A DARWEN biker who was killed in a collision with a tractor in the Yorkshire Dales 'died doing what he loved', according to a friend.

John Alexander Morrey Fraser, 73, died at the scene of the accident on the A65 at the village of Austwick at 11.30am on Wednesday.

He was travelling south towards Settle when his blue Suzuki hit a tractor pulling a trailer near Owlett Hall Farm.

Both vehicles were travelling in the same direction. An investigation is underway into how the crash happened.

The driver of the tractor, who had been carrying out work at Owlett Hall Farm, was uninjured.

Mr Fraser, who was known as Alec, had a lifelong interest in motorbikes.

The retired machine operator at a wallpaper factory grew up in the Mary Street area and had lived in Olive Lane for more than 30 years before moving to Pot House Lane with wife Margaret.

Friends said he regularly took day trips to places such as Scotland on his blue Suzuki.

Childhood friend Terry Guy, of Pole Lane, said: “He was the first person in our area to have a bike with his dad Fred.

“He had it at 17 and I went on the back. He used to take us out over Belmont, and in those days you didn’t have crash helmets, so my mum went mad.

“He was motorbike-mad, and the only consolation is that he died doing something he loved.”

An inquest into Mr Fraser's death was opened in North Yorkshire today and adjourned until later in the year.

James Ogden, owner of Owlett Hall Farm, said the tractor involved had been working at his farm, but was not owned by them.

He said: “I didn’t see anything because I was busy working, but it was a tragic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“This road is very popular with motorcyclists heading over to Devil’s Bridge, and there are quite a lot of accidents that happen along here.

“The reasons for that may be because there’s a lot of bends and two fast, straight bits, and also hidden dips and hills.”

A police spokesman last night said: "Emergency services were called to a serious road traffic collision on the A65 at Austwick, a small village near Lancaster.

“The 73-year-old motorcycle rider from Darwen was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Both vehicles were being driven south and the blue Suzuki motorcycle hit the tractor.

“There was another motorcycle in the area at the time, though it is not known if both bikes had been riding together.

"Police are interested in speaking with the rider of the other bike.”

Contact PC Steven Wood on 0845 60 60 247 quoting reference 12100145530.