It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

While the past year has been one of major upheaval, there’s at least one constant in this world: Guy Martin is, and will always be, Guy Martin. In April, 2021, plans for his next blistering speed record attempt were first announced.

The target this time is the 376-mph absolute motorcycle speed record. The weapon: a 1,200 bhp Rolls Royce Gem-42 Turbine-powered motorcycle designed by British engineer Alex Macfadzean and former endurance racer Bernie Toleman.  

Now, Macfadzean has been working on construction of this bike for the past decade or so. It’s not clear whether Martin was involved the entire time, or whether they kept all the details buttoned up tight until the day of the event drew closer. Timing is everything in both racing and announcements, after all.  

While the world cheering Martin and Macfadzean on from afar is very nice, it unfortunately doesn’t pay the bills. That’s why Macfadzean is selling off some of his private collection of vintage BMW motorcycles to fund the effort. The live auction will take place on Sunday 22 May 2021, and all five bikes are consigned through Silverstone Auction House.  

Gallery: Macfadzean BMW Collection

What kinds of bikes are we talking about? Here’s a list: 

  • 1961 BMW R50S 
  • 1964 BMW R27 
  • c1967 BMW R50/2 
  • 1968 BMW R69S 
  • 1970 BMW R60/5 

All five bikes will be part of Silverstone’s “The May Sale 2021—Classic Cars and Classic Motorcycles” event. Viewing is available in person via appointment only from 12 May through 21 May, should you wish to examine the bikes ahead of time.  

According to the listings, all five bikes are in good condition, and most are also in running order. Some come with paperwork, and some don’t. Some also come with other extra bits, such as dual seats and other options that may have been available at the time of sale.  

Martin and Macfadzean’s testing of the 52 Express—that's the official name of the Rolls Royce-powered bike that Macfadzean built—will commence in June 2021, at a UK airfield. It’s unclear at this point if it’s Elvington, as Martin often uses, or somewhere else. In any case, if you’re interested in bidding on one of these bikes to help fund their efforts, you can register to bid with Silverstone Auctions and mark your calendars for the big day.