Interview with Jay Leno at the Brough-Superior exhibit.  MidAmerica Auctions tent Pebble Beach.  Saturday, August 15, 2009 (verbatim transcript)

CW:  Could you tell Cycle World what you think of what you've just seen [this Brough-Superior exhibit]?

JL:  "Oh, I think it's fantastic.  You know, I think this kind of thing is true art.  You're not really going to make a lot of money doing these things.  I think you do them for the love of the machine.  And for a whole generation of young people who don't know what these bikes are ...  like I a have a Vincent Black Shadow and I sometimes go where there are kids with the modern bikes, and they've never even heard of it.  And you tell them it was the fastest bike and they go, "Oh, OK," and they roll their eyes. They don't have a sense of perspective.  And then you let them ride it or take them for a ride and they're astounded by it.  It's amazing how far ahead of the time, in their time, these kind of bikes were.  People don't really understand that here you had overhead valves, a thousand cc's when most motorcycles were a 250 cc flathead, BSA Bantams, and most people never went over 25 miles per hour.  And to have something that went a ... hundred ... miles ... an ... hour !  I mean, it was unbelievable.  You had a level of craftsmanship and workmanship that was just not seen on everyday, work-a-day motorcycles.  Oh no.  It's fantastic.

You know, the Brough legend is ... you know, it's fun to take some of the Brough ideas and ride it and use it.  Like, I have some real Bugattis and then I have a couple of Bugatti replicas that were built in Argentina to somewhat similar standards as this [the Brough re-creations on display here].  So I can take it out and drive it, I can power slide  with it.  It's so much fun.  You know, these kind of bikes are all about the interaction of man and machine.  You take it up, you click it in -  'click click' - it's like moving the mainspring of a watch when it drops into second gear, and then everything starts moving again and then you put the clutch in.  It's all very deliberate and all sort of slow by modern standards.  But you really appreciate it. You know, these had a gait like a horse - kind of 'tsch tsch' like each cylinder had 'pom, pom, pom' and you rode it like a horse.  You had no suspension so you put your feet on the pegs and it was a bit like being on the fastest ... well .... what did George used to say?  Or was it T.E. Lawrence?  Yes, it was T.E Lawrence.  'A motorcycle with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on earth.'  Heck, when I got my Brough-Superior I would cut my hand and put a drop of blood in the gas tank.  I always felt it improved the performance until I started to get anemic and I realized I'm running out of blood and I can't keep doing this....  Each time I got a new Brough or Vincent I'd put a drop of blood in the tank.  It just seemed very exciting - I know, it doesn't make any sense at all.  But it sort of bonds you with the machine.


You know, the cool thing about these things was that when they stopped and broke by the side of the road you could always figure out how to get home.  You know, so you sort of bond with the machine.  As much as I like my ZX Kawasaki 1400, if it stops, it stops and there's nothing you can do.  I mean here you had to be a rider, a mechanic and that was the great fun of these things.  Plus, I never trust any motorcycle you can't see through, you know.  It's a bit like opening the back of a watch where you see push rods and valve springs and it's all quite honest.   You see everything moving around and going up and down.  And you can watch the oil go through, literally, when you look at the pump.  It's an entertaining motorcycle to be on.  It's the kind of motorcycle you really enjoy getting a Q-tip and cleaning and going through it.  Ahhh, it's wonderful - I could go on for hours. But I don't mean to bore you."

CW:  Will we be seeing one of your motorcycles at the Concours in the future?

JL:  "Maybe in the future. I'm usually riding mine so I don't get all that time to spend polishing them and that sort of thing.  But they're great fun and to be able to recreate something like this ... I mean, this is akin to taking a piece of dinosaur DNA and making another Tyrannosaurus Rex.  You know,  that would be the scientific equivalent to it.  That's what it is.  It's a replica in the truest sense of the word. 'Replica' has come to mean a fiberglass thing with a Pinto engine that looks sort of like what a Cobra looked like.  But the true meaning of replica is an exact copy of what was made and I don't see any cut corners. I don't see any American threads.  I don't see anything that doesn't look like it doesn't belong on there.  It's very well done, very impressive."

Sound track of interview at (Quick Time movie, 4' 31"):