ILLAWARRA motorbike legend Noel Shipp will be remembered as a gentleman whose life revolved around the bikes he loved.
Friend and fellow motorbike enthusiast Daniel Sullivan this week paid tribute to a man who lived his passion and helped countless others do the same by sponsoring motorcycle events.
"He was a gentleman and made a massive contribution to the motorcycle community in the Illawarra and he'll be missed," Mr Sullivan said.
"He was very kind, very giving - I don't think I ever heard him say anything bad about anybody."
Mr Shipp died on Monday at the age of 86 after suffering a bleed on the brain three weeks ago.
He was a stalwart of the Illawarra motorcycle community, having owned and run Shipp Motorcycles for more than 60 years, taking over the reins of a sales and repair business started by his father Jim in 1923.
Mr Shipp was surrounded by bikes from an early age, his father even keeping an AJS motorcycle in his bedroom.
In September 1949, after completing a fitter and turner's apprenticeship with Lysaghts, Mr Shipp joined his father's business.
Over the years, Shipp Motorcycles sponsored countless club motorcycle events on the Mount Kembla scramble circuit and other competitions.
As Mr Shipp got older he let go of the dealerships and instead traded solely in spare parts, but the internet proved tough competition and the business became more of a hobby.
Despite breaking his hip in 2009 and moving to a nursing home, Mr Shipp still occasionally returned to his Kembla Street shop to tinker around.
Mr Shipp will be farewelled at a funeral service at 10am on Monday at Parsons Funeral Home in Wollongong.