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Normally, people’s first experience of a motorbike is courtesy of a 50cc scooter, probably on a deserted airfield with the nearest solid object somewhere on the horizon. Beds you in nice and gently.

But the TG office isn’t a sympathetic place, so Piers Ward got dispatched to the Isle of Man for his first time on a motorbike - riding pillion with John McGuinness on the TT course. McGuinness has won more TT races than any other living rider, and knows the course better than anyone.

Every drain cover, every change of tarmac, every extremely close wall or lampost. None of this was reassuring to Piers as they lined up at the start of the course.

The bike? A Honda Fireblade. Top speed of the lap? 170mph. Average lap speed? Just over 100mph. John McGuinness at the end of the lap? Ludicrously happy.

Piers Ward at the end of the lap? He’s still having therapy now.

Watch the video below:

Read the full story, minus the video, in the September issue of Top Gear.

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