Jay Leno breaks several bones in 1940 Indian motorcycle crash

Jay Leno's Garage

Bad luck has struck Jay Leno again, landing him in the hospital with several broken bones.

While test riding his 1940 Indian motorcycle on January 17, he smelled a fuel leak:

“So I turned down a side street and cut through a parking lot, and unbeknownst to me, some guy had a wire strung across the parking lot but with no flag hanging from it,” Leno told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “So, you know, I didn’t see it until it was too late. It just clotheslined me and, boom, knocked me off the bike.”

Leno explained to Hagerty that he figures he was going about 15 mph, just doing a U-turn in the parking lot. It could have been worse for him, but the Indian did not escape unscathed. The motorcycle was a sidecar, so it kept going and crashed into a building.

Jay Leno Indian Motorcycle Riding
Jay Leno's Garage

The 72-year-old comedian suffered a broken collarbone, two broken ribs, and two broken kneecaps. Leno was admitted to the hospital, figuring he’d be out and about the next day.

A few years ago he told Hagerty that he had “one more motorcycle crash in him.” Maybe this was it.

This all comes just as Leno was preparing to return to the stage in Las Vegas, after finally healing up from facial burns suffered while working on his White steam car. As a result, he opted to lie low and not tell the media about the motorcycle crash right away. “You know, after getting burned up, you get that one for free,” Leno told the Review-Journal. “After that, you’re Harrison Ford, crashing airplanes. You just want to keep your head down.”

Jay Leno 1940 Indian Motorcycle Riding
Jay Leno's Garage

Leno understands both the risks and joys of motorcycle riding. The comedian said he’s generally been very lucky on bikes, including a couple of harrowing near-misses. In one instance, he was riding a custom Triumph for his YouTube series; the owner had run the crankcase breather tube out in front of the rear tire, so it was blowing oil all over the tire and he nearly lost control. Another time, while riding a Brough Superior, the wheel locked up just moments after he exited the freeway.

We wish Leno a speedy recovery. If history is any indication, he’ll be back in action soon.

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    There are two parts to this story that have me shrugging my shoulders and rolling my eyes: The “luck” part and the “cutting across the parking lot” part. I’ll leave it at that. Jay, I’m happy to hear you’ll be alright, buddy! Sure wish you’d have let me take a ride on that bike before the destructive testing.

    I guess it’s not known by everybody that World War II the only way they can stop the Germans on the side hack was put a wire across the road to kill the German Soldier.

    Speed n health in your recovery Jay, Sooo sorry for your misfortune, lived the unmarked rusty cable as an employee in a Boeing Parking lot, decapitated a Pristine 1961 Corvette Roadster, I had a scalping and the driver n owner n coworker had a hand injury n facial lacerations, good luck sir with your future I’m am sooo glad you survived as did your classic Indian , looking forward to your Shows and I might bump into you at a future Car/motorcycle gathering again, Happy Trails to you🤗🙋🙏

    I was going to invite Jay on a road trip in Europe, but he has 2 strikes against himself now and I don’t want to be around when he has his third. Funny how this stuff happens when you get over 70.

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