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Pope's Harley Davidson goes for 241,000 euros

Francis' bike raises 'world record' sum for Catholic charity

06 February, 16:12
Pope's Harley Davidson goes for 241,000 euros (ANSA) - Paris, February 6 - Pope Francis' Harley Davidson motorcycle set a reputed world record of 141,500 euros ($329,000) at an auction in Paris Thursday.

The pope never used the bike, a gift from the iconic American company when it marked its 110th anniversary at a biker rally in Rome in June.

But he signed his name on its petrol tank, pushing the price up to 10 times initial estimates of 12-15,000 euros, the Bonhams auction house said.

Bonhams said they had never had so many offers for a motorbike.

"It attracted an awful lot of interest," said the head of its motorcycle collectors' department, Ben Walker.

The pope will give the proceeds to Catholic charity Caritas to raise money to restore Rome's Don Luigi homeless hostel and soup kitchen.

Walker said he was "thrilled with the result achieved and am very pleased for the charity".

"It has to be a world record for a 21st century Harley-Davidson." The 2013 Dyna Super Glide had been on show outside Paris' Grand Palais as centrepiece of a lot of vintage Rolls and Cadillacs since early Wednesday, attracting droves of admirers.

The name of the successful bidder was not released.

Some have speculated that the legendary Milwaukee-based motorbike maker would buy it back to add to its museum.