Brian Keith Sansom formed BKS in 1986 – the name is simply his initials. A new graduate from Exeter Technical College he took his fashion design experience and started making leather clothes in his back bedroom.
A chance request from Devon and Cornwall Police about repairing their bike leathers led to the company manufacturing motorcycling leathers for the Police. Two years later in 1988 the business moved out of the back bedroom and into a small workshop where it also doubled its workforce.
By 1993 this workshop had been outgrown with the business gaining contracts with nearly 20 Police forces across the county and the business moved into an old printing works with a design studio and fully equipped factory unit.
In 1994 new protective clothing, CE Approval, laws were introduced and BKS became the first company to meet the new standards for motorcycle leathers adding to the reputation of the BKS brand.
For the next 10 years or so, glancing at any news stand would often see a BKS suit on the front covers as the suits were often worn by the staff and editors of magazines Superbike, Bike, Performance Bikes, Fast Bikes, Ride and Motor Cycle News.
Not only a favourite of journalists, actors, entertainers - even Royalty have worn BKS; Hugh Laurie, Daniel Day Lewis, Mark Knopfler, Robbie Williams and Prince William.
BKS has been at the heart of British racing for years with a roll call of top riders; Steve Hislop, Michael Rutter, Phil McCallen, Neil Hodgson, Carl Fogarty, Danny Webb, Steve Brogan, Stuart Easton, Gary Johnson, Danny Kent, Tommy Hill, Steve Parrish and James Toseland all wearing BKS Leather Suits.
They have even featured in TV adverts with the road race rider in Honda’s “Impossible Dream” advertisement using BKS suits.
In 2004, the BKS brand was acquired by the Frank Thomas Sports Group, the UK’s largest retail motorcycle clothing and accessory brand at the time.
BKS went from strength to strength developing products with BBC personalities Suzy Perry and Steve Parrish and two times World Superbike Champion, James Toseland.
In 2011 the brand of BKS was acquired by J&S Accessories, the largest independent motorcycling clothing and accessories retailer in the UK.