|"I really like the selection of styles and manufactures, and the owners are always very friendly and genuine."|
|I am just starting out with riding and don't have much experience with it. The culture, needs, and requirements to do it safely and successfully can be a little daunting. And expensive. Leather riding gear especially, you can need a lot to stay warm and protected and that adds up.
Leather is particularly a pain, since generally it is altered to fit and isn't easily returnable...so getting the wrong thing will make your life miserable and expensive.
I shopped around a little in Salem to get an idea of what I was going to be spending. My mind was swimming with the extravagance of cost. And though I got some pretty detailed help at the Harley-Davidson shop, the prices were pretty big. Other stores just kind of let me cruise around. I tried various things on and it was alright, but I felt a little out of my depth.
Then I strolled into Hawg Haven, upon suggestion of a friend. The shop is dark and very biker-esque. Almost felt like I had walked into the clubhouse of the Sons of Anarchy. Helmets, chaps, gloves, and all sorts of add-ons lined the walls. In the back of the place is a full leather alteration shop, right next to a large array of leather jackets and vests.
The staff was immediately helpful, but since I was just looking, I kind of waved them off. I checked the prices before trying them on. Where other stores had set their prices around $300 and up, most of the jackets I found at Hawg Haven were of similar quality, and went for $150-$300. Having to buy everything else at once, I didn't want to go all out on my first gear, and I actually found a pretty damn good jacket on clearance for $100. I tried it on, it fit pretty damn good, and I took it up to the counter and left it there to go and look at some other stuff.
When I got back to the counter, with a new bandana in hand, the amazing lady there (I'm pretty sure she's one of the owners) asked me if the jacket fit good. I said it did, but she looked skeptical and asked again, stressing how too big a fit can get air up under the surface and cause problems. I offered to try it on and she took one look at me and told me it was too big. She then went and got the same style jacket, but a size smaller, and told me to try it on. I did and the fit was very much different, and exactly what she said I was supposed to look for. It was also the same price...no upsale here!
She then eyeballed me and told me exactly the size of chaps I would need, when I was ready for them. She told me their shop will alter them to fit perfectly as well.
This person clearly, CLEARLY, knew her business if she could pick out at a distance that I was getting too big of an item. And she got me the exact thing I needed, saving me future misery. And she threw in a head cap complimentary, to go on under my helmet. And all with me buying a bottom-of-the-line, entry-level clearance jacket from Pakistan.
Wonderful. Simply wonderful.
When I upgrade my jacket, and get the rest of my gear, I will not bother going to any other joint in Salem. Nay, in Oregon. The people here obviously love riding, they love bikers, and they absolutely know their stuff. And it's a local business, not a chain.
Don't bother checking any other place out...this is the place to be. Absolutely.
|"Awesome shop for motorcycle leathers! Excellent selection of jackets and chaps. The owners are so friendly and their customer service is the BEST!!"|