The 5 Coolest Motorcycles Owned By Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond has been in the public eye for many years. After leaving school, Hammond got his professional start in radio, and worked at a few different outlets before joining the "Top Gear" crew in 2002. Throughout his early life — and during his time as a co-host of the famous TV show all about automotive ingenuity — Hammond has remained a steadfast gearhead, car collector, and motorcycle enthusiast. 

His collection of motorcycles has swelled and dwindled a number of times over the years. He's noted that he had to sell motorcycles in the past in order to eat, and even to purchase toilet paper. This, of course, was at a time before he found international fame performing in some of the most ludicrous and exciting automotive stunts on serial television.

More recently, Hagerty reports that Hammond was working toward launching a business venture restoring classic cars in 2021, and opted to sell some of his motorcycles and cars at the Silverstone Auctions to fund the new venture. "The irony of me supporting my new classic car restoration business by selling some of my own classic car collection is not wasted on me," he said. 

Even after selling some of these much-loved vehicles, Hammond retains a massive collection of current motorcycles, and some of the models that he has owned in the past are certainly headline-grabbing. His love of motorcycles doesn't fit into a category: such as modern powerhouses, touring body styles, or café racers. His collection spans genres and many have been fabulously cool.

1927 Sunbeam Model 2

Richard Hammond sold his 1927 Sunbeam Model 2 at the 2021 Silverstone Auction, and it ultimately went for around £7,100 (roughly $8,500). The motorcycle is special, for one thing because of its age. The bike has been expertly cared for, and at nearly a century old, the bike still performs at a high level. 

The auctioneer notes that the bike would be an excellent option for a motorbike enthusiast looking to participate in the Banbury Run. This is the world's largest gathering of pre-1931 motorcycles (including three-wheeled varieties) that makes a circuit every year from the British Motor Museum to Banbury and back.

Hammond noted for Quest TV that this motorcycle even includes a hand-lit headlight that requires a book of matches or lighter to operate. "Honestly, I couldn't be a bike dealer, I wouldn't want to let them go," he laments as he loads the vintage two-wheeler onto a cargo van for transport to the auction. 

The bike utilizes a 2.75 horsepower, side-valve single cylinder engine. The bike is rated at 350cc, and introduces a footboard and lowered handlebars that weren't present in the Model 1 version. This makes it somewhat of a precursor to modern touring bikes that add long distance comfort to the experience.

Honda MTX50

The Honda MTX50 is a trail version of the MBX50, and is a unique piece of biking equipment. Legally, the bike was classed as a moped in the European and U.K markets, meaning 16-year-old riders could drive it without a license in many countries. This is exactly the experience that Richard Hammond had with the bike: For his 16th birthday, he split the cost of a Honda MTX50 with his parents, which made the Honda trail rider his first bike.

"It was fairly beaten about, but it looked bigger than a 50cc bike," he told Motorcycle News in 2014. It also "had no sidestand on it so I had to lean it against stuff all the time too. But despite everything, I loved that bike so much." For Hammond, it represented the very essence of motorcycling, and he looks back on the decidedly not-so-impressive off-road dirt bike with immense fondness.

With the smaller engine and overall physical footprint, the MTX50 utilizes a two-stroke engine instead of the typical four-stroke installation that Honda bikes were known for at the time (and still to this day). The bike used a six-speed gearbox, and it was often the apple of customizers' eyes. Owners took great joy in adding aftermarket tune ups to increase the power output to make their bikes a far more potent riding machine.

Suzuki GSX-R750WP

Richard Hammond also owned a Suzuki GSX-R750WP when he was in his early 20s. He told Motorcycle News that this bike was awesome. "I toured all over on that, all around the U.K. and down to France, too." This gives the Suzuki a special place in his heart to be sure. 

In a bout of heartbreak, he notes that he had to sell the motorcycle to meet desperate financial needs as an aspiring but still largely unknown media personality. "I rode to Accrington and sold the bike to the dealer who gave me the most money. I walked home sobbing," he added.

Around 10 years later, he was working on his own automotive reviews and just about to break it big with a role on "Top Gear" just around the corner. In 2000, he discussed the Suzuki on Men and Motors, saying that the model of the time was "pretty. Back then, it was hideous!" 

The 2000 variety GSX utilizes a single analog engine rev dial and a digital speedometer. The bike includes a 0.75L engine and an immensely light frame that combines serious power with a jockey-style riding position.

1976 and 1977 Honda Gold Wings

The Honda Gold Wing is a touring legend. The vehicle is often prominently positioned among long distance riding groups, and it's no surprise that Richard Hammond has owned two of them before. The initial 1976 model (that Hammond reportedly still owns) was a 999cc, four-stroke engine-powered warrior that produced 78 horsepower with a liquid cooled engine and a 5-speed transmission.

Hammond also sold a 1977 Gold Wing at a Bonhams auction in 2015, and the vehicle sold for £6,000 (roughly $7,200). Before parting with this red Gold Wing, Hammond purchased the vehicle about a year and a half before from one of his "Top Gear" co-hosts, James May

These vintage models predate the common Gold Wing seen on the road today, and wouldn't hold up to the speed and distance capabilities of modern motorcycles. However, the style and classic lines of the vintage bikes is something to behold. The '70s Gold Wings offer a comfortable, combined two-seat layout, and a raised set of handlebars that offer a more upright position. This gives the rider a comfortable view of the road and allows for unrestricted enjoyment while cruising through the countryside.

Brough Superior SS100

The Brough Superior is a work of art in motorcycle form. The modern incarnation of this custom ride utilizes a 997cc water cooled V-twin four-stroke engine. The motor adds four valves per cylinder, and has a composite chain and gear cam drive. The bike enjoys 102 braking horse power and a 6-speed gearbox.

The Brough Superior SS100 is created with the purchaser in mind, and each motorcycle is finished with customizations in the brand's modern French shop. The bike combines elegant lines and a classic shape, with power and maneuverability for the ultimate riding experience.

Richard Hammond told Motorcycle News that he has a Brough Superior that's being restored. The motorcycle is one of three dream automobiles in a Twitter reply to a user who asked "money no object, what is your dream car, dream motorcycle..." The Brough Superior was made famous by T.E. Lawrence (of "Lawrence of Arabia"), as it was his vehicle of choice. One sold at an auction recently for £315,000 (about $378,000), making this likely the most expensive motorcycle in Hammonds' garage.