Why Was This Vintage Honda Africa Twin Price So High?

The Honda Africa Twin has seen a very warm welcome back to the world as a modern production adventure bike. Knowing the history of these Dakar dominating vintage Hondas makes the resurgence make perfect sense. 

This 1989 Honda XRV650 Africa Twin was recently sold at auction for some serious money. Is this vintage Honda’s price due to the Dakar history, the recent love of 80s automobiles, or both? 

1989 vintage Honda Africa Twin parked in front of a garage
1989 Honda Africa Twin | Bring a Trailer: Matt_M3

How much is a vintage Honda Africa Twin worth? 

Like any other commodity, vintage cars’ and motorcycles’ prices depend heavily on mileage and condition. That point has been proven repeatedly with crazy auction prices for otherwise mundane cars and trucks like a 90s Bronco but with 20 original miles. Granted, this vintage Honda Africa Twin is far from mundane. 

Bring a Trailer – often the vehicle by which the crazy prices are driven – recently saw this 1989 Honda Africa Twin pass through the digital auction block. The hammer fell at a whopping $37,000. 

The Dakar history of the Africa Twin helps

front end of a vintage Honda Africa Twin
1989 Honda Africa Twin | Bring a Trailer: Matt_M3

According to ADV Pulse, These original Africa Twins designated RD-03 models are the direct descendants of Honda’s Dakar-winning NXR750 that dominated the legendary desert race in the late ‘80s, and as such, are highly prized by collectors. 

However, that fact alone isn’t what made this bike so valuable. The current automotive collector’s trend is far more obsessed with low mileage and condition than nearly anything else. 

This vintage Honda Africa Twin is the poster child for “pristine original condition.” This particular example has only 3 km (1.9 miles). It can’t get much more perfect than that. What’s even crazier is that even showing 3 km on the odometer, it has reportedly never been started. It even comes with all the candy, like the original owner’s manual, paperwork, tool kit, Georgia title, and license tag holder. 

If the nearly 2 miles without ever starting the engine is a bit confusing, the seller says that the odometer only shows the overall distance it has been pushed around from storage to display and whatnot. In 2019 the owner had the cylinders lubricated, and the engine hand turned to ensure that it hadn’t locked. 

It is literally brand new

1989 vintage Honda Africa Twin parked in front of a garage
1989 Honda Africa Twin | Bring a Trailer: Matt_M3

The electronics have also been gone through and are said to work like new. The truth is, $37,000 for this new-old-stock vintage Honda Africa Twin is probably a bit light. We have seen similarly perfect cars and trucks from similar time periods go for six figures on BaT over the last couple of years. 

It wouldn’t be all that surprising to see this Dakar descendant Africa Twin again in the headlines with a new astronomical price. This is the dominating factor for big money collectibles recently, and it may not be slowing down anytime soon. Hell, vehicles don’t even have to be vintage anymore to be collectible. Low mileage versions of cars and trucks from only 5-10 years ago also saw wild prices. 

For instance, a bone stock 2000 Honda Civic Si sold for $50,000 on BaT. If that doesn’t prove it, how about a 1985 Chevy C20 Scottsdale that sold for $84,500. These are just two examples. The list of otherwise normal and even boring cars and trucks going for crazy money just for being low-mileage is long and mind-boggling. 

It is hard to gauge what will become the next “it” thing, but for now, it’s literally anything that is super-low mileage – regardless of if anyone actually likes the model.

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