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The story behind James May's Meccano Isle of Man motorbike

The Meccano motorbike slowly but steadily wins the race
The Meccano motorbike slowly but steadily wins the race
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Thursday, 05, Dec 2013 04:47

by Ruchi Srivastava

Back in September, we brought you news about the evergreen 'Captain Slow', James May of Top Gear fame completing an Isle of Man lap on a motorbike he built out of Meccano.

We can now give you with a closer look at the toy bike that made history by completing a 37-mile circle of the Isle of Man TT course, which should satisfy your inner mechanical and engineering urges.

The project manager of Toy Stories and Man Lab, quirky inventor Simeon Oakley constructed the bike out of 15,000 pieces with each wheel containing an impressive 600 nuts and bolts each.

The construction and engineering project took nine weeks and was not tested before the TT course challenge.

Commenting on the design of the bike, Country Manager of Meccano Toys UK Ltd, Sue Barratt said: "This was an amazing challenge for all involved.

"Our design team worked in collaboration with the Toy Stories engineers to create a fully functioning motorcycle and sidecar."

The fun and innovative BBC2 programme, Toy Stories that featured this challenge has previously featured the construction of a Supermarine Spitfire from an Airfix kit and the building of a full-size house out of Lego.

In addition to this, Meccano has also been previously showcased on Toy Stories, when James built a life-size, rolling drawbridge to cross the River Mersey back in 2009.

Clearly there's no limit to dreaming and experimenting with toys. However, there is a limit to how fast you can go on a bike made from a kids' toy, as the video below shows:

If that has whetted your appetite for more, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Toy Stories Christmas Special that will feature this extraordinary biking challenge in full.

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