Evocative Hammond

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Here’s a taste of next week’s exclusive MCN column by the BBC TV star and passionate motorcyclist, Richard Hammond. 

The Hamster’s getting all doe-eyed about that most evocative of motorcycling elements – sounds…

“I’ve come up with a theory; we love the sound of different types of bike at different stages in our lives. 

It’s as age-related as beer bellies, baldness and beige trousers. Okay, so it’s not a world-changer, but it’s a good theory. Let me explain:

When I first started riding in the early eighties, after a lifetime spent ogling every large capacity bike that I saw from the back seat of the family car as we zipped about the place, it wasn’t long before disappointment loomed.

My little fifty was a wonderful, thing; it gave me my freedom and really annoyed the teachers when I turned up on it. 

But ultimately, it was never going to scare or intimidate anyone. What I craved was the sophisticated howl of a Jap four. 

My best mate’s brother and his friends were older than us and they all had big bikes with proper engines with four cylinders. 

The roar they made when they arrived compared to the tinny rattle our fifties made as we rocked up was the coolest noise in the world…”

Read Hammond’s full column in MCN, available from Wednesday, February 21, 2007.