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  • August 01, 2023 2 min read

    The Motorbike Show


    I’ve seen some tremendously positive comment on social media about The Motorbike Show. Though in some ways it’s good to see more motorcycling content on TV I’m afraid I have my doubts. Here’s my charge sheet:

    Henry Cole – is it that I’m jealous of his luxuriant hair? Quite possibly, but there’s something that rubs me up the wrong way about an old Etonian saying ‘mo-a-bike’. I say Cole why are you trying to talk like an oik. It didn’t do David Cameron any good! I’m sure Henry is a nice enough bloke but why doesn’t he just talk in his natural accent, after all it hasn’t done Clarkson any harm.

    The banal travelogue section taking in a local history museum, cheese making, basket weaving or similar. Presumably this is a sop to the non-motorcyclists who are forced to sit through the programme, but surely most of them have their own iPads etc. to keep themselves entertained.

    Uninformative comments on test bikes. The last one I watched showed a windswept Henry holding on like grim death to the bars of a large Indian V twin, following which he informed us that while it was an impressive looking machine it was not particularly well-adapted to Cornwall’s narrow lanes. A statement of the blindingly obvious. In a previous season his feedback on the Husqvarna Svartpilen focused on his amusement at a Swedish bike actually having a Swedish name. Is this what he actually thinks, or rather that it will chime a chord with bikers who are presumed to be an unsophisticated lot? Come on Henry – how much do these bikes cost to buy and run, what type of duties are they suitable for, what level of skill/experience do you need to get the best out of them etc.etc? This is what we want to know.

    Henry’s ‘mates’. Sam Lovegrove formerly of Shed and Buried has now been supplanted as the mechanical genius by Alan Millyard – whose work is a true pleasure to watch. Sam meanwhile seems to be getting a little more passive-aggressive, or is it all just scripted reality? Meanwhile why does everyone who’s introduced have to be nickname bearing ‘character’? The low point of this must surely be the group Motorhead-chanelling superannuated Cornish bikers. Why can’t motorcyclists just be depicted as normal people who happen to like bikes? But perhaps that wouldn’t be televisual enough.

    Does anyone have an alternative take on the show – if so why not write it up and share your views in the next edition of Progress.


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