Becoming attached to a motorbike is a natural feeling for any rider. They become an expression of freedom when you’re out on the road. But some people aren’t satisfied with just owning one bike, and it leads to them starting a collection. Jay Leno is known for his impressive collection of classic cars, though he also owns several bikes. Here are some of the most eye-catching.
1955 Vincent Black Shadow
Leno often credited the defunct Vincent as his favourite bike brand. His Black Shadow is an imposing machine, with narrow-angle V-twins, aluminium pistons, unique rocker arm design and a dry sump oiling system. The Black Shadow was the fastest bike of its era, so it’s easy to see why Leno has it in his collection.
1933 Indian Four
The Indian Four was built by the Indian Motorcycle Company from 1928 to 1942. It was the first production bike to incorporate battery ignition and Leno’s model features a 1300cc engine. The vehicle has an attractive red paint job and the Indian logo engraved in golden letters. Even when it’s not on the road, the Indian is a bike to be admired.
1936 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead
When Leno bought his 1936 Harley, it hadn’t been run since 1952. Rather than completing restoring it, he brought it back to riding condition. He added a flushed crankcase, new tyres and filled it up with petrol. The Harley rode like a dream and it still retained much of its original look. With a black and brown paint job, the Harley channels the spirit of classic American bikes.
1971 Velocette Thruxton
For 65 years, the Velocette factory built high-quality motorbikes in Birmingham, England. The Thruxton was introduced to replace the Velocette Venom. It featured upgraded telescopic forks, clip-ons and could reach up to 110 mph. Leno purchased his the year it was made, directly from the Birmingham factory before it closed down. The bike is blue and silver, giving it a polished look.
1964 Triumph Bonneville
The Bonneville is one of the few bikes in Leno’s collection that he didn’t buy himself. When he was hosting The Tonight Show on NBC, CBS wanted him to host a similar late-night program. They bought him the 1964 Bonneville to try and sway his decision, but the comedian ended up making a deal with NBC. Leno decided to keep the bike and restore it.
There’s no doubt Leno is as passionate about motorbikes as he is about cars. To learn more about his cars, you can visit our classic car blog.