Tributes have been paid to local motorcyclist Jim Allan who died on Saturday following a short illness. He was 79.
Jim, the founder, owner and lifeblood of Jim Allan Motorcycles, which has branches in Falkirk’s Grahams Road and Bathgate, passed away peacefully in hospital.
Over the years, Jim guided generations of motorbike enthusiasts through training and testing as well as supplying high-quality equipment and accessories to riders throughout the country.
This week, customers and friends have left hundreds of messages of condolence and tributes on the business’s Facebook page.
His eldest son, Dave, said: “My memories of my father were of a guy who always flew by the seat of his pants, never had anything written down but always had a plan inside his head and a determination to finish it – and always with a smile.
“The family has been deeply moved by the support and wishes that we have received, and we would like to say thank you.”
Jim’s funeral will take place tomorrow at noon at West Lothian Crematorium, Livingston.
A bike procession will follow the funeral cars, leaving from the Bathgate shop at 11.15 a.m., and those wishing to pay their respects are invited.
Jim was born in Aberdeenshire in 1935 and was one of four children.
He served his time as a bricklayer before going into the RAF after doing his national service, but he also helped with the family’s pub business.
Jim’s fascination with motorbikes started in the mid-1950s when he and his brother happened on local racer Joe Furneaux testing his machine in rural Aberdeen.
The noise, speed and thrill of the bike had the boys mesmerised, and the decision to open a motorcycle shop was made after “one too many drinks” with brother Vic.
Jim married his wife Belle in 1961 and the couple had two boys, Dave and Vic.
The family emigrated to New Zealand in 1966 and lived there for four years.
When the Allans returned to the UK, Jim resumed his bricklaying career in London.
After six years they returned to Scotland where they opened the Jim Allan motorcycle shop in Bathgate in 1975. In 1980, Jim opened his second shop in Falkirk.
Dave added: “Motorbikes were his life-long passion and he continued to ride until recently.”
Jim is survived by his mother, his wife, two children and four grandchildren.