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Bonhams Sale to include 48-Cylinder Kawasaki

Bonhams Auction at the Classic Motorcycle Show at Stafford 20-21 April 2024, is one of the landmark events in the classic bike calendar, and this year looks like a humdinger, featuring everything from a JMC Norvin (estimate £18-22,000) down to a Corgi folding moped (£1000-2000).

Star of the show will undoubtedly be ‘Tinker Toy,’ the outrageous 48-cylinder Kawasaki built by Simon Whitelock in 2003. Designed specifically to capture a Guinness Record (you’ve guessed it, motorcycle with the greatest number of cylinders) the bike’s engine consists of 16 Kawasaki KH250 three-cylinder engines, linked together and arranged in six banks of eight cylinders. With a total capacity of 4.2 litres the biggest Kawasaki motorcycle ever runs, rides and is road legal. “It’s not made for speed, it’s not made for power – it’s made to get in the Guiness Book of Records,” said Whitelock. Bonhams expect the creation to fetch between £40,000 and £60,000

If 48 cylinders seems excessive, the Bonhams sale will also feature many bikes from the estate of Clive Wood MBE, the Teesside businessman who died in April 2023 and was clearly a bike nut. His c1935 Triumph 250 project could be yours for £300-£500, or there’s a rare Matchless Silver Hawk from the late ‘30s.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF said: “Er, yes. That’s meant to be in a museum, like one of those Merlin engined contraptions, the wingless ones. I’ve been to a few Bonhams auctions, including at Stafford, in my time, I always think the non-headline entries are the ones to have a serious look at, they’re often better value.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Bonhams