Family’s love of motorcycles inspires business

 

As Dean Edwards revved up the chopper, his wife, Martha, eagerly jumped on back. She gripped his waist as the two took off to cruise around New Mexico, the wind in their hair and the sun on their skin. Dean built that first chopper—a Honda 750—in his living room. He installed a long front end and added a king/queen seat. That was back in 1977, during his Army years. Martha’s been on board ever since this love affair with motorcycles began.

Today, Martha and Dean own Hog Alley, a full-service motorcycle shop offering parts, accessories, service, repair, and motorcycle-themed merchandise and clothing.

Born in the Barn

After Dean left the Army, the Edwards eventually settled in Georgetown. “In 1993 we started selling motorcycle parts and accessories on the side, in a little red barn on our property,” Martha says. Their two kids, Erica and Dean, teenagers at the time, helped out.  They built a shop on I-35 in 1996 and took the business full-time. Seven years ago, they had to relocate when the toll road came in. That’s when they built the larger Hog Alley in its current location. Erica, now grown, is the general manager.

“We do everything from oil changes to building a bike,” Martha says. Because Hog Alley is an independent shop, its certified technicians can save customers money over using dealerships.  . The shop is hooked up with painters, powder coaters and chrome platers, and it can get all the parts to put a bike back together or to customize it to the customer’s taste. The shop has historically serviced the American V-twin crowd, which covers mainly Harley-Davidsons and customs, including IronHorse. Service Manager Matt Higgins has 28 years of V-twin experience and is BMW-certified. “We can service other import bikes. Just call to make an appointment,” Martha says. Erica adds, “If someone’s traveling on the road, even if we’re booked, we try to get them back on the road.” The Hog Alley folks also handle insurance claims and extended warranty claims.

To keep a bike running right requires following a regular service schedule, Erica says. “Preventative maintenance can save you a lot of money and heartache down the road. Cables need to be lubed so they don’t break. Rear belts need to be adjusted so they don’t cause damage or break. Replacing a rear belt can cost $700 or more,” she cautions.

Bikes and More

The showroom at Hog Alley displays wild-looking American IronHorse bikes, painted with bright colors and intricate graphics; they look like they’re doing 100 mph standing still. The showroom also exhibits used IronHorse bikes, as well as some consigned Harleys. “We have a lot of unusual motorcycle accessories—like the ones you see in magazines,” Martha says. If it’s not in stock, the knowledgeable parts department can help you find that unique rear brake pedal or clutch lever. The shop also features lots of leather gear, belts, picture frames, t-shirts, sunglasses, and boots, along with fun figurines and signs for the home or garage. “People are often surprised at our inventory,” Martha says.

Owning a motorcycle isn’t a requirement for cruising into Hog Alley. “You can always come in just to shop,” Martha says. And even if you don’t own a Harley, she assures folks, “you can still park your bike out front.” All bikes are welcome.

“Motorcycles were always a hobby of Dean’s, and we love to ride when we can,” Martha says.  “My favorite part of this business is the customers. I really enjoy getting to know them and finding them what they really want, whether it’s a new bike or a pair of sunglasses.”


Hog Alley
1525 N. IH 35
Georgetown, Texas
512-930-5475
www.hogalley.net

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