SIMON Cowell was riding a £6,000 electric bike that can reach 50mph in 5 seconds before he fell off and broke his back.
The Britain’s Got Talent star, 60, needed six hours of surgery and missed his spinal cord by a centimetre before his horrific accident.
But it seems like things could’ve gone worse for Simon as the bike is more powerful than your ordinary, run-of-the-mill push bike.
In fact, the CAB Recon bike is said to be “the most powerful electric bicycle on the planet” and can reach 50mph in five seconds – with a top speed of 60mph.
His son Eric, six, and his partner Lauren Silverman’s teenage lad Adam watched in horror as Simon fell backwards and smashed down onto a concrete floor at his Los Angeles home.
A source told HOAR: “He was testing out his new bike with Eric and Adam and the power of it surprised him a bit.
“He fell back directly onto his back and immediately knew he was in trouble. He was in a bad way.”
Simon needed almost six hours of surgery to insert a metal rod in his spine after breaking three vertebrae.
He now faces a long stay in hospital — scuppering his plans to star in tomorrow night’s live launch of the new America’s Got Talent series.
Doctors told the TV mogul he was “very lucky” not to have suffered paralysing injuries.
Simon is thought to have missed damaging his spinal cord — part of the body’s central nervous system — by a centimetre.
The source said: “It was a really, really bad fall — but he’s very lucky to have escaped with the injuries he has.
“Had he damaged the spinal cord he could have been looking at life in a wheelchair, but thanks to the doctors he is hopeful of making a full recovery.”
Hollywood’s Christopher Reeve spent the final decade of his life in a wheelchair after damaging his spinal cord in a fall from a horse.
He now faces an anxious wait to learn the extent of the damage — and almost certainly faces a lengthy stay in hospital.
Those close to him hope he will suffer no lasting effects but say it could take “several weeks” before they know for sure.
A source added: “He’s only just out of surgery and feeling very groggy but is awake and upbeat.
“Everyone hopes he will make a full recovery but they don’t want to count their chickens just yet.
“Ultimately he has had a very, very serious accident.
“He’s lucky to be even in the state he is in with a metal rod in his back and multiple breaks.
“It’ll be several weeks for the bruising and swelling to go down and then we’ll know how serious the lasting effects could be.”
A spokesman for The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent boss said: “Simon has broken his back in a number of places in a fall from his bike whilst testing a new electric bike in the courtyard of his home in Malibu with his family.
“He was taken to hospital where they operated overnight. He’s under observation and is doing fine.”
Simon, a workaholic who was discussing business from his hospital bed after coming around from the anaesthetic, is now likely to miss a string of TV commitments — not least AGT.
Insiders say he optimistically hopes to be well enough to return for the end of the new AGT series, in late September.
The America’s Got Talent final is scheduled for September 23 with Simon planning to fly home the next day so he can also be at the final Britain’s Got Talent.