Living in the Bay Area, we are so lucky to have so much available to us as motorcyclists. There are so many riders living here that of course we have more than your average number of motorcycle dealerships and apparel shops just for us!
I hope to visit 3-4 other shops in the Bay Area over the next few months to give you an up close and personal look at why these shops are so great!
Scuderia West, 69 Duboce Avenue, San Francisco, CA
For those of you who've never been to Scuderia, here is a 180 degree high res photo that will almost make you feel like you're really there. :D
Scuderia West is near and dear to me for more than the most obvious reason that I work there part time. 6 years ago my husband and I bought our first scooter there after renting one in Vegas on our honeymoon. I also bought my first helmet, jacket and gloves. I knew that Scuderia was a really special shop the minute I walked in. I also bought my first piece of gear that day, my now discontinued Vanson Textile. Long story short, it was this experience that kept me coming back to Scuderia. I almost hated going sometimes, because there was sooooo much stuff I wanted to buy there. Jackets, boots, gloves, pants, the list is endless! When I originally came up with the idea for my website, I thought it would be so cool to hang at Scuderia and learn as much as I can about gear. Where else could I go to get informative, useful information from people who knew their stuff?
And, I loved the fact that so many women were working there at the time. I'd gone back since then to buy more gear. So I took the plunge and asked Crystal one day if she needed any extra hands for the upcoming Open House. She said she'd think about it and the rest is history! I had no idea how much I would enjoy working there. It was so much fun, so easy and I sucked in every piece of information I could get my hands on.
If you take a look at the 180 pic above, you'll notice that some things you might see in most apparel shops are missing at Scuderia. No chaps, tassles, not a lot of chrome, no harley-wear. Crystal has done a fantastic job of identifying a badly needed gap in the motorcycle apparel business. The emphasis is mainly on quality products that protect, function well on a motorcycle, and *gasp* fit! Have you ever walked into an apparel shop that: 1) has dedicated apparel employees; and 2) knows how to give you proper fitment with your gear? Most shops have no dedicated apparel personnel. That expense is just seen as an unnecessary one, and/or it's really hard to find qualified, experienced people who know what they're talking about in terms of fit and selling the apparel for what it is, not how much it costs.
When you come in to buy gear, you'll find a variety of garments with different shapes and fits to accommodate different body types. Because if you've ever read my blog before this post, then you know how much focus I put on fit. I'll even let you in on a little secret. Come Closer. *We do not get commission on apparel sales at Scuderia.*
So when we tell you how well that jacket fits you (regardless of the price tag), we really mean it! There is nothing more satisfying for me than seeing the smile on a customer's face when she is standing in front of the mirror, admiring herself and so happy that she found a jacket that fits her like a glove. And, even if she's not sure she wants to spend ~$400+ on 'the one', we'll even encourage to check out other options at competitor shops. Once a customer knows exactly what's supposed to fit, how it's supposed to work and why it's worth the money, inevitably, they always come back. That's what makes Scuderia so special. We're really here to help inform and advise you the best we can. Sometimes what we have won't work, but we're going to tell you that instead of pressuring you to buy something that doesn't.
One common problem that both the men and women I've spoken to about gear have shared with me is how hard it is to shop for gear. Unless someone tells you, it can be really difficult to figure out what you need, why you need it and how to go about finding it. That's the problem with shopping virtually. With the wealth of information online available to you, there's no one to help you wade through it and make sense of it all. Especially as it relates to you! What bike you ride, what kind of riding you're doing, what features you need, what features you don't need, etc. Shopping is a lot of work, whether it's for gear or for just a jeans and tshirt.
By going to a place like Scuderia, you're going to get a lot of information that you just won't find anywhere else.