Brian puts BKS on world stage

PUBLISHED: 17:06 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 June 2010

An Exmouth company, BKS Leather Ltd, has just confirmed a business deal that will elevate their products on to the World stage that is MotoGP.

An Exmouth company, BKS Leather Ltd, has just confirmed a business deal that will elevate their products on to the World stage that is MotoGP.

BKS Leather is now part of a new deal that sees leading British MotoGP contender James Toseland making history in more ways than one.

He will wear the British leathers brand on his debut in the world's premier motorcycle racing championship.

The 27-year-old will be the only rider worldwide supported by BKS - who in the other half of this new deal saw them sell the rights to the BKS trademark to the Frank Thomas Group, which is Europe's third biggest motorcycle clothing and accessories company.

BKS Leather has been in business for 21 years and was started as a one man band by founder Brian Sansom.

It has made a name for itself in the motorcycle industry as making the Rolls Royce of leather bike suits with a Saville Row service.

BKS has supplied custom suits for the likes of Robbie Williams, Daniel Day Lewis and even Prince William.

The leathers are renowned for their safety aspects and were the first to win CE approval. The quality of a BKS suit is so well known within the industry that they also supply more than half of the UK's police forces for traffic motorcyclists.

BKS founder Brian Sansom said: "I have sold the brand name rights to the Frank Thomas Group, but I will still carry on in charge of the made-to-measure company from its base in Exmouth. I would personally like it to be known that all current and future BKS 'made-to-measure' customers should remain confident that nothing has changed."

In effect the Exmouth-based operation continues the bespoke service, but Mr Sansom will now also act as technical director for BKS with the Frank Thomas Group. The immediate aim is to produce a retail range of premium leathers and gloves made to the exact and high performance standards expected from BKS.

A limited clothing range will be launched in 52 selected dealerships later this year. The popularity of the range will determine the future retail direction of BKS.

BKS has always maintained the company makes the 'best suits on earth' and that philosophy has not changed. An added advantage will now be that the Frank Thomas Group's resources that are available for the BKS retail range will find their way back into the BKS made-to-measure suits. Components such as external protective mouldings that enable racers to slide off the track better without being 'gripped and flipped' are one obvious example.

The deal was announced at Claridges, London, on Thursday, January 10.

Mr Sansom said: "Today has been an incredibly proud moment in my career to date. The Frank Thomas Group acquisition coincided with the 21st birthday of BKS - making it a double celebration, but the James Toseland relationship is the icing on the cake.

"Even though I am sure our hard work and reputation is deserved, and in my dreams I always hoped we would see a world class rider in BKS products, it remained beyond our budget. Thanks to the Frank Thomas Group, BKS has extra resources to support a world class rider. This is the fulfilment of a life-long ambition.

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