Motorcycle firm supplies bikes to help NHS

A Wigan bike shop’s key staff volunteered to join the fight against coronavirus.
Second left  MCO Service Manager Rod Gaskell delivers the bikes , charity boss Dan Lavery,  second rightSecond left  MCO Service Manager Rod Gaskell delivers the bikes , charity boss Dan Lavery,  second right
Second left MCO Service Manager Rod Gaskell delivers the bikes , charity boss Dan Lavery, second right

Long established Motorcycle Centre Orrell (MCO) sourced, prepared and supplied two huge touring style machines in double quick time to join the battle.

The impressive Kawasaki GTR1400cc four cylinder machines have now been liveried up in striking emergency service colours.

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And they were immediately pressed into front line service home-delivering Covid-19 official testing kits to the doors of NHS staff currently self isolating to halt its spread.

David BrownDavid Brown
David Brown

These results could now play a key part in speeding doctors and nurses back into the campaign against the pandemic killer.

Bike importer giants Kawasaki UK contacted the Orrell Post based motorcycle business to see if it could supply the machines to emergency voluntary service Devon Freewheelers based more than 230 miles away.

There are undoubtedly bike dealers far nearer to the multi award winning charity’s Honiton HQ, but it is believed that Kawasaki delivered the S.O.S plea to MCO because of its fine reputation for machine preparation and service.

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Although staff are in lock down at home, dealer principal David Brown, service manager Rod Gaskell and senior motorcycle technician Steve Ingham volunteered to work unpaid to source, prepare and supply the specialist machines.

Rod himself then volunteered to deliver the Kawasaki’s to the Freewheelers in Honiton in Devon – an eight hour 460 mile round journey.

The whole operation – from first call from Kawasaki to the bikes being fired up in Devon – took just four days.

Devon Freewheelers EVS, which is entirely operated and funded by biker volunteers, now has 80 unpaid riders, mechanics and logistics organisers - and its own fleet of 30 plus florescent yellow and red liveried Kawasaki and BMW machines.

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They work alongside and in support of the NHS, offering a 24 hour, seven day service, delivering blood, tissue samples and equipment between hospitals and surgical complexes.

David, who has worked at the same motorcycle dealers for almost 40 years, starting in its Rogersons days said that staff were keen to answer the plea for help: “The country is in a crisis and we all wanted to do our bit if we could do. Contacting a bike dealership 200 plus miles away might raise an eyebrow or two but we would like to think that tells its own story about the standard of service we offer.

“Steve was in the workshop, Rod upstairs in the service reception while I was at my desk on the showroom floor throughout, so we maintained the social distancing.

“Getting the bikes to essential key workers in desperate times was the objective and members of our team happily volunteered their time to get the bikes ready.”

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Founder of Devon Freewheelers Dan Lavery was delighted how quickly the MCO team swung into work to prepared and then deliver the bikes.

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