Fans of American Pickers know that Mike Wolfe only really gets excited about a handful of things. He loves old signage and anything related to the oil industry. However, his real excitement is reserved for vintage bicycles and motorcycles. That all goes back to his childhood. His picking journey started when he was in kindergarten. He wanted a bike but his mom couldn’t afford to get him one. One day, he found a bike in a garbage pile on the way to school. Mike started picking that day and hasn’t stopped.
Back in season 9, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz traveled to a place that didn’t look like it would hold much treasure. However, they walked in and saw an antique motorcycle that Mike couldn’t walk away from.
The item that got Wolfe’s attention was a 1910 Royal Pioneer motorcycle. While the pieced-out bike doesn’t look like much to the untrained eye, Mike knew what he was looking at. If he didn’t the owner explained how rare his bike was. “There’s only four known to exist.”
Then, Mike Wolfe came in hot with an unprecedented offer. He ponied up $35,000. This blew Frank Fritz’s mind. However, the owner of the vintage bike wasn’t impressed in the least. In fact, Wolfe was pretty far away from where he needed to be to take the rare treasure home with him. The owner’s counteroffer was $60,000.
With a little haggling, Mike Wolfe was able to get the owner down to his bottom dollar. However, he still wouldn’t take less than $55,000. Mike couldn’t just drop that kind of money. So, he dejectedly walked away. American Pickers fans had probably never seen him look so disappointed.
Mike Wolfe Can’t Walk Away from the Royal Pioneer
Mike and Frank hit another spot to pick. However, Wolfe wasn’t interested in anything he saw. He couldn’t get over the amazing find he just had to walk away from. So, he called Danielle back at the shop. She proved once again that Wolfe couldn’t do what he does without her by working some financial magic.
First, she looked through their budget. Then, she talked to their bank. Finally, Dani was able to free up $55,000 for Mike Wolfe to drop on the bike.
No matter how excited Mike Wolfe got at the prospect of actually buying the Royal Pioneer, he didn’t want to jump the gun. So, he called Jersey John to get an expert opinion. John’s an old friend of Mike’s. More importantly, he specializes in the preservation and restoration of pre-1915 motorcycles.
About the Royal Pioneer, he told Mike Wolfe, “Go down there and get that bike, man, before this guy changes his mind… One just sold for $92,000 a couple of years ago.” Those were the magic words. Mike and Frank immediately turned the van around to go pick up the Royal Pioneer.