Orwell Motorcycles one-stop shop serving biker community
- Credit: Andy Russell
Orwell Motorcycles in Ipswich prides itself on the right bike, the right gear, the right service. Whether new to riding or a ‘born-again biker’, its customer-friendly advice and expertise are key to building its biker community as motoring editor Andy Russell finds out.
More people are taking to two wheels, for business and pleasure, to beat the traffic and enjoy the freedom of riding.
‘Scooter commuter’ bikes are popular with people looking to take the strain out of getting to and from work and, according to the Motorcycle Industry Association, save time and money and have an enjoyable commute.
And there are the ‘born-again bikers’, middle-aged men and women, with grown-up children, spare time and money, who want rediscover their passion for motorcycling. For them, riding out with friends and rediscovering the camaraderie shared by riders is more of a past-time.
Regardless of which category you are in, it’s important to find a good, local motorcycle dealership which shares that enthusiasm and passion for two-wheel transport and has the expertise and knowledge to help you choose the right bike, clothing, equipment and accessories to keep you safe.
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Suffolk-based Orwell Motorcycles, in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, is a one-stop motorcycle shop and biker community which aims to give riders a sense of belonging.
Established in 1983 by Ray Walters, when he retired last November, it was taken over by younger brother Rob, a civil engineer, and Dave Willis, an IT consultant specialising in financial market data, who both wanted a change of career. Friends since school, they are passionate about motorcycles.
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Its mantra is ‘The right bike, the right gear, the right service’.
“We are not just trying to sell a bike and say good bye. We are trying to sell a bike and build a relationship – you are now a friend of the shop, it’s for the long term.”
The dealership sells up to 250 new bikes a year and around 400 used, the latter meticulously checked and prepared.
The Suzuki and Kawasaki dealership also has a large stock of used motorbikes for sale, including Honda, Yamaha, Triumph, BMW and KTM, in the large showroom and can maintain and service them in its workshop.
All the sales staff, in fact all but a couple of the 21-strong full and part-time team, ride bikes so know what they’re talking about and can offer expert advice and help.
Unlike buying a car, motorcycling is more than just getting a bike – especially if new to it or a ‘born-again biker’.
You need to get kitted out and Orwell’s high-quality, customer-friendly service extends to advice on what you need and making sure it fits right. It stocks a wide range of crash helmets and protective and casual clothing, including a retro range, and specialist equipment including motorcycle accessories, luggage, sat-navs, cameras, locks and security devices and communication systems.
The parts department can supply parts for motorbikes, other than Kawasaki and Suzuki, and stocks maintenance products such as engine oils, chain lubricant, and cleaners.
Mr Walters said: “We don’t want to sell someone a bike that is not right for them. We try to understand what they really want. If you want repeat business you don’t want them asking themselves ‘Why did they sell me that?’.”
Orwell Motorcycles has up to 18 demo bikes and customers are encouraged to try before they buy to help them make the right choice.
Seen as a local motorcycling hub, many bikers meet at Orwell Motorcycles, especially on Saturdays, for a ride out, just to talk bikes or check out the latest machines so the dealership is looking at options for offering a refreshments outlet.
For new riders and those returning to biking and seeking a refresher course, it offers a tie-in with Ipswich Rider Training and also works with Suffolk Advanced Motorcyclists (SAM).
Orwell Motorcycles is in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, IP2 0AQ, is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturday, 8.30am to 5pm. It is closed Sundays and bank holidays.
Telephone: 01473 257401.
Website: orwell.co.uk the new site has been launched.