties at the start of the new millennium and was sold to new owners in 2002. The Black Magic was one of the bikes made after this point, with a basis in Voxan’s original bike, the Roadster. 

The company didn’t last long in this new format either, though, going into liquidation at the end of 2009. Venturi, a French company that once made supercars, snapped up what was left, and in the early to mid-2010s talked about making electric motorcycles under the Voxan brand. Plans which, so far as we can make out, never really went anywhere. 

It’s unlikely another Voxan motorcycle will ever be made, which - along with the rock star connection - ensures this Black Magic will forever be noteworthy.