Freshly unemployed Richard Hammond and James May are auctioning off their motorcycles

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Added in: BBC Top Gear

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Uh oh, this seems to be a bad time not just for Jeremy Clarkson, but his fellow co-presenters too. It seems like James May and Richard Hammond are evaluating their life plans in the wake of Clarkson’s dismissal from the money-spinning Top Gear franchise.

British newspapers are reporting that the two are jointly auctioning off some of their prized motorcycles. You might remember that, unlike Clarkson who won’t be seen dead near any two-wheeler if he can help it, May and Hammond are avid bikers, and have a treasure trove of timeless machines in their collection. They’re now offering up part of the collection for auction at the Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale scheduled to be held later this month.

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Motorcycles that Hammond is selling include a 1977 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing, a 2010 Norton Commando 961SE, a 1970 Triton 500cc ‘Café Racer, and a 1975 Yamaha 49cc FS1-E.

May, whose collection – and need for money, apparently – seems to be substantially larger, is offering up the following: 1974 Yamaha 49cc FS1-E, 1976 Suzuki AP50 E, 1980 Ossa 250cc MAR Trials Motorcycle, 1979 Suzuki TS250, 1979 Suzuki TS250, 1973 Honda CD175, 1975 Honda CB200, 1971 Kawasaki 250cc A1 Samurai, and a 2010 Yamaha SR400 ‘Grievous Angel’ customized by Deus Ex Machina.

The bikes are expected to fetch anywhere from £2,000 for the Yamaha 49cc FS1-E to a whooping £18,500 for the uber-exotic Norton Commando 961SE.

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Reassuring the fans that this auction has nothing to do with the recent Top Gear debacle, both May and Hammond told The Telegraph that the auction was planned months in advance.

“I also have a canoe, and some Wharfedale hi-fi speakers, if anyone’s interested. 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. Just because I’m unemployed now doesn’t mean I have to get rid of everything,” May said. “I was going to sell these bikes anyway. And those paintings, and my collection of Scalextric cars. Honest.”

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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.

For our money, Hammond’s 1970 Triton 500cc “Café Racer” is what we’d put our hammer down on. That, boys, is a proper slice of motoring history. Now excuse us while we make a fawning call to the bank.

Images: Bonhams

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  • Thanks for pointing out, Rishabh. Corrected

  • Rishabh Chakravorty says:

    There is repetition of the following.
    “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.”
    Please remove it before your editor cracks the whip or let it stay if they have both said the exact same thing.