Iconic Motorbikes Worth £100,000 Stolen from Office of Phil Read

12th September

Iconic Motorbikes Worth £100,000 Stolen from Office of Phil Read

Figures from the Office for National Statistics concluded that there were approximately 35,000 cases of motorcycle theft in the year ending 2015, with the Peugeot Tweet being the most stolen machine.  Motorcycle theft is not only increasing, but the value of the bikes that are being stolen is also on the rise.

Far from the scooters and mopeds that are stolen profusely around the UK, Tuesday 29th August saw the theft of GP Champion, Phil Read’s 1974 MV Augusta, as well as a 1952 Vincent 1000 Rapide from an office in Epping, Essex at around 2:00am. Both bikes have a value of approximately £100,000. The theft of these high-profile motorcycles has contributed to the ongoing period of higher value motorcycle theft across the continent, including the stolen Kalex Moto2 machine, the motorcycle that saw Tito Rabat win the 2014 Moto2 World Championship title. This high-profile motorcycle was stolen from the Marc VDS workshop in Gosselies, Belgium.

A reward of £10,000 has been offered for information regarding the whereabouts of both motorcycles, leading to the recovery. These iconic bikes can be identified as follows:

MV Augusta

Frame No- MV4C75022177

Engine No- 77

Registration- WHJ 467J

The motorcycle has red bodywork with silver patchwork and a unique MV brand decal with ‘Elf’ and ‘Prototipo’ sponsor decals. The motorcycle also has a distinct black twin cylinder exhaust and scooped black seat.

The MV Augusta was developed from a specialist line of multi-cylinder racers and was MV’s first road-going, 600cc twin carburettor tourer. Since then the bike has been upgraded to 750cc grade. In 1975, Bike Magazine commented that it was “probably the most powerful 750cc motor made”.  Reed’s MV Augusta was built in a factory race workshop in 1974 and has all the relevant paperwork tracking the heritage of this iconic motorcycle.

Vincent Rapide

Frame No- RC/1/7896

Engine No- F10AB/1/4628

Registration- NNK 813  

The motorcycle has the classic ‘Black Lightning’ finish with Vincent scroll decal. The front and rear fenders are finished in chrome with the generator and voltage regulator, fuel tank and exhaust pipes all finished in a similar style.

The 1952 Vincent Rapide, brother to the Black Shadow, was sold and produced from 1936-55 in three series’. The 998cc V-twin motorcycle boasted a powerful 45hp, with the Black Shadow having an additional 10hp on top of the stock models. The production of the Black Shadow was sparked after a response to the demand of a sports model. At the time of sale, the motorcycle reached a top speed of 120mph and operated at approximately 50-60 miles to the gallon. The Vincent Rapide remains iconic to this day. Renowned author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S.Thompson famously wrote that “If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed (125 mph) for any length of time, you would almost certainly die.” Showcasing the speed and excitement when riding these classic motorcycles.

Both the MV Augusta and Vincent Rapide are longing for recovery to the owner.

Those with information regarding these stolen motorcycles are encouraged to contact Ross Burnard or Ray Houldsworth either by phoning 01933 565 300 or emailing ross.burnard@clarkeinternational.com and ray.houldsworth@clarkeinternational.com.