The Wild One star's FLH Electra-Glide, which he purchased in 1970, is expected to fetch up to $400,000 (£267,000) at the Julien's Auctions Hollywood Legends Auction event, but could send bidding way past $500,000 (£333,000), if recent celebrity motorcycle sales are anything to go by.

Jerry Lee Lewis' Harley Davidson sold for $385,000 (£257,000) and Buddy Holly's went under the hammer for $450,000 (£300,000).

Helping to boost the sale, Julien's Auctions bosses have dug up an old Brando quote, which reads: "It still pleases me to be awake during the dark, early hours before morning when everyone else is still asleep... I do my best thinking and writing then.

"During those early years in New York, I often got on my motorcycle in the middle of the night and went for a ride anyplace. There wasn't much crime in the city then, and if you owned a motorcycle, you left it outside your apartment and in the morning it was still there. It was wonderful on summer nights to cruise around the city at one, two, three a.m. wearing jeans and just a T-shirt with a girl on the seat behind me. If I didn't start out with one, I'd find one."