Leigh Stephenson, the owner director of The Electric Bike Vault has a long history of cycles, be it powered or not.
From his earliest youth he cannot remember not having some form of cycle by his side.
As a schoolboy Leigh would compete in motorcycle trials, then be out on a pushbike after the events. Before the mountain bike concept had taken shape in the UK, Leigh and his friends would build “bomber bikes” to fill the gap for their passion to ride off-road style bicycles. Many hours were spent modifying these bikes. He remembers the excitement when knobbly tyres first became available for the 26” wheel in the early 1970’s and when one of his friends eventually saved up enough money to buy one from Doncaster market.
The last two years of his school life included weekly visits to Doncaster technical college, where he studied automotive engineering. Leaving school at 16, he went on to do an apprenticeship at a fiat garage in Doncaster while continuing his college course. Eventually he managed to convince his father that he should be selling motorcycles instead of cars. Soon after, they became Yamaha dealers in South Yorkshire. From this connection with Yamaha he was trained by Mitsui Machinery, where his love for automotive electrical engineering grew.
Leigh moved to London in 1987, where he soon found his way around town as a motorcycle despatch rider before joining Capital Motorcycles in their workshops, eventually becoming a manager. However, he was soon to leave as a trip around the world beckoned.
Upon returning to London it was not long before he started his own motorcycle business, “London Motorcycles”. As the company grew he moved premises from Willesden Green into West Hampstead. From here, the company diversified into London Bike Hire, London Motorcycles and RTG (Road Traffic Guardian), a riders club that was formed initially to help any of his 80+ hire bike riders with any legal issues that they were facing if they had been involved in an automobile accident. Throughout this time he competed in motorcycle enduro competitions on a weekly basis. At the same time his pushbike was not abandoned and was used on a daily ride to work or across London to place loot or MCN ads.
Eventually the business was sold to Rex Judd motorcycles when it was thought that his young daughter would benefit from the less polluted air outside of London.
After a short stint in the Isle of Wight he eventually moved into Harpenden / Wheathampstead.
He has always been keen on the eBike concept and watched its progress with interest. He waited until he felt that the bikes had evolved to a standard that would not disappoint, following a trip to the world’s biggest bicycle trade show in China this year he is now convinced that this time has arrived.
Now opening the doors and welcoming you to the;
The Electric Bike Vault