James May: The Reassembler

Mini Motorcycle

Series 2 - Episode 3 Mini Motorcycle



This week James May goes a bit Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – in a good way. We know he’s given to ruminating on deep questions in his workshop at the best of times, but the task of putting together a Honda monkey bike (or more technically, a Z50A Mini Trail Motorcycle) from its 303 parts turns him more philosophical then ever.

As he potters with clevis pins and swing arms he ponders on death and ageing, on how xenophobia helped to kill British industry, on duality (it’s that old bolt-or-screw question again) and on types of American cheese. And of course, it’s all erudite and interesting.

There’s light relief, too, when his check shirt gets caught up in the brake assembly, or when he realises, “I’ve put the sockets back in the box in the wrong order. I’ll have to be killed.”


James is faced with reassembling a 1970s Honda Z50A Mini Trail Motorcycle from all its 303 component parts. This exciting, portable motorcycle was fun for the whole family and had a generation of young people hooked on motorcycles for the rest of their lives.

Cast & Crew

Presenter James May
Director Dan Lewis
Executive Producer Will Daws
Executive Producer Stuart Cabb
Series Producer Dan Lewis
Writer James May
see more