After years of ignoring bikes, Top Gear has finally seen sense. This Sunday's show will feature a BMW S1000RR racing against a £150,000 Ariel Atom V8 around the BBC show's famous test track. MCN gate-crashed the event to get the lowdown on filming.
The BMW S1000RR was completely standard but ridden by British Superbike EVO class champion Steve Brogan. The 185bhp, 999cc inline four-cylinder superbike had ABS, traction control and anti-wheelie though, being a racer, Brogan switched it all off.
He told MCN: “The BMW electronics are great for most of the time but I want to be able to get some wheelspin to help me. I got a couple of laps from the front seat of a car to have a look at the track and then got on the bike to see what it was all about.
Top Gear director Andy Wilman said: “We wanted this showdown to be as real and as close as possible, so using a professional racer to ride the bike made perfect sense. People have criticised Top Gear in the past for the way we have included bikes but we hope this answers those concerns.”
MCN is sworn to secrecy and can't reveal the race result. But we can say that the race is the closest ever seen in Top Gear history and that you won't be disappointed. The car's driver is a surprise too. The show is at 8pm, Sunday, January 23 on BBC2.