Bert’s Motorcycles was set up in October of 1982 by Les Toogood and Tim Lewis. Its aim was to serve the islands biking and scooter community.
The mainstay of work was in the service, repair and breaking for parts of motorcycles, including blasting and spraying also on offer, all carried out by Les and Tim.
Tim left Bert’s Motorcycles to travel the world and sadly lost his life whilst on that journey.
Bert’s moved from unit 5 to its present base in 2008 with Les carrying on, much as normal, but increasing in bike sales.
December 2020, this is where I come in. My name is Paul Starkey and I’m hoping I can continue Bert’s Motorcycles for another 40 years!
My earliest memories involve motorbikes and I was riding as pillion on my dad’s TDR250 from the moment I could confidently reach the foot rests. From that moment I became obsessed with bikes.
As soon as I was able to afford a motorbike I took my test and, after passing, went out riding whenever I could.
During this time I started my apprenticeship as a car mechanic, I tried to secure a motorcycle apprenticeship, but unfortunately these were unavailable at the time. This did help me get my first “real” bike, my beloved Yamaha RD350lc – NCH 211W – this gave me many years of riding and tinkering until I decided to have a go at racing.
I raced at club level with BEMSEE for 6-7 years, starting with a TZR250 then progressing to a TZ250 GP machine and lastly a Honda RS125 GP bike. Dropping to a 125 made things slightly more affordable, but no less fun.
Racing came to an end when reality caught up with me and I had to start making a living to support my family (my riding “talent” wasn’t going to!).
I started a business with a friend specialising in Japanese cars and bikes remained my hobby. A few of our customers caught wind of my fondness for bikes and I was soon servicing and maintaining their bikes as well as their cars. I got a lot of enjoyment mostly when building show and track cars and always found myself wondering about what bikes I could build, given the time.
The car business is still running successfully today, but at the start of the pandemic lock down I was told about a local bike shop up for sale…