Donn Tomlinson has around 50 bikes in his showroom.
Warkworth resident Donn Tomlinson has transformed his passion for motorcycles into a niche business.
Over the past two years, Donn has developed a workshop and showroom on his property where he repairs, restores and sells British bikes from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
His business, Donn’s Classic Motorcycles, specialises in Triumph, BSA and Norton, with around 50 bikes on site.
“You can blame my brother for my love of Norton, after he rolled up on a 1971 Commando 750 when I was about 10,” Donn says.
“There was something special about the sound of the bike, and they’ve been a passion of mine ever since.”
Donn imports most of his bikes to sell from the United States, a practice he has been doing since the early 1990s.
“The States imported a huge number of British bikes, but when the Japanese bikes caused that market to fold, the English stock became redundant.
“That means there are a lot of classic bikes over there with low mileage and in great original condition.”
Donn, and the mechanic he employs, will also service, repair and modify bikes that people bring in.
“A number of people want the look of a classic bike with modern comforts. We can change things to accommodate that while retaining the original appearance.
Work on the premises can include everything from a basic service to a full engine rebuild.
“We can work on all makes of motorcycle from the 60s onwards, but the British classics are where my focus is.”
Donn still owns his original 1979 Norton Commando 850, which he brought as a 16-year-old.
“By importing bikes to sell on, I’ve been able to own a number myself over the years and keep a few.”
One of those was a Norton F1, a rotary bike of which just two were sold in New Zealand.
His passion also led him to attend the centenary for the Isle of Man TT race in 2007.