Sunday, June 16, 2024


Top Gear celebrity James May’s Meccano Bike, created on BBC’s James May’s Toy Stories, is now on display in the National Motor Museum.

The bike, made from real Meccano, is a one-off design created during the filming of the BBC Toy Stories programme. The challenge was to produce a bike capable of completing the 37.8 mile Isle of Man TT circuit over three days during TT week. It had to be able to reach a speed of at least 15mph and survive the punishing long climbs and sharp descents that the historic course is famous for.

It took months of problem-solving and head-scratching to design the bike before the actual build could start. There are more than 600 nuts and bolts in each wheel alone and over 15,000 pieces of standard Meccano were used in the build, which took nine weeks to complete.

James May, who was accompanied by TV personality, Oz Clarke, on the run said: “There was a certain amount of flexibility and a couple of minor problems with bearings, steering, comfort, electricity – and the passenger – but apart from that it was a very smooth run and very heroic, I think.”

The arrival of the Meccano bike coincides with the opening of the Beaulieu museum’s new display, The Motorcycle Story, which takes visitors on a journey through motorcycling history.

More about The Motorcycle Story in the June issue of BDN


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