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Top Gear's James May completes TT lap on toy bike

Top Gear's James May and wine writer Oz Clarke in the electric motorbike with sidecar made from Meccano
Top Gear's James May and wine writer Oz Clarke in the electric motorbike with sidecar made from Meccano
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Thursday, 05, Sep 2013 04:22

by Myron Jobson

A functioning motorbike built from a children's toy sounds beyond the realms of possibility.

James May, however, has proved nothing is impossible in the magical world of construction toys.

May, a third of the famous Top Gear trio, successfully rode an electric-powered motorbike with sidecar made from Meccano around the Isle of Man TT course last week (28 August).

British wine writer and broadcaster, Oz Clarke, accompanied May around the 37-mile mountain course, overcoming several mechanical issues en route.

A delighted James May told the BBC: "It is a great honour to have done it."

For those of you who aren't familiar with Meccano, it was created by Frank Hornby in 1901 as a toy was based on the principles of mechanical engineering.

It was popular among children, and some adults, especially during the mid 1900s.

But how does a motorbike constructed from a children's toy handle?

"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," May said.

The challenge coincided with the 90th anniversary Manx Grand Prix, which takes place on the Isle of Man course.

The challenge will be aired this Christmas on BBC2 programme Toy Stories, in which James rediscovers and explores the capabilities of toys from his childhood.

Might be one to watch while tucking into your minced pies...

Comments - What do you think?

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