Snag tries to find out just how many motorcycles is the goldilocks amount. ‘What’s just right’?
What a wonder the worldwide web is. Not only can I buy all my clothes without having to speak to a sales assistant, I don’t even have to move from my seat. Gotta love that.
I spend a fair bit of time perusing the web (no, not that, well not often anyway) and file a few stories for INFO MOTO as well. Yes, I like it, dang newfangled thing is alright I reckon.
While surfing about (you don’t even have to get wet to do that!), I came across Leno’s toy box the other night. That’s the site dedicated to that large-meloned talk show host’s collection of, well stuff automotive.
He boasts that he never sells anything. No wonder, he’s filthy rich. Why would he? It’s been a while since Jay was in an op-shop methinks. By crikey, he’s got some stuff though. You simply must log-on and take a look. It’s amazing.
Just how many cars and bikes Leno owns is a bit of a mystery, but the smart word on the corridor suggests around 90 cars and 80 motorcycles, and, trust me, these ain’t Hyundai Excels or… (best I not put any disparaging thing here about any current bike, lest I be flogged by the trade, but you get it)…
Like, get this, he has six Brough Superiors. Wouldn’t be surprised if he had a couple of Brough Inferiors as well, and they are very rare indeed.
All this got me to thinking… Is owning that many bikes and cars enjoyable? Do they, at some point, own you? You can’t knock Leno as one that simply has sheds full of stuff, hoarded away, just because he is well-minted.
No, he truly understands each and every one of his vehicles and drives and rides them too. Not sure how he gets a lid to fit though, that bonce has a postcode!
But, when is enough, well, enough? How many bikes would you like to own and look after? Five, ten, 2500?
I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking the regos on five would kill me. Insurance, space… There are many limiting factors.
And I get no kick out of seeing bikes in sheds that never see the light of day. What the hell is the point of that? They are only metal at that point, like so many old fridges.
At least the bikes survive in the hands of the collector and are usually maintained. But if they are not used – or at least available to view – well, they are dead anyway.
I do love to look at them in bike museums, and that makes sense. They are bringing enjoyment to lots of people and that’s their primary task, in my opinion. I nearly said IMHO then, that Social Media stuff is mighty catchy!
When is collecting motorcycles considered obsessive? When you don’t pay the mortgage to replace the Amals I suspect. When you can speak of nothing else, when your wife leaves you and you don’t notice?
I have mates with reasonably big bike collections, but they tend to ride them and work on them. They get use, have fun and I’m just jake with that. Cool.
Bikes need hugs. I reckon bikes get sad when they sit, year after year. And nature suggests I am right. They deteriorate at an accelerated rate without the love of an owner. Like a forgotten old person in a geriatric ward. They need visiting.
Leno’s collection? Good luck to him. But I wouldn’t want to be him. Or his hairdresser. It’d be like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.