Thrill Seekers


Get on aeroplane. Ride the world’s most exciting motorbikes around some of Europe’s most stunning roads for four days. Stay over in top hotels along the way. Fly home. Silverstone Park SME Spyder Club has well and truly mastered the art of giving motorcycling enthusiasts a weekend they’ll never forget…

On the face of it organising a four-day weekend on the continent for ‘fly-riders’ sounds like a logistical nightmare. And it probably is.

But for Spyder Club directors (and husband and wife) Mark and Lizzi Smith-Young it was a business opportunity – a gap in the market they realised needed filling and they have done just that.

Furthermore, while other companies around the world might offer a similar service, theirs is unique as it enables bike nuts the opportunity to sample a variety of dream machines all in one trip.

“What makes us unique is the diverse fleet of motorcycles we offer customers,” explains Mark. “We work with all manufacturers whereas if you go with other companies you are solely BMW or Triumph or Ducati etc. No other company enables the customer to try a Ducati Multistrada against a KTM 1190 Adventure or a BMW S1000XR.

“We market to people who are time-poor and 95 per cent of our business is repeat. We are very niche.”

An annual high-speed event, track days, training, open days, parties, museum tours – “anything that brings a group together” – are also offered by the company as is leasing of motorcycles.

Mark’s and Lizzie’s combined know-how has clearly caught the eye of motorcycling’s manufacturers who are always looking for the next thing with which to entice potential customers.

“We have our own fleet of motorcycles but have also started organising manufacturers’ fleets,” continues Mark. “Currently we oversee the Piaggio UK fleet which incorporates the Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Vespa and Piaggio brands.”

The name Spyder Club, for those wondering, was a relatively straightforward choice (‘Spyder’ was once Mark’s nickname)! So, too, the decision to take advantage of the Silverstone name with a base at Silverstone Park…

Indeed while not specialising in high-tech engineering – the main theme that runs through Silverstone Park – Mark and Lizzie are smart enough to know the location can still bring potentially benefits for a professional services SME like theirs.

Mark adds: “We had been ‘virtual’ tenants of Silverstone Park but have now been properly based here for the last 18 months. We’ve just moved into bigger premises which all ties in with an expansion for us in terms of the events side of our business. It means we can run more events which is required as more manufacturers start to come to us. This unit is perfect for that.

“The Silverstone circuit, right next door, obviously has Formula 1 and MotoGP and while we aren’t motorsport a connection to it obviously adds to our appeal.

“Significantly, the very day we moved here was the day we shook hands on our deal with Piaggio – it’s made us some luck and we have not stopped since. We definitely have a lot more manufacturer interest because of our location.

“We don’t claim to be the best marketers or the best business people, but we are very good at customer service and as long as we can maintain that then perfect.”

From Provence in France to the Picos Mountains in Spain and stop-offs at European MotoGP weekends if so desired, the destinations and experiences offered by Spyder Club are nothing short of exhilarating. Indeed both Mark and Lizzi are lifelong bike fans and there’s a real twinkle in the eye when chatting about the biggest event they organise for customers, the Isle of Man TT.

What’s more they are even looking to bring a taste of their passion for motorcycles to Silverstone Park and add to the strong sense of community that runs through companies on the estate.

“Our new premises do give us that scope and the ‘bike nights’ or something similar are on our radar,” says Mark. “Ducati UK are virtually neighbours here and KTM have now also moved to the Park. It’d be great to create a bike atmosphere with some events and be at the centre of that. We know how communities help business to flow…”