Top gear for bikes?
or something similar.
For some time Jamie and myself have tried to get someone interested in a project like this. In fact for four years now, with no success, we get the occasional interest from media companies, either no one wants to take a risk, or they just don't listen to us properly. Yet loads of people want us to make it, the ordinary biker in the street thinks its a great idea, there is even a Facebook group called 'The BBC should make a Top Gear for bikes' so on these bits of information it should be a popular programmes.
We worked out how to make a pilot at minimal cost, of course we will not discuss the details with anyone until we have some sort of agreement, that would be foolish. The idea is pretty simple, but you have to be a biker to understand why it would work, there lies the problem, the last company I had a meeting with to discuss the project, kept saying "How can we get it more like the Mcgregor – Boreman thing?" Yet when questioned, he had not even seen it. All he knew was that is was successful, the whole point of the our project is to move away from that kind of show, make it more like 5th gear or Top Gear than travelogue, but with a twist that would make it appeal not only to bikers but the general public as well.
Now you could say why don't we make it ourselves? Yes, we could, but unless we hired a load of expensive equipment, it would not look professional, the videos Motorsickle put up on Youtube are made in a short time scale; with pretty primitive equipment. As we have always said, we are professional bikers, not journalists, everything we have done so far, we had to learn from scratch. And to be honest, I don't think we have done that bad, considering the constraints and handicaps we have worked under.
With some decent equipment and a couple of professional people, I think we could make a pilot that would capture the interest of bikers and the public, we have been offered quite a few bikes to feature, getting a famous biker to appear would help immensely, although most seem reluctant, or least the ones whose agents I have spoken too, to get involved with a new untried project. No one wants to be associated with a failure, plus some want stupidly high fees to appear!
Getting bikers interested in a 'Top Gear' style programmes for bikes is difficult, while most are saying that they want one, strange that while a lot of programmes feature bikes (Hairy Bikers, American Chopper, Long Way Round, and recently David Jason riding a classic Triumph in his homage to 'The Battle of Britain') why is it, that none of the production companies want to make a programmes geared solely for motorbikes, or is it strange?
Think about this, most cars drivers will watch a car, any car being thrashed around a track. Clarkson and co have a winning formula of fun and information, but mainly its entertaining, nearly everything you see is set up, it appeals to all groups and is designed purely as entertainment, not a true car programmes as such. We know Clarkson will not allow motorbikes on 'his' show, except for the one off Vietnam trip, which strangely was one of the most popular they have done, he refuses to allow them on, not because he hates them, it is just part of his 'act'. He puts himself up as the ordinary man in the street, but it is all an act designed to court controversy and keep his name in public eye, it's a perfect win-win formula.
Now consider bikers, how many race rep riders want to sit down and watch a BSA bantam being put through it paces? How many chopper riders want to watch a Ninja being hooned around a track? See the problem, anyone who comes up with a format that appeals across the board will have a winning formula, which we think we have, but then you have to persuade them to make it.
Getting started is proving to be hellishly difficult.... Because persuading tv executives that people want to see motorbikes on the television is not easy. Even when you show them how popular some already are. As stated above, car drivers will watch any car, but bikers are more selective.
Surprisingly, there is not a lot of interest from manufacturers, I have not figured out why yet, I think it is to do with not having proved itself, maybe they also want a tried and tested formula before committing themselves.
Another problem is support from bikers themselves. It is notoriously hard to get bikers to work together at anything, Warren Djangoly has done a sterling job organising the 'Notobikeparkingtax' demo's, in fact they have been very successful.
What we need is for someone to organise a some kind of run in support of a 'Top Gear' style programmes, if enough motorbikes turned up surely someone would then get interested.
In the meantime I shall still try to drum up some interest in the media, but after all this time, I am beginning to think no media executive is interested in motorbikes, or believes that there is not enough interest out there to make it work.
Maybe one day...