Bowker Motorrad Donates Engine to Preston’s College Thanks to Shannon’s Quick Thinking

A Bowker Motorrad apprentice has negotiated a deal to donate a motorcycle engine to Preston’s College Motorcycle engineering department.

When new, the 1250cc boxer engine would cost over £5,000. Now, thanks to quick-thinking Shannon Barton-Constable from Southport, the engine will be available for students to test their technical skills.

Shannon, a level 3 motorcycle engineering student at Preston’s College, has been an apprentice at Bowker Motorrad on the docks in Preston for three years. She spotted the engine swapped from an iconic 2019 water-cooled BMW R 1250 GS in the workshop. That’s when she approached Motorrad managers with a proposition.

Shannon takes up the story: ”Most of our theoretical learning at college comes to life when we have real life engines to interact with. When I spotted the engine had been removed, I wondered if there was an opportunity for the college and students to benefit. I discussed the idea with my manager. And that’s when he agreed to donate the engine.

“It will be great to see the engine in the workshop at the college. I’ve been with Bowker Motorrad since 2019 so I’m lucky – I work in and around engines like this most days. But now, other engineering students can enjoy hands-on experience of a BMW motorcycle engine too.”

Normally, engines would be recycled or broken up for parts for other operators in the supply chain. This decision to donate instead will mean more than 90 Preston’s College automotive engineering students each year will be able to apply their learning practically on the motorcycle engine. 

Mike Franklin-Smith, work-based tutor at Preston’s College said: “Thank you to Bowker Motorrad for their donation and Shannon for her quick thinking!  Our students enjoy the very best of theoretical and practical training. But nothing can compare with getting your hands on the real thing.

“The donation of the engine will enhance the learning experience for both current and future students. Better still, it further increases the reputation of Preston’s College as the number one choice for learners wishing to study motorcycle maintenance and repair.”

This motorcycle maintenance and repair apprenticeship is ideal for students wishing to specialise in motorcycle repair and maintenance. The apprenticeship includes both theory and practical aspects covering the mechanical and electrical systems on motorcycles. 

For Bowker Motorrad, aftersales manager Richard Rawlings said: “Well done to Shannon for spotting the opportunity! Throughout the Bowker Motor Group our relationships with local schools and colleges are very important to us. The engine we donated will offer students a hands-on experience with the latest performance engineering technology.”

Preston College Engine Donation

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