James May To Auction Off 1974 Yamaha FS1-E "Fizzie"
With all the drama surrounding the status of Top Gear, one can only imagine that James May has a lot of downtime on his hands. He’s also technically unemployed so with no checks coming in the mail, May has decided to auction off his motorcycle auction at the Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale on April 26, 2015 with hopes of scoring a pretty hefty price to pay for his hair grooming.
Ok, that last part was a joke. But the truth of the matter is that May really is selling off some of his bike collection at the Bonhams event. One bike, in particular, that’s getting a lot of attention is his 1974 Yamaha FS1-E, one of the most iconic mopeds in history that once laid claim to the title of being the fastest 49 cc two-wheeler in the world.
The story behind the bike, affectionately called “Fizzie,” is equally fascinating. According to May, he brought the FS1-E from Hammond back in 2011 after the latter gave it a full restoration in 2007. Upon owning Fizzie, May only used the moped for roughly 50 miles, so the bike is basically still in fully restored condition.
The bike isn’t expected to fetch a premium price at the Bonhams auction. In fact, its estimated auction price is just at £2,000 to £2,400, which is about $2,920 to $3,550 based on current exchange rates. But considering that Fizzie was owned by two-thirds of the former Top Gear troika, that alone could bump up the bidding price a little bit higher than its estimate.
It’s also not the only bike May will be auctioning off at Bonhams. He’s also sending a 1979 Suzuki TS250, a 1973 Honda CD175, and his Yamaha SR400 ‘Grievous Angel’, which was custom built by Australian custom shop Deus Ex Machina back in 2010.
Continue reading to read more about James May’s motorcycles hitting the Bonhams auction block.
Why it matters
All joking aside, May and Hammond actually agreed to auction off their bikes even before the whole Top Gear fiasco descended on everybody so it’s not like they’re actually doing it just to make ends meet.
Hammond’s also got a nice collection that’s headed to Bonhams, headlined by a 2010 Norton Commando 961SE that can produce up to 80 horsepower and hit a top speed of over 130 mph. It’s also expected to fetch anywhere from $21,000 to $27,000, making it one of the most expensive bikes from both of their collections. Other than the Norton Commando, Hammond will also sell off his 1970 Triton 500cc Cafe Racer and a 1977 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing.
All in all, May and Hammond are auctioning off 12 motorcycles with eight coming from Captain Slow and four coming from the Hamster. Most of these bikes are from the 1970’s mixed in with a few more modern examples like the aforementioned 2010 Norton Commando and the ’Grievous Angel.’
Early estimates have the collection from May and Hammond fetching anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000. But like I said, the fact that these bikes are owned by the May and Hammond should give these models reasonable bumps in interest and, hopefully, bidding action.
The grouping of 12 motorbikes – eight from James and four from Richard – includes a lion’s share of bikes from the 1970s, with a few more modern examples to be seen as well. Auction estimates put the entire collection in the $61,000 to $80,000 range, but given the celebrity status of their current owners, auction-goers might be in for an aggressive bidding war.