It’s quite strange in life how you end up with a well-respected knowledge of a brand but for Nigel Birkett the Yamaha connection was a suitable conclusion to a long and successful trials career dominated by Japanese trials machinery. This association with the brands from the land of the ‘Rising Sun’ started way back in the early seventies with an apprenticeship served in an early Japanese Suzuki dealership, Eddie Crooks Motorcycles to be exact, as a teenager. Over the following years he rode factory supplied machinery from Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha with an interruption from the European brands of Montesa and Fantic.
The life and times of Nigel Birkett has been well documented in our sister publication, Trial Magazine, so we thought we may as well jump that and move straight onto the Birkett Motosport years of present times.
When the work with the Majesty monoshock Yamaha project was over and his trials riding turned into a fun pastime, he started to look at securing the future for himself and later his family. It seemed a natural progression of his motorcycle trials career to move into the industry but this time with the opening of a shop and his own premises. He moved into rented premises in his home town of Broughton-on-Furness in 1987 before soon out growing them in a short period of time.
Many people wanted to bring their motorcycle work to him, not only trials but other off road machines as well. He then had an industrial unit built in the grounds of his father’s old coal yard to allow the business to expand.
He married his wife June in 1990 and moved into new premise as she was giving birth to their daughter Paige in 1993; they already had a son Zak – talk about trials riders and their timing!
With the business now celebrating over over 25 years of trading they have built up an excellent working relationship with a massive customer database, not just in the UK but around the globe.
Nigel can offer second-to-none advice on any form of rebuild or workshop work on a wide variety of machines, although he still does have a passion for the mono-shock Yamaha.
Remember that he was the first European rider to test the machines way back in March 1983. He often gets request for specialised work on the machines and in particular on how to improve the engine performance.
His wife June and other members of staff run the mail order service where you can find a magnitude of parts not just for older machines but also for modern ones as well. Nigel and June pride themselves on what they term their ‘Family’ business and the service they provide to customers both old and new.
To further expand the business they are also the official UK importers for the Scorpa and Ossa brands. They first started with the Yamaha powered Scorpa in 2005 before taking on the new Ossa range of machines in 2011.
Nigel prides himself on his mono-shock Yamaha knowledge.
1975: Outside Eddie Crooks Motorcycles with a batch of early Beamish Suzuki’s.
2014: With wife June in the shop
1980: On the Montesa Cota 200cc. The change to an Amal carburettor transformed the machine.
1983: He loved the Majesty 250S.
2014: He still owns one of the very
first Yamaha mono-shocks.
1982: WTC action on the 240 Fantic.