A MOTORCYCLE enthusiast who died in a road accident has been called “the last of the 24/7 bikers”.
Liam Whitehead, 44, was killed in a moorland crash on Sunday afternoon.
His family have paid tribute to him as a devoted father of daughter Poppy, four.
It has also been revealed Mr Whitehead was once named as one of the top five bikers in the UK after a national competition to test his riding ability, road safety and bike care.
Today, his brother-in-law Michael Dyson said: “He was one of the last of the 24/7 bikers.
“No matter what the weather was like he would be out on his bike if he ever had to go anywhere.”
Mr Whitehead, who grew up in Meltham but lived in Milnsbridge, was a member of the Huddersfield branch of the Motorcycle Action Group.
The organisation campaigns for the rights of bikers on Britain’s roads.
Secretary Clare Shaw said: “Everyone was extremely shocked and saddened when we heard the news.
“One of the members had only seen him the day before he died. He was one of a kind – a devoted father and a mad keen biker.
“He never owned a car – he was a biker through and through. He rode for 20 or more years.
“He was a devotee to riding – not an activist in particular – but he was a member of the group for many years.”
He died after a crash on the A640 Huddersfield Road near Buckstones.
Police said that at about 1.50pm on Sunday they had reports that a motorcyclist had come off his Yamaha bike on a bend near the junction with Ripponden Road.
No other vehicles were involved.
Mr Dyson said it was just a freak accident.
Investigations suggest he was riding normally before the accident and may have come off his bike after slipping on a wet patch on the road.
Funeral arrangements will be made once an inquest opening date has been set.
Mr Dyson said the family was still coming to terms with his death.
He described Mr Whitehead, who was unemployed but held a City and Guilds qualification in engineering and was a part-time bike mechanic, as “a quiet guy and a very conscientious father”.
He added: “He used to drive Poppy around in his side car.
“He was extremely helpful – the kind of guy who would do anything he could to help you.”
Mr Whitehead leaves sisters Siobhan Dyson, Anne Paga and Julie Schofield and brother Sean Whitehead.