Jack restores bike in tribute to friend Harley, and to raise mental health awareness

Jack Taylor with the 1974 Honda CB550 bike he is restoring for charity, right.

Jack Taylor with the 1974 Honda CB550 bike he is restoring for charity, right. His own similar bike is pictured left - Credit: Jack Taylor

Bike enthusiast Jack Taylor is restoring a classic 1974 Honda CB550 in tribute to a friend, to raise awareness of mental health.

Jack, who lives in Aldeburgh and is a boat builder with Spirit Yachts in Ipswich, aims to raise £10,000 for Inspire Suffolk.

The charity was chosen by the parents of his close friend Harley Snowling, who sadly took his own life aged 20 in January last year, at his home in Oulton Broad.

The two friends, who met at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, shared a passion for motorbikes.

A rendering of how the finished bike will look

A rendering of how the finished bike will look - Credit: ziggymoto

Jack said: "I lost a close friend to suicide and it was tough, but the one thing that I kept coming back to was how positive Harley always was about my progress in building my bike.

"I'd look back at our messages and his comments on pictures and videos I posted on social media and it would give me a smile.”

The 31-year-old already had a 1974 Honda CB550 himself. As a tribute to Harley, he decided to buy a tired-looking similar bike, and turn it into something his friend would be proud of.

Harley Snowling, who died last year

The bike restoration project is in memory of Harley Snowling, who died last year - Credit: Family of Harley Snowling

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Through fundraising and support from local businesses, he is securing parts and donations to fund the build. He plans to raffle the bike off in aid of Inspire Suffolk later this year.

Jack said: “I believe the work they are doing to help local youths onto a positive path is an amazing cause and I hope to do anything I can to support them through this project and beyond.”

Once the bike is complete, Jack said he hoped to show it to Harley's family at the college in Lowestoft. He and Harley's father, Harvey, also want to take the bike for a tour in the Beccles and Lowestoft area.

The bike is due to go on show at Lings Honda Bikes in Ipswich for a week once it is completed, and Jack is hoping to display it at shows, Covid restrictions permitting.

He said he had received great support from local businesses, and hopes more will sign up as he continues to document the progress.

Terry Baxter, CEO of Inspire Suffolk, said: “We can’t wait to watch Jack’s project unfold. Not only is it an incredible dedication to his friend, but we hope it will Inspire other young people to talk openly about their mental health and seek support.

"With Jack’s help, we will be able to help many more young people in the area through our wellbeing service and educational programmes.”

Jack posts regular YouTube updates and you can also make a donation via his JustGiving page.

Inspire Suffolk offers a free wellbeing service for 10–25-year-olds. If you need someone to talk to and think you could benefit from virtual counselling, please contact wellbeing@inspiresuffolk.org.uk or call/text 07720 087487.

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 113 123.