"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.
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: www.bonhams.com/22720
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.