James May's Toy Stories

James May's Toy Stories: The Motorcycle Diary

James May's Toy Stories: The Motorcycle Diary



Two words sum up this latest stunt from James May’s garage full of barmy ideas: Meccano motorbike. It’s a beautiful plan: to make a full-size working motorcycle out of those little nuts, little bolts and strips of metal with holes in. The stuff people used to make table-top cranes in the 1950s.

It’ll never work – or will it? And if it did, could May and Oz Clarke ride the thing around the TT course on the Isle of Man, all 37¾ miles of it? We find out, and a typically heart-warming, daft and faintly surreal journey it is, too.

It’s the kind of retro-toy caper that is bound to appeal to dads of a certain age, but not to them alone. It becomes an uplifting odyssey, peppered with not-faked-for-TV setbacks and with walk-on roles for some kippers, a police escort and a troop of boy scouts. In every sense, it’s riveting TV.


The Top Gear presenter sets out to build a motorbike and sidecar entirely out of Meccano and complete a lap of the Isle of Man's TT circuit. A total of 15,000 pieces must be assembled to create a full-size, road-legal motorcycle that James hopes will be more than a match for one of the world's most demanding courses - as well as bearing the weight of himself and passenger Oz Clarke.

Cast & Crew

Presenter James May
Contributor Oz Clarke
Executive Producer Will Daws
Series Director Tom Whitter