speaking up for great service …




I’m never slow to complain if I think the service I’ve had is below what it should be.  I also think  we should shout up when we’ve had good service as well. So I thought I’d take a moment to mention some great service received in the last couple of weeks.

Regular readers of this Blog will know that we bought and collected another bike last week, and I wrote about that in my New Wheels post, which is probably worth a read if you missed it.

Getting the new bike meant it was time to get some new gear for Pat and we got most off that sorted at the J&S store in Northwich (new textile jacket and trousers as well as new boots). The lady there who served us was patient and helpful and fully recognized the importance of getting a relatively expensive one off purchase right – not just because we all need bike gear that fits us properly but also taking account of the related practical day to day issues along with the associated safety factors.

I’ve bought stuff myself from there before and have always been satisfied with the products and service and the service we received last week is well worth the mention.

We also needed to get a new helmet sorted and  to be honest this proved less than straightforward to get the right sized helmet, perhaps the single most important bit of kit to get right.

We started off at the J&S store nearest to us in Openshaw Manchester. Although much smaller than the Northwich store, it’s well stocked with gear and had an excellent display and range of helmets from most manufactures. I don’t think I would be stretching it too far to say my wife probably tried every style and make of helmet as we sought the correct fit – she seemed to be between S and XS and things were not  straightforward, especially as different manufacturers helmets seemed to be sized differently.

Steve the guy who assisted us was a model of good customer service and really could not do more for us, despite us eventually not purchasing a helmet from there. He was patient and helpful and if he was getting at all fed up he certainly didn’t show it,  to be honest we couldn’t have asked for more from him. We eventually were getting down to the likelihood that an Arai would probably be the most suitable helmet but they didn’t have one there  that was the right size, Steve checked with the Northwich store and established they had one in stock that seemed to be the right size.  Although we did intend to go there, as it was a bit of  a drive for us we thought we would call over to Hunts Motorcycles in Burnage Manchester first.

Hunts is a shop I’m pretty familiar with having bought a couple of bikes there in the past – a Fireblade RR and then a CB1000R. Although the range of bike gear isn’t as extensive as J&S we thought it would be worth a look. Once again we had superb service and there was no pressure to buy – what we got was sound advice along with plenty of time and help, unfortunately they don’t stock Arai helmets, although my wife tried quite a few others on.

There was a nice looking Spada helmet that would have been a perfect match for the bike (almost identical matte colour) the reality of it was that although it met the usual safety and standards criteria – the remarkably low price point (less than £55) was reflected in the internal linings and fittings and on the road would doubtless have had a relatively high amount of wind noise, and given that safety and comfort were the top criteria along with the right fit then it was time to look elsewhere – but as with J&S the service was exemplary.

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Whilst at Hunts we got directions to the Dainese store that had fairly recently moved from central Manchester  to its new home a short distance away in Ardwick just a mile or so outside the city centre.

As with the previous stores the service we got was superb, in fact and in fairness it probably exceeded our expectations – the time spent to get just the right fit seemed to be of no consequence and the staff were fantastic. The upshot was that we ended up buying an Arai Chaser V – the same model of helmet that I currently wear.

Phil – the store manager was great and has offered to further refine the fitting if there are any problems with the helmet in use. As an aside it turned out that I knew of Phil’ as he is the partner of Rox who worked at a bike place where I used to have all my bikes serviced up until they closed a few years ago … yet another example of it being a ‘small world’

So all in all it’s good to be able to say that the three places we called to all offered us great service – but I do have to give a special mention to the guys at the Dainese Store in Manchester, there’s some good gear in there, decent coffee, great service and unlike the store they used to occupy in central Manchester there’s parking right outside, what more could you ask for.

Some pix posted below – clicking on the first one will open a scrolable gallery