The Early Years
William Ling started Lings in 1874 as a wheelwright and Blacksmith in Holton Norfolk, until his son Frederick moved into the motor trade in 1913, opening an aftersales centre for cars. This started out the tradition of excellent customer service, which we still hold close today. William’s grandson Peter, completed an apprenticeship and then started up a dealership on Trinity Road in Bungay, Suffolk which initially dealt in bicycle but soon moved up to motorcycles.
The Honda Revolution
By 1961 David Jary had married Peter Lings’ daughter Anne. After two years David attended a trade show, and saw what Honda had to offer. Despite having had numerous meetings with various British manufacturers, he couldn’t secure a deal with any until meeting with Honda.
“Honda was just beginning… When we told them how keen we were they said yes to us straight away.” - David Jary
This relationship started out with just the two Honda models, the C72 and C92. Opening in 1960, the little shop in Harleston boasted exotic bikes that would stand out from the crowd of BSA and Triumph bikes that dominated the roads at the time.
The sale of parts has been a massive part of Lings ever since the company started, starting out in 1962 when all stock taking systems were handwritten David set out to stock every part for every model of bike, and if not he and his right hand man Bill Simms(Head of Parts) made sure all the parts were readily available with only a few days wait maximum. We still hold this relationship with Honda and parts are still one of our most major departments, with most parts available within a day or two. Stock taking has become a much more simple task over the years, with the introduction of an in house computer system.
Today Lings runs four branches over the East Anglia region (Harleston, Lowestoft, Watton and Ipswich) and are the largest stockists of Honda products in Europe. We also stock Triumph bikes and clothing; Husqvarna bikes; Mitsubishi cars; Hyundai Cars; Hein Gericke clothing; RST riding gear and a plethora of used bikes of all makes! To say Lings has come a long way is a gross understatement. It has grown into a huge company with huge ambitions to match. Despite this we still hold excellent values throughout the company. Great customer service and the sharpest pencil around.