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Hinshaw's Motorcycle Empire

Growing up in so many ways

Walking toward the front entry of Hinshaw’s Motorcycle Store, you might miss the hand prints in the concrete sidewalk. Oliver and Mason. Owner Ron Orr’s children pressed their palms into what was freshly poured concrete when Hinshaw’s opened its current location in Auburn Washington.

That was back in 2003. A lot has changed since then.

Prior to 2003 the store was located across the street from where it is now. Back then, Hinshaw’s sold Honda, Suzuki and KTM along with an occasional boutique OEM like Excelsior. Today that building serves as the home for JFC Racing.

The move to the current location afforded them more than four times the showroom, parts, service and administrative space than the old building. Over the years Hinshaw’s has managed to max out their showroom space with the addition of lines like Yamaha, Kawasaki and Victory.

With the recent addition of Indian, it only made sense to build an additional building next door which could showcase the Indian line and its sibling Victory lineup.

Part of this growth is actually a result of the great recession. As dealers went down one by one, OEM’s like Yamaha and Kawasaki were hard pressed for coverage in the South Sound region. Hinshaw’s was there to pick up these lines and service their existing and future customers.

So how did Hinshaw’s make it through the great recession while others disappeared? Part of the answer to that is steady management. Hinshaw’s marketing manager, Bob Davis, has spent more than 26 years with the motorcycle store. Service manager Jim Spear (above) has two decades at the location under his belt and Parts manager, Paul Rogers (below) is into a decade now at the shop. They’ve been through the good times and rolled with the bad times, making the right decisions along the way to keep the ship afloat.

Outside the store used bikes are housed in their own shelter along the front walkway. Getting the store open each day is a simple case of opening up the rolling doors to reveal the used inventory without having to roll it in and out of the store each day as is the case at some other shops.

Inside the store, beyond the new stock, you’ll also find a vintage collection of more than 80 classic bikes Orr has restored over the years. Primarily Japanese jewels including rare models from Honda, Suzuki and others as well as prime restorations of Dreams, CB750 Super Sports and more line the entire upstairs balcony. The collection is so large now, Orr is looking in to selling part of the inventory.

Also upstairs is a meeting room available to clubs and organizations on a request basis.

Hinshaw’s maintains a busy marketing schedule beginning each year hosting all three Green Freeze events for the local Gold Wing Touring Association chapter. Additional events follow in the spring and summer and the year ends with a special 12 Days of Christmas event that highlights special deals on the days leading up to the holiday.

In 2014 the store revamped their website. The site features a simple parts request form users can utilize to locate parts for any of the lines the store carries.

Continuing the tradition of having a boutique line or two in the store, Hinshaw’s added the Norton line in 2014 and has picked up the Motus line for 2015. Interested parties can request a test ride on any of the bikes the store stocks by using the request form on their website.

From three OEM lines in 2003, to ten in 2015, Hinshaw’s is a success story all its own that has not only weathered one of the worst economic times in U.S. history, but grown a lot along the way. And those little boys who put those hand prints in the concrete? They’re growing up at the same rapid pace that the store has.

Sound RIDER!/Fall 2014


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