Top Gear duo's 12 bikes contribute to £2.2m auction

May, Hammond and James Robinson, Editor of The Classic Motorcycle magazine

Top Gear duo sell 12 bikes

James May and Richard Hammond from BBC’s Top Gear have collectively sold a dozen bikes between them, raising over £77,000 in the process, 17% over the guide price.

The pair attended the Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale at the weekend to witness the 390 lot auction achieving a total of £2.26m, with 86% sold.

The top lot of the sale was a 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide, once rescued from scrap and originally purchased in exchange for juts £10 and an Amal TT carburettor. The fully restored Vincent sold for £275,900 to a bidder in the room.

Bought for £10 and a carburettor. Restored. Sold for over £275,000

Such was the popularity of British machinery at the auction, nine of the top selling ten lots were either Brough, Coventry or Vincent. Continuing that theme, one of Richard Hammond’s four bikes on sale was the top seller among the Top Gear dozen. His 2010 Norton Commando 961SE sold for £15,180.

Here are the twelve bikes and what they sold for:


  • 1974 YAMAHA 49CC FS1-E, £7,475
  • 1976 SUZUKI AP50, £4,830
  • 1979 SUZUKI TS250, £2,185
  • 1973 HONDA CD175, £1,725
  • 1975 HONDA CB200, £2,300
  • 1971 KAWASAKI 250CC A1 SAMURAI, £5,750


  • 1977 HONDA GL1000 GOLD WING, £6,900
  • 2010 NORTON COMMANDO 961SE, £15,180
  • 1970 TRITON 500CC 'CAFE RACER', £10,925
  • 1975 YAMAHA 49CC FS1-E, £6,900

James May, with a total of eight bike for sale, begun by bidding on his own FS1-E and even prior to the auction had joked about his current state of employment, by saying: “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."

Meanwhile, relating to his boredom following the non-renewal of his BBC contract after the heavily publicised Clarkson/Tymon altercation, Hammond had tweeted a drawing of his Ducati 916SPS to his 2.25m followers:

Ex-Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond tweets about his boredom

Other highlights of the auction included the 1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp sold for more than three times top estimate, a total £147,100; the 1930 Brough Superior OHV 680 Black Alpine sold for £138,140 and the 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Series-D sold at £72,060.

A Barry Sheene race-worn Bell helmet from the 1980's sold for £2,000 while a 1995 Chris Eubank Honda Fireblade went for £2,165.

We were at the Stafford Show and here’s a little selection of our favourites:

Suzuki RG500, Schwantz replicaChris Eubank's Honda FirebladeSuzuki XR14Bimota 500-V Due GP replica2-stroke Suzuki GT380James May's AP50Suzuki GT750

Were you there? Did you buy a Vincent for more than £1/4m?  or