These eight historic motorcycles all belonged to racing legend Joe Ryan, a Northern Irish specialist motorcycle tuner who famously worked on road racing Nortons – the Nortons he tuned would frequently outperform the racing bikes built by the Norton factory team.

Despite having no formal engineering training Joe Ryan made a name for himself in the 1950s and 1960s by building some of the quickest road racing motorcycles in the world, he favoured Nortons which were among the fastest in the world at the time, and today if you can find an original Joe Ryan Norton it’s worth a king’s ransom.

In his retirement years Ryan retired from competition and unbeknownst to almost everyone he tucked away eight vintage motorcycles in his barn that he could tinker on to his heart’s content. These motorcycles span the years of 1911 up to 1935 and include some exceedingly rare machines like the 1923 Kenilworth and the 1923 Zehnder.

As you would expect from any collection of bikes owned by a Norton tuning legend, Ryan kept one very special Norton – a 1922 Norton Model 9 Brooklands Special.

After his passing Joe Ryan’s collection was rediscovered, and they’re now coming up for sale with H+H Auctions. We’ve included them below and we’ve added the official description under each to give you some background on the motorcycle and to show you the auctioneer’s price estimate.

It should be noted that all of these motorcycles will require either restoration or a thorough recommissioning before any riding is attempted.

If you’d like to visit the main auction page you can click here.

⇞ 1922 Norton Model 9 Brooklands Special – Estimate £8,000 to £10,000

This is a 1922 Norton Model 9 Brooklands Special, it’s powered by a 500cc air-cooled, side-valve single cylinder engine. The Model 9 does have limited front suspension but no rear suspension as was common during the era. The engine is a stressed member and the Model 9 uses a belt drive to the rear wheel.

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⇞ 1925 AJS E6 Big Port – Estimate £7,000 to £9,000

This AJS E6 Big Port is a 350cc racing motorcycle owned in period by Herbie Chambers who was pictured riding it at Donegall Pass sprint. The engine turns with compression and the bike is in fair overall condition but will require recommissioning before road use.

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⇞ 1923 Douglas Model TS 2 3/4 hp – Estimate £5,000 to £7,000

The horizontally-opposed twin cylinder engine used in the Douglas would form the foundations of the engines used in many BMW motorcycles over the years though with one notable difference – BMW installed their engines longitudinally rather than transversely.

This 1923 Douglas Model TS 2 3/4 hp has a belt drive as was common at the time, although 2 and 3/4 horsepower may not sound like much today but having the power of almost three horses at your disposal in 1923 gave you significant bragging rights.

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⇞ 1935 Rudge Sports 4 Valve – Estimate £6,000 – £8,000

The 1935 Rudge Sports 4 Valve has a single cylinder with four pushrod actuated overhead valves and a swept capacity of 250cc.

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⇞ Zehnder Motorcycles – Estimate £3,000 to £5,000

Zehnder motorcycles were built from 1923 to 1939, they were simple commuting machines with smaller capacity single-cylinder engines, and they were notable for their beautiful designs.

Although they weren’t powerful Zehnders were very economical, reliable by the standards of the era, and they were popular with both men and women.

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⇞ 1913 Triumph 3 1/2 hp TT Roadster – Estimate £4,000 to £6,000

The 500cc Triumph 3 1/2 hp models were very popular across Britain and in many parts of the British Empire, they were notable for their speed and reliability, and racing versions like the TT Roadster shown here were even quicker still.

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⇞ 1923 Kenilworth Scooter – Estimate £3,000 to £5,000

Kenilworth scooters like this 1923 model were popular forms of urban transportation, they used a tubular steel frame rather than the pressed-steel panels of modern scooters, and they were designed with a low centre section so that women wearing full dresses could ride them.

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⇞ 1911 Triumph 3 1/2 hp TT Roadster – Estimate £7,000 – £9,000

The 500cc Triumph 3 1/2 hp models were very popular across Britain and in many parts of the British Empire, they were notable for their speed and reliability, and racing versions like the TT Roadster shown here were even quicker still.

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Published by Ben Branch -