Want To Buy Rare Superbikes From A Hollywood Stuntman?

You get the bikes, Tom McComas buys a house in Vancouver, British Columbia

Honda RC30 and Yamaha 0W01 front view
Honda RC30 and Yamaha OW01Photo: Ben Bertucci

Hollywood stuntman Tom McComas has done lots of crazy things for money, and along the way his collection of motorcycles grew large enough to take up space in an airplane hangar in Los Angeles. The 47-year-old spends more time filming near Vancouver, British Columbia, lately, and decided it was time to thin the herd and buy a place in Britannia Beach, where the riding is sublime and his commute to work is much shorter than hopping on a plane and staying in an expensive hotel.

"The Sea to Sky Highway up there is like the Pacific Coast Highway, but curvier," McComas told me. "Basically, it's a motorcyclist's dream road. I have a collection of about 20 bikes primarily from the late 1980s to early '90s. Several are rare homologation specials, and the jewels of the collection are my 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 and 1991 Yamaha FZR750RT OW01."

I asked how he plans to sell the bikes, worth approximately $85,000 for the pair.

1990 honda vfr750r type rc30
With just 14 push miles on the odometer, this 1990 Honda VFR750R Type RC30 could fetch upwards of $50,000 plus.Photo: Ben Bertucci

"Bonhams Las Vegas auction on January 25," he said. "The RC30 is what many people consider the holy grail of superbikes. I've lusted after it ever since it showed up on the glossy pages of motorcycle magazines back in 1989. When they started imposing dominance on racetracks across the globe, my desire to own one only grew stronger. Every photo I could find was torn out and taped to the walls of my bedroom. Nick Ienatsch wrote volumes about the hand-built racer that only served to fuel the fire.

"Fast-forward to Boston 20 years later. Long after my dreams of being a world champion roadracer had been replaced by the reality that I was better crashing them for pay than putting it on top of the box, I capitalized on my strengths and became a stuntman. We were in Boston shooting a Ben Affleck film, The Town, and I heard about a small auction selling off the vehicles belonging to a recently deceased automotive designer. It was to be held nearby, so I went to the bank and picked up cashier's checks in $5,000 increments, got on a train and headed for the auction.

“When I arrived, I called another collector who was an expert in this era of motorcycles. I dialed his number and heard a phone ringing not far away from me. I looked over to see my over-the-phone superbike friend Joe Lord. He had heard about the auction and was there for the RC.

“What do I do? We were friends over the phone, but adversaries at the auction. We chatted about the bikes then I cut to the quick, asking what his max bid would be. He asked what my max was, and I pulled out all my cashier’s checks. It was more than he and his wife were willing to spend. This, however, did not stop her from throwing in one more bid above where they had agreed to stop. I think she was just mad at the situation, and it manifested itself in a bid she had no intention of following up. It cost me another $3,000 to get the bike.”

The Yamaha was a more recent purchase for McComas.

1991 yamaha fzr750rt ow01
Only 500 of the 1991 Yamaha FZR750RT OW01 were built, and this one could fetch upwards of $35,000 plus.Photo: Ben Bertucci

“Getting the Yamaha was a different story,” he said. “I was the only suitor, having heard about the bike over the grapevine, and didn’t have any competition. The owner and I agreed on a price and I wired him the money. It was sight unseen in Sweden and there was a fair amount of risk. But I had a friend who lived nearby and was able to take a look at it and vouch for the owner’s integrity.

“It was a ‘friend of a friend of a friend’ kind of thing that initially I thought couldn’t be true,” McComas explained. “It came packed better than any other bike I’ve received. Starting with a silk-screened soft spandex cover, which had Valentino Rossi’s old two-stroke Honda 500cc GP bike printed on it, but I could overlook the cross branding in this situation! It also came with what seemed like anything and everything possible associated with this bike: owner’s manual, original bill of sale, original factory warranty paperwork, posters, pins. Even the little Velcro fanny-pack Nikon pad/zipper wallet that attaches to the cross members of the fairing with the OW01 logo printed on it! I had never seen that before. The guy had treated this like an artifact to be preserved in a museum. Mind blowing, actually.”

“In my opinion, these two bikes are the closest anyone can get to a owning a classic factory race bike,” McComas said.

Who’s going to Las Vegas next month?

Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction
Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino
January 25, 2018