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'Captain Slow' adds bolts to Beaulieu bikes

2014-05-20 07:26

NUTS AND BOLTS: Top Gear presenter James May's Meccano Bike - built from 15 000 pieces - from his 'Toy Stories' series will be joining the collection of motorcycles at the National Motor Museum in England. Image: Supplied

LONDON, England - Beaulieu is delighted to announce that James May’s Meccano Bike, created on BBC’s 'James May’s Toy Stories', is on display in the National Motor Museum in England.

The bike, made from real Meccano, is a one-off design created during the filming of the BBC programme. The challenge was to produce a bike capable of completing the 60km Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) circuit over three days during TT week.

It had to be able to reach at least 25km/h and survive the punishing long climbs and sharp descents for which the historic course is famous.

15 000 PIECES

It took months of problem-solving and head-scratching to design the bike. Each wheel, for instance, has more than 600 nuts and bolts and more than 15 000 pieces of standard Meccano bits were used in the build - which took nine weeks.

The arrival of the Meccano bike coincides with the opening of the Beaulieu museum’s latest display, 'The Motorcycle Story', which takes visitors on a journey through motorcycling history. Machines are displayed in their historical and cultural context and tie technological developments to changing trends in fashion, style and sport.

Memorabilia, including clothing and trophies won by sporting greats, can be seen in displays which cover a wide range of racing disciplines, road safety and British youth culture of the 1950's and 1960's.

About Meccano: The construction kits were invented in England by Frank Hornby in 1901 comprising re-usable metal strips, plates, angle girders, wheels, axles and gears, with nuts and bolts to connect the pieces. The toy has sold under the “Erector Set” brand in the US since 1913.


The 'toy' enables the building of working models and mechanical devices and has inspired countless engineers, designers, architects and creative minds of all ages. Modern versions include new technologies to accelerate construction for even the youngest children.

Meccano/Erector set toy products are sold in more than 50 countries. A large part of the Meccano range is made in France in the historic factory of Calais. See Meccano.com
Read more on:    james may  |  bikes

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