The 2002 Mondial Pigea might be one of the most interesting motorcycles that most people have never heard of. As some of my readers will know, I have a kink for special framed motorcycles from all eras. I really enjoy the engineering that goes into them, the wild stories of how the companies rise and fall as well as the idea of owning something that was once so expensive and rare. The Mondial Pigea is not short on any of this intrigue.
The engineering is amazing. Just take a look at that carbon fiber swing arm. This Mondial uses a motor lifted from the Honda RC51, but in this application makes slightly more power. The exotic materials also allow the Mondial to weigh about 40 pounds less then the world champion Honda. This all translates to amazing performance. Toss in top of the line suspension and brakes, and you have a great package. Even by today's standards this is a fast bike. Probably much more performance then the average rider can extract.
Much has been written about the rise and fall of the Mondial company, most far written then I could hope to do here. I really do encourage you to read about them. There are tails of multiple world championships, drop dead beautiful designs, favors between large companies, and even a large scale thrift of motorcycles in inventory by disgruntled employees!
When new these were very expensive motorcycles. No one accidentally ended up with one. People with deep pockets and vast wells of passion sought them out. Funny thing though, as with many rare and expensive motorcycles, they do not seem to be used much. Maybe that is because the owners have many other bikes in their garage to rotate though, or may be these are just so sweet that it is something saved for a special time and place.
To me what makes this bike appealing is that while the frame and body work are made from exotic materials, the engine is not some unique one off. It is not powered by an orphan motor that is impossible to get parts for or find someone to tune. Some may look down on this, the ignorant might brush this off as little more then an expensive RC51. This is short sighted.
The RC51 is a rather special bike that I feel is undervalued in the current market. Take a look at what has happened to the prices of the RC30 and RC45. Yes those were lower production, but that dose not make the RC51 any less important to the history of Honda. At this point if you wanted the very best RC51 in the world I think that it is safe to say that you would be able to find one well under $10,000.
That leads me to pricing of Mondials. Since they are extremely low production it is hard to find comparable information on prices. Some claim there were 35 made, others that 120. Either way it is not like every dealer has one to buy at any given time. It seems that when most hit the market they are listed around the $30,000 mark. None have lived hard lives, so condition is normally excellent. If my memory is correct the bike in the pictures was originally listed at $32,000
The dealer that had the bike for a while was IconicMotorbikes. They recently started a self contained auction platform and listed the Mondial. I was fairly shocked when I saw that it had sold for just under $20,000. In my opinion that was a bargain. Yes that is a lot of money, but if you want the rarest and unique motorcycle for your local cars and coffee there are few options in that range. Plenty are spending similar money on much less rare Ducati 9XX bikes.
I personally was interested in the bike when I first saw it listed, but the price tag had turned me off. I actually had in my head that somewhere closer to the $20k mark was "about right" for me. Either way, I missed this one. But alas, there will always be something else to tempt me.
What do you guys think? Just an expensive toy? Rather spend that amount of money on something else? If so, what? Anyone here have any personal experience with a Mondial?