Top Gear hosts’ classic bikes head for auction

The BBC seems quite certain that Top Gear is making a return to television in 2016, but James May and Richard Hammond are extremely unlikely to be among the hosts. Instead, the two of them are probably following Jeremy Clarkson into any future endeavors, but for the time being that leaves the Little One and the Slow One unemployed. They won’t have to worry too much about spending money in the meantime, though, because Bonhams is selling 12 motorcyles owned by the former TG stars on April 26.

“Just because I’m unemployed now doesn’t mean I have to get rid of everything. I was going to sell these bikes anyway. And those paintings, and my collection of Scalextric cars. Honest,” May joked to Bonhams. However, the auction house was clear in its announcement that the cycles were consigned to the Spring Stafford Sale in the UK months before the Top Gear fracas.

Eight of the bikes come from May’s collection and are generally small-bore, Japanese models. They include a 49cc 1974 Yamaha FS1-E and a 1976 Suzuki AP50 E, but there’s also a very attractive 1980 Ossa 250cc MAR trials bike. If you’re looking for a bit more performance, Hammond’s four offering include a 2010 Norton Commando 961SE and a 1970 Triton 500cc café racer. He’s also selling a Yamaha FS1-E, though a year newer than May’s.

Unfortunately the Vincent Black Shadow and Honda RC30 the hosts are riding in these photos aren’t part of the lots, but the whole list of the available models can be read in the announcement below and checked out in the gallery, above.

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale will include 12 motorcycles belonging to Richard Hammond and James May, former presenters of the popular motoring programme, Top Gear.

May and Hammond discussed the sale of their respective motorcycles in their usual humorous manner: “Just because I’m unemployed now doesn’t mean I have to get rid of everything,” said May. “I was going to sell these bikes anyway. And those paintings, and my collection of Scalextric cars. Honest”.

Hammond added: “As a serious collector of motorcycles, it’s important to review one’s stable regularly, and the Bonhams Stafford sale is the ideal opportunity to move bikes on and possibly acquire new ones. I also have a canoe, and some Wharfedale hi-fi speakers, if anyone’s interested”.

Ben Walker, Bonhams International Head of Motorcycles, said: “Jokes aside, James and Richard are offering for sale some great motorcycles from their collections, including examples of Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Norton – and we expect the collection to attract a lot of attention at the upcoming Spring Stafford Sale. We’re delighted that they both elected to consign their collections with Bonhams Motorcycle Department, an agreement that originated many months ago”.

The Hammond and May motorcycles featured in Bonhams Stafford Sale are:

The property of James May:

Lot 326: 1974 Yamaha 49cc FS1-E – £2,000-2,400

Lot 327: 1976 Suzuki AP50 E – £2,000-2,400

Lot 328: 1980 Ossa 250cc MAR Trials Motorcycle – £1,200-1,500

Lot 329: 1979 Suzuki TS250 – £800-1,200

Lot 330: 1973 Honda CD175 – £1,400-1,800

Lot 331: 1975 Honda CB200 – £1,500-1,800

Lot 332: 1971 Kawasaki 250cc A1 Samurai – £5,000-6,000

Lot 333: 2010 Yamaha SR400 ‘Grievous Angel’ by Deus Ex Machina – £8,000-12,000

The property of Richard Hammond:

Lot 334: 1977 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing – £4,000-6,000

Lot 335: 2010 Norton Commando 961SE – £14,500-18,500

Lot 336: 1970 Triton 500cc ‘Café Racer’ – £6,500-8,500

Lot 337: 1975 Yamaha 49cc FS1-E – £2,500-3,500

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale takes place at the International Classic MotorCycle Show, Staffordshire County Showground on 26 April, 2015. Viewing 10:00-17:00 Saturday 25 April. For further information and a full lot listing visit:

Note: The images of motorcycles featuring May and Hammond are part of their current personal collections, and are not featured in Bonhams Stafford Sale.

Richard Hammond is sitting on a Vincent Black Shadow, James May on a Honda RC 30.


Top Gear hosts’ classic bikes head for auction

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.