KEITH MASON 1955-2023

Leading industry figure Keith Mason, who built up the UK’s largest independent motorcycle company, has died aged 67.

His MotoGB empire started when it became the official importer of Benelli in 2005. Keeway was added in 2008, followed by Daelim, Cagiva and MV Agusta in 2009.  Sym joined the portfolio in 2011, plus Mondial and Royal Alloy in 2017, alongside Royal Enfield, Lambretta and Italjet.

MotoGB, based in Chorley, Lancashire, currently imports ten brands: Benelli, Mondial, Hanway, Keeway, Lambretta, Royal Alloy, Sym, Italjet, MGB, and Voge.

A major achievement by Mason and his team was building up Royal Enfield sales to the point where, in some months, it outscored brands such as Suzuki and Kawasaki. The Indian factory capitalised on this by taking over UK distribution directly in May 2023.

According to DfT figures from January to September 2022, MotoGB sold 10,774 new bikes across the 11 brands it then represented – crediting the UK importer with an overall market share of 11.9% of new bike sales, second only to Honda!

A dynamo businessman with a sharp eye for opportunity, Mason first imported Honda Gold Wings from America, outselling Honda UK. He then scoured Europe for top-end used superbikes and cruisers, which he sold under the KJM Motorcycles banner.

An entrepreneur with a strong work ethic Mason was a doer. He did not seek personal publicity but ensured his business interests were fully promoted. He was highly regarded by many in the Industry.

*A full tribute will be included in the July issue of British Dealer News.