Chris Taylor – motocrosser, suspension manufacturer, entrepreneur
Twenty or so years ago Chris Taylor, pictured above in his sporting heyday, was racing European motocross when his employers, Metal Box, said “It’s your hobby or us.” Reluctantly, Chris cut back on his racing and concentrated on his job as an engineer. It wasn’t enough for him so he went on an Ohlins course in 1991 and started a small business at his Wisbech home servicing off-road suspension systems.
In 1994 he was contacted by Ken Somerton who was doing similar work in the Leicestershire town of Coalville. Ken was an engineer working on airframes and aero engines. They started working together sourcing hard to find service parts for Showa and Kayaba systems. They also began to sell springs manufactured to their own specifications.
Both men were still working part time when Chris had the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy from Metal Box in 1998. He dived in and, still working from home, made suspension his full time occupation. In 2001 Chris moved to Coalville where he and Ken set up K-Tech Suspension. They moved to their current location in Moira, Derbyshire in 2009.
Thanks to their knowledge, business skill and determination, K-Tech have become well known the world over for their top quality upgrade kits for road and off-road motorcycles. As early as 2002 the Tenkate Honda campaigned by Fabien Foret and running a K-Tech cartridge kit in the forks took the World Super Sport championship. A similarly equipped bike took Karl Muggeridge to the WSS title in 2004.
Between 2006 and 2007 K-Tech developed their first complete fork, the KTR2. They followed that with the closed cartridge KTR3 forks in 2009 and, after extensive testing, released their first rear unit at the start of 2011.
K-Tech suspension systems are used by top UK teams such as Relentless, Wilson Craig Honda, MSS Kawasaki, Gearlink Kawasaki and TAS Suzuki. In the US K-Ttech is used by Jordan Suzuki, Vance and Hines and Fast by Feracci Ducati among others. K-Tech won a TT with Michael Dunlop in 2011 and in his record breaking TT in 2009 when he won all 5 solo TTs, Ian Hutchison ran K-Tech forks on all his bikes.
Any road or track bike will benefit from the addition of K-Tech fork internals. They are made to finer tolerances than OEM parts. On standard systems, you will usually have to make large adjustments before you notice changes in the bike’s behaviour. With K-Tech parts fitted, you get much finer control.
It was after a day spent with Chris Taylor at K-Tech that the idea for Enigma 1050 was born so Chris was in at the very start. Jim Lindsay had taken the forks from his Suzuki GSXR 750 over to K-Tech to have them upgraded and came away so enthused from his long discussions with Chris, that his wife, Margaret, suggested that they build a bike.
Chris Taylor is valued by the team not just for his technical expertise but also for his level headed approach to business.