You can choose to take your own measurements for your suit, but you do need follow our step by step instructions very carefully. However, to qualify for our made to measure fit warranty you should be measured by BKS personally. When you use this service your suit comes with a 12 month warranty for fit, where free of charge alterations are provided should any aspect of the suit not break in to your satisfaction.
BKS attend THE INTERNATIONAL MOTORCYCLE AND SCOOTER SHOW at the NEC every autumn. This is usually a 10-day event and attracts between 150,000 and 200,000 visitors. We exhibit with full office facilities, enabling customers to visit us and see our entire collection of suits and gloves. We offer an on-stand design service and will take orders for made to measure suits as well as sell items from display as off-the-peg products. Our full range of accessories will also be available at the show.
Our Factory Shop offers all the suits made for our display collections. These are made across a range of sizes (see table) that can be bought as off the peg suits. We often have in excess of 40 suits, all of which will cost less than having it made to measure should you be fortunate enough to fit one. Some of our display suits may even have a special offer if they are from a previous year’s collection.
If the suit you like is sold or you would prefer it in another colour scheme, off the peg suits can still be made to order at the off the peg price rate instead of the made to measure rate – see price list.
Ordering a BKS suit is best done in person with a visit to our showroom and factory.
However, this is not always possible and you may wish to form an idea of what you want beforehand. Overseas customers may use our online facilities.
All BKS suits are made with computer cut patterns using a state of the art Lectra system. This CAD (computer assisted design) method guarantees millimetre perfect cutting accuracy and ensures we have the ability to constantly fine tune the tailoring.
We keep a database of customer ordering information, so repeat customers can order suits without having to be re-measured - unless you gain or lose lots of weight of course! Our vast database of customer measurements mean that we are able to help when customers send in details from overseas. Measurement matching software means we are able to spot a “rogue” measurement, and contact the customer to double-check the measurement(s) in question.
Perforated leather can be used to create ventilated sections within the suit, and feature as a free of charge option in the insert areas. This offers an alternative to the Keprotec stretch inserts.
Leather is perforated by conveying whole skins through a special machine, giving a mesh effect of holes approximately 1.5mm in diameter and 4mm apart. Suit panels are then cut from these skins. Additional ventilation incurs an extra cost based on how much is needed.
More ventilation can be added to any area of the suit by using the punch hole method. These are individually hand-punched holes available in two sizes: 2.5mm and 4mm. They work best in rows of two or three, depending to the size of the area. 2.5mm holes are spaced 10mm apart and the 4mm holes are spaced 25mm apart. Punch hole work incurs a charge.
Winter (thermal) linings are an optional accessory. We use genuine brand Polartec® fleece renowned for it’s association with many leading companies worldwide that manufacture outdoor clothing. The thermal lining replaces the airtex linings when required: simply zip into place and put your summer ones away until the sun comes out. They feel instantly cosy and work by trapping air in between the fibres. These are available for all garments, with the one-piece suit having the option of being totally thermal or just the upper half.
Police motorcycle riders are the largest user group of BKS suits.
UK police officers have been wearing our suits in growing numbers for over 20 years, starting with the Dorset Police in 1986. Our home force, Devon and Cornwall followed soon after, along with Avon and Somerset, Kent and the City of London. Since then, more forces have followed and to date we have supplied over 30 of the UK’s police forces. We have retained The Ministry of Defence contract since 1998. Other emergency services, including ambulance paramedic riders, British Red Cross, County Fire Services and many similar patrol groups recognize the value of our suits. Since 2001, BKS has won contracts with the following police forces:
> Lothian and Borders
> Strathclyde Driving School
> Scottish Police Training College
> Northern (Scotland)
> Greater Manchester
> West Yorkshire
> West Mercia
> West Midlands
> City of London (second time around)
> West Country Ambulance
The police suit used is based on our BKS 100SPS model and has been given a uniform appearance with the addition of two chest flap pockets. The police crested badge is usually worn above left chest pocket, and various other attachment straps help with some of the equipment they have to carry.
We have a section dedicated to our Police supply – please contact BKS for further details.
This covers all items for sale including specification options carrying additional charge. Different rates for made to measure and off the peg suits can save you as much as £250. Download the PDF version for more details.
QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES - SUIT PRODUCTION
Ideas have continuously developed and a more recognised approach has been adopted to assure the quality of suit production. The Quality Assurance sheet confirms that each stage of production is self administering the quality control.
Various techniques are being used to monitor that each stage is completed fully and correctly. When suits reach the end of the preparation stage a pre-assembly check is performed. Finally when suits reach the end of the assembly section, a stitch finish check is carried out, then after finishing, a pre-despatch check is completed.
The following breakdown explains more specifically the quality assurance checks that are carried out to ensure that suit production is as efficient as possible.
1. STAGE ONE PAPERWORK
Papers supplied from sales should be complete in every way. No customer details should be outstanding, and all payments up to at least the 50% deposit stage should be in place, before passing to order processing. (The paperwork at this stage usually includes the garment spec form; the diagram form; the lettering form; the measurement sheet). The remaining job pack is then printed and proof read and the order finalised.
2. STAGE TWO PAPERWORK (Automated by custom software)
The measurement sheet is then used for armhole selection and along with the remainder of the pack gets passed to the Lectra Cad Operator. Any alterations required for sleevework are carried out at this point. A copy of the garment specification form then gets placed in the suits in production file (see separate procedure).
This stage is a continuation of stage one and deals with the completion of the lining form; the components form; and the small parts form. Care is taken to ensure that all alterations from the leather alterations sheet are carefully mapped over onto the lining form. The suit now goes forward through the pattern making stage.
3. PATTERN CARD WORK
All patterns are drafted on our Lectra Cad System and stored by individual customer name and order number. Pattern matching software is used to scan the database for a close match before finally drafting each unique set of garment patterns. As blocks are made they are digitally measured and checked.
4. LETTER PREPARATION
This involves the correct sizing and selection of materials. All letters are set up ready for the cutting stage. Selection of badges and plastic covers are also done at this point.
5. LINING WORK
All linings are marked and cut as required. Each piece is ticked as done on the lining form. Back protector pockets are also marked and cut at this stage.
All components are prepared and selected as required. Each box is ticked as done.
Particular attention is paid to selected items such as zips, to ensure no rogue pieces are used.
7. LEATHER MARKING
Having selected all patterns and materials the suit is marked accordingly. Any alterations are ticked as done. Each piece is ticked as being marked. This should ensure that no part of the marking is incorrect or missing. The marking of all suits includes the punch hole placement, the notches and the overlay lines. These are all marked using removeable leather inks.
8. LEATHER CUTTING
Once marked, all pieces are cut and notched accordingly. They are then paired and bundled. Along with the lining, the components, the small parts and any letters etc - the leather bundles are placed in the work box ready for passing to assembly.
9. LETTER CUTTING
All letters are cut as required by either scalpel knife or hydraulic press. Any letters that are of key-line type are set in place ready for stitching. When stitched they cut by hand.
10. SCIVING AND SPLITTING
All pieces are skived and split as required using specialist equipment that thins leather panels along their edges, corners or in full. This enables less bulk at seam junctions and along otherwise thick edges. A thorough check is made before being passed on.
11. PRE-ASSEMBLY CHECK
This check ensures that all the relevant bundles and bags of pieces are in the workbox. A paperwork check is also carried out to ensure that all of the relevant tick boxes are completed on each of the forms that use this system.
12. STRETCH PANELS
All pieces are stretched as required using a spiked aluminium jig and heavy gauge corsetry elastic called Powernet. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
13. SMALL PARTS
Selected pieces such as pocket strips, cuff facings and adjuster straps are made up as required ready for insertion later during final stages. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
All facings are made as required attaching lining zips and pockets if specified. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
15. LINING ASSEMBLY
All lining pieces are made up as required. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
16. ASSEMBLY PART ONE
All pieces are assembled adding letters, badges and overlays as required before panels themselves are joined together. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
17. ASSEMBLY PART TWO
All pieces are assembled as require as a continuation of assembly part one. Punch holes may also feature at this point in the suit construction. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
18. ASSEMBLY PART THREE
The suit continues through until completion. When the suit is finished, a thorough and final check is made before being hung on the stitch finish rail. Each suit maker then completes our in-house stitch finish check sheet.
19. THE STITCH FINISH CHECK
No suit gets passed to the finishing department until this check is complete. If any fault is found correction is required before armour and linings are fitted.
The suit is finished as required adding press studs, loading linings, impact protectors and speed humps as necessary. Stitching ink is cleaned away and pre-tied thread ends are soldered neatly.
21. THE PRE-DESPATCH CHECK
This last and final check is carried out prior to collection or despatch of all garments. Only when the suit has passed the requirements of this check sheet can it be passed to despatch. Checks are made to ensure the correct fittings such as knee sliders and back protectors are present. Additional loose accessories such as thermal linings and gloves are made sure of and final packaging is carried out.
Only suits which have passed the pre-despatch check are they boxed or taken to the our studio ready for collection. All private customers receive an instruction booklet, letter & questionnaire, along with the invoice if necessary, which should accompany the suit. Boxes must be securely sealed, correctly addressed and also have an Interlink consignment label which corresponds with the main Interlink paperwork.
All suits will need some aftersales attention at some point. Whether it is a new zip, a size alteration or some design modifications – we will be happy to undertake any of these on your BKS suit. All jobs are pre-booked in the same way as ordering suits and work dates will be given to you at the time of your enquiry.
Allow anything from 2 – 10 weeks depending on time of year although we will try to identify the severity of each situation on its own merits.
All BKS seams have been tested to ensure they are correctly used according to their strength and location within the garment. Only some seam types are strong enough for high risk areas. BKS has a portfolio of 17 seam styles but the main ones used for garment construction are the most important.
Thread needs to be a certain thickness and have some elasticity. Kevlar thread, whilst strong, has a tendency to snap in areas where constant folding occurs and so is not used in any BKS suit. Suit making thread is Gauge No. 20 Nylon bonded and is available in 12 shades to complement the colours of your suit.
All main panel construction uses seams with buried stitching of multiple rows with additional topstitching to keep seams flat and secure.
4 types to choose from – all attached with velcro and sized according to body weight. Fixed to the inner layer of leather. See armour for more details.
Whichever garment you choose, whichever colour scheme you settle on, your order is only complete when you have chosen from a wide variety of specification options. Most are free and are part of the cost of that design, but there are several that
enhance the performance of your suit and so come at an additional cost. Most of the following applies to every suit design. See our design and measure section for on-line ordering.
Free of charge include:
> Amount of colours
> Thread colour
> Collar choices
> Lining colours
> Pocket options
> BKS markings
> Standard body armour
> Leather Stretch panels
> Insert choices
> Summer linings
At additional cost:
> Custom design work
> Luxury leather upgrades (i.e. bullhide, kangaroo, deercow)
> Additional ventilation
> Body Armour upgrades
> Back protectors
> Knee sliders and covers
> Personalised lettering, logos and badges
> Excess size charges
> Thermal linings and spare summer airtex linings
> Jacket waistband enhancement
The speed hump was originally developed to aid the aerodynamics of riders racing at professional levels. Measuring the actual performance of this feature reveals only minute differences, but the appearance has become normal on one piece race leathers today – they are almost expected to be there.
BKS feel that these are more for cosmetic styling than function, but the depth of padding required to fill these will add to the levels of abrasion protection in this area. The humps are not oversized but do add a certain degree of substance to the upper back and whilst the foam inside is not high performance, the speed hump is still over 60mm thick and encapsulated in two layers of 1.5mm hide. They are anatomically shaped to curve around the spine and have a Keprotec stretch insert immediately above that sits under the collar.
BKS currently operates the made to measure suit service directly from its manufacturing centre in Exmouth. Off the peg suits are not available in any UK shops. Please contact us directly with your sales enquiries, or look at our online factory shop for a limited collection of off the peg suits.
Leather stretch panels are created using high strength corsetry elastic called Powernet. This allows for virtual full thickness leather whilst most other suits will use very thin leather to make elastication easier. As these appear in exposed areas of the body, abrasion resistance must be maintained. They are all individually stitched using a spiked aluminum jig and seamed into place with a triple stitch construction.
All BKS suits are supplied with a sturdy coat hanger and slip over printed suit carrier.