Tuesday, April 23, 2024


French aftermarket giant Bihr has bought major British off-road parts, accessories and apparel trade distributor Race FX from its founders Samantha and Paul Irwin, for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 2003, Race FX presently has a product portfolio consisting of 28 brands, most of which are exclusive. The company operates out of its own 30,000 sq-ft warehouse and offices in Blackburn, Lancashire. 

According to its new parent, the objectives of this transaction are to get better access to the UK off-road distribution market and complement the position it currently has through MotoDirect in the UK street segment. In addition, Race FX will serve as the logistics platform to deploy Bihr’s motorcycle parts and accessories distribution activity. Bihr UK will operate under two commercial names — Race FX powered by Bihr and MotoDirect powered by Bihr.

“Welcoming Race FX into the Bihr group is a real opportunity for us to truly accelerate our deployment in the UK,” said Bihr chief executive Christophe Piron. “Beyond the 34 brands currently distributed by Race FX and MotoDirect, our brand and product team has worked very hard over the past year to secure distribution of 150 additional brands in the UK.”

Erstwhile Race FX owner Paul Irwin has been appointed as Bihr’s UK off-road business development manager. He will report to Bihr UK country manager Terry Birtles.

Commenting on the deal, Irwin said: “The fit of Race FX and Bihr together just made perfect sense, with a number of brands in common. And this transaction will allow us to get full access to both off-road and road distribution channels in the UK. This is great news for our customers and suppliers, and I am looking forward to a busy year ahead.”

Birtles added: “We are thrilled to partner with Race FX. Its expertise is critical for us. In the coming weeks, we will leverage the Blackburn warehouse to progressively introduce newly distributed products.”

Founded in 1975, Bihr is the leading European distributor of parts, accessories, apparel and tyres for motorcycles, quads and scooters. The company is present in more than 14 countries and wholesales about 230 brands and 200,000 items to a network of 11,550 retail outlets. With first-class logistics and a total storage area of more than 44,350 sq metres spread across five warehouses, it can supply almost all of the dealers in Europe within 24 hours.


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