BKS is chosen by serious sport and touring riders as well as virtually all UK Police Forces and other Emergency Services.
Think of us as the Rolls Royce of suits with a Savile Row service.
Formed in 1986 by Brian Keith Sansom and still under sole ownership.
With 35 years’ experience, every suit is still measured, designed and fitted by Brian Sansom himself who then uses his skilled team of suitmakers to produce computerised patterns, hand cut leather panels and precision stitched garments, each one being individually made for every client. A small office team assist Brian with the running of the day to day business and provides customers and suppliers alike with courteous and efficient response to match the quality of its products.
As well as the majority of UK Police forces, BKS have made suits for James Toseland, Prince William, Daniel Day Lewis, Robbie Williams, Mark Knopfler, Hugh Laurie and Steve Parrish to name but a few. BKS is chosen for being very serious about providing the best that money can buy.
Once a fashion design hopeful, fresh from Exeter Technical College, BKS (Brian Keith Sansom) was started in a back bedroom in 1986 as a one man operation. The ﬁrst motorcycle suit customers were police riders from the Devon and Cornwall and Dorset Constabularies. In 1988 a small workshop saw the first of 15 staff assemble and by 1993 the business outgrew its first premises and moved again. The business had continued to ﬂourish gaining contracts with nearly 20 Police forces and so began the operation in New North Road, Exmouth. An old printing works that had been vacant for a few years went on to become the home of BKS to this day which has grown into a fully equipped factory unit and sales studio.
New protective clothing laws were introduced in 1994 (CE Approval) and BKS were the very ﬁrst company on the Planet to meet these requirements! Brian Sansom helped Cambridge University Professor of Physiology, Dr. Roderick Woods, formulate the ‘Cambridge Standard’ for Motorcycle Clothing which has since gone on to become recognised as part of the European directive for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and replaced with EN 13595 (parts 1-4).
Credibility and reputation for BKS suits really started here.
For the next 10 years or so, a visit to W.H.Smith would often reveal a BKS suit on the front cover of many a bike magazine worn by editors and road test staff from MCN, Ride, Performance Bikes, Bike, Superbike, Fast Bikes and many more.
Royalty, top entertainers, famous actors as well as high profile racers, have all had our bespoke leathers made for them.
The big budget “Impossible Dream” Honda advert used BKS suits for the road race rider in 2005 and again in 2010…
Top British racers have been wearing BKS suits since the early nineties including - Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson, Michael Rutter, Steve Hislop and Phil McCallen.
BKS now supply most of the UK’s police, including the Metropolitan Police; Police Service Northern Ireland; Police Scotland; every force in Wales; the majority of forces in England; the Ministry of Defence and finally; all sorts of Emergency Service riders ranging from Ambulance Service paramedics to Fire Service riders, all with this uniform.
Since the mid-nineties, more and more civilian motorcyclists have turned to BKS, and custom designed multi-coloured racing suits are one of the most popular products. BKS maintain that ﬁrst and foremost, their clothing is protective equipment with a very important job to do. To this day, BKS have received countless reviews from the press and due to our commitment to quality, we have never had anything less than high praise. Magazines often run features on motorcycle clothing and in test reports BKS suits and gloves usually come top.
In 2004, BKS became involved with Frank Thomas, the UK’s largest retail clothing and accessory brand at the time. This provided BKS (Exmouth) with an opportunity to complete a joint project that saw an all new company (BKS Ltd) being formed especially for retail products, leaving the Exmouth branch to continue specialising in its made to measure service as normal.
BKS felt ready to join in with a wider market and recognised that it had lots to oﬀer. BKS could not do this with limited resources but always had aspirations to become an industry leading brand and so by joining forces with the Thomas Sports Group, the prospects could be realised.
In 2008 BKS Leather Ltd changed its company name to BKS (Made to Measure) Ltd, to help identify the difference between Exmouth and the new retail brand BKS Ltd. The retail arm developed products with the likes of two times World Superbike Champion, James Toseland as well as BBC personalities Suzy Perry and Steve Parrish.
A number of other high profile racers also wore BKS during the years 2008 – 2011, namely Tommy Hill, Stuart Easton, Gary Johnson, Danny Webb, Danny Kent and Steve Brogan. The new side to the brand was flying high.
Sadly in 2011, the Thomas Sports Group (Frank Thomas, Motrax and BKS Ltd) went into administration with financial troubles….and so went with it the retail arm of BKS.
Brian Sansom, having learnt many things from this project, had 100% of his time once again to concentrate on the BKS made to measure business. The mission statement still stands as true as it always has:
“To provide the ultimate riding suits never compromising quality, safety, protection, styling or comfort. Our suits offer an unrivalled combination of master craftsmanship and tailoring, via computer design and a desire to build the best suits on Earth.”
If you become a customer for a bespoke BKS suit, you will be delighted with the amount of design choices you can have at your disposal. With endless combinations of suit design; over 35 leather colours (cowhide and kangaroo); speciﬁcation options for body armour as well as various other internal features; your design consultation will take about 90 minutes. This also includes taking up to 40 measurements, which provides for a guaranteed and perfect ﬁt.
Allow up to four-month waiting lists for made-to-measure suits at the busiest time of year, buying BKS is something you really should plan for.
We look forward to being of service.