KEEP­ING IT IN THE FAM­ILY

Classic Bike (UK) - - Suzuki Tc250 -

Andy, Alan and Heidi are a for­mi­da­ble team. Alan has been into bikes for as long as he can re­mem­ber and Andy fol­lowed him. When Andy and Heidi got to­gether, she soon fell un­der the spell of old bikes too, learn­ing to ride and pass­ing her test on a 1974 Suzuki TS125L – re­stored by the Bald­win/ Cock­er­ton team, nat­u­rally.

“It all started with a Suzuki T500 I bought to ride to a bike show in Kent back in 1992,” Andy re­veals. “The kick­start pawl broke – it meant an en­gine strip to re­pair it. We’d no­ticed that peo­ple were start­ing to re­store Ja­panese bikes by then, so we de­cided to go the whole hog and re­store the bike, rather than just re­pair it. We got it to what we thought was a pretty good state and took it to the BMF Rally in 1993. They just laughed at us, but that just made us de­ter­mined to go back and win the thing with one of our own restora­tions.”

Alan bought a Kawasaki S3A and the team re­stored that, win­ning their class at the Wim­bot­sham Show in 1993. A Kawasaki H1 fol­lowed, then that TS125 for Heidi. It proved to be the bike that made good on their vow, win­ning the BMF Rally con­cours in 1997. Since then, the trio have won count­less awards for their stun­ning restos, in­clud­ing the big one – best in show at Stafford with their Suzuki T10 in 2000, an S32 in 2004 and,most re­cently, an ul­tra-rare K11T in 2016. It’s been a long, hard road.

“I han­dle more of the work now I’m re­tired,” smiles Alan. “I was a fab­ri­ca­tor by trade and I taught Andy and Heidi. I can make most things. Andy tack­les most pol­ish­ing, Heidi does a lot of de­cal and graphic work, though she re­built the en­gine on a Suzuki Stinger we did.”

Along the way, the team have bought out three Suzuki deal­ers’ parts stocks and have built the col­lec­tion up to 33 bikes at the last count. They’ve also man­aged to find the time from some­where to build and run two GSX-R rac­ers at the Classic TT – and there are still a few more ’60s Suzuki restos in the pipeline. Where will it all end? It won’t for a while,” laughs Andy. “We all love what we do.”

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