RELIVING THE GREAT ESCAPE
Sign up to the National Motorcycle Museum’s Friends scheme and you could book a ride on a new recreation of that world-famous film bike
First proper look at the NMM’S replica of the film-star Triumph
The latest machine to emerge from the National Motorcycle Museum’s prolific restoration workshop is this replica of the Triumph twin used for that jump in the Steve Mcqueen film, The Great Escape. It’s pretty widely known that Mcqueen didn’t actually ride the bike for the jump sequence – that was handled by Mcqueen’s racing buddy, stuntman Bud Ekins – but it’s still an undeniably iconic scene from movie history.
“So many people have seen the film,” says NMM director James Hewing, explaining the rationale behind building a replica. “We’ve been asked countless times whether the bike used in the film still exists and, if so, where it is. The original is owned by Triumph collector Dick Shepherd and is actually on display at Triumph’s visitor centre at Hinckley.
“We decided to build an accurate replica so that visitors to our museum who are interested in the bike can at least see exactly what it looks like.”
The NMM bike is based on a Triumph T110 with a modified rear frame section, whereas the one used in the 1963 World War II film is a TR6, but the replica is so good it looks just like the original.
“The guys in our restoration workshop have been working on it as time allows for the last three years,” says Hewing. “It was finished just in time for our last Friends’ Try A Bike Classic Day a few weeks back. If anyone fancies a ride on it, they can book one if they sign up to the Friends scheme. No jumping over fences, though.”
NMM restoration workshop has just finished this Great Escape replica