Archive for the ‘Indianapolis’ Category

Erpelding, Europe’s Keeper of Classic Race Bikes

September 29, 2009

Are you a racebike enthusiast? Happen to be planning a trip to the Nuerburgring in Germany?

erpeldingIf so, you may want to visit former motorcycle and auto dealer and racer Frithjor Erpelding, a man who claims to have the second largest private museum in Europe dedicated to race motorcycles. Located in the Eifel mountain hamlet of Jammelshofen, near the ‘Ring, the museum houses 200-some bikes and a half-dozen of his championship-winning race cars.

Among the units on display: AJS, Aprilia, Ariel, Bimota, BSA, CZ, Egli, Gilera, NSU, Koenig, Moto Parilla, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Matchless, Maico, Triumph, Norton, Greeves, Jawa, Puch, Wanderer, Harris, BSS, Benelli, Laverda, Royal-Enfield, Harley-Davidson, Horex, Honda, Gilera, Kawasaki, Kreidler, Linto, Suzuki, Scott, Seley, Yamaha, Rickman, KTM, Ducati, Montessa, NSU, Vincent, Velocette and Zuendapp, etc.

I asked Erpelding which of the 200 units is his favorite. “The Norton,” he replied without pause. Erpelding has two Norton Manx. “The chairman of Cambridge University recently contacted me, asking if I would sell one of my Manx. I told him ‘No’. He offered Euro 100,000 and I declined. Then he offered Euro 200,000 and I again declined. Finally, I cut to the chase and told him I wouldn’t be selling the bike no matter what the price.”

MuseumBut, Erpelding is willing to sell certain units. He says he recently sold a Vincent to a collector in the United States for Euro 80,000. “He deposited the check in my bank account before even receiving the bike. I called and asked him why he trusted me, and he said, ‘I’ve heard you’re a trustworthy guy’.”

Erpelding is a fella who loves telling his stories. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to leave time to have beer at his Race Museum Bar. He’ll tell you about his run-ins with racer Agostini and Yamaha bosses; his thoughts on Triumph, MZ and KTM; his trips to Goodwood; and his days of racing Honda motorcycles and cars.

Check out Erpelding’s website, which features the full line-up of the museum’s bikes on display.

Dealer Expo Comments; Extra Product Coverage

February 25, 2009

This year’s Dealer Expo was different. First of all, about 40 percent of booths were in the brand-new Lucas Oil Stadium, a few blocks away from the rest the show in the Indiana Convention Center. Luckily, decent weather made the walk bearable for those of us who chose not to use the free shuttle service. I hear underground walkways will be available for the 2011 show.

My editorial duties didn’t allow me to examine the stadium much, but several people told me they loved the building itself. I didn’t hear any complaints about the splitting of the show.

Advanstar Communications, our owner, hasn’t released attendance figures, but the traffic did not seem much different from previous years. Most vendors told me that the number of booth visits was down, but that more serious buyers were stopping by. General managers and owners seemed to be walking the aisles in a greater concentration.

This makes sense. Many dealership principals likely couldn’t pay to send employees this year. And owners are keeping a tighter grip on the purse (more…)

Dealer Expo From the Inside Out

February 25, 2009

Because we can’t seem to get enough Robert Pandya around this place here is a video of him cruising Dealer Expo 2009, jawing with various industry movers and shakers about current economic issues. From Pandya:

What we found was an optimistic industry that is adjusting for some changing times. Looks like dealers and companies paying close attention to the marketplace are adapting to the conditions and positioning themselves for success in the future.

And heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeee’ssssssssssss Robert:

National Dealer Assn. Meeting: Follow Live

February 12, 2009

With the economy in the toilet, now, more than ever, is the time to join your state motorcycle dealer association. That’s the word at the National Council of Motorcycle Dealer Associations. Follow the meeting live over HERE.

Hard at work.

Hard at work.

Blogging Dealer Expo: Stay Tuned!

February 10, 2009

We all at DealernewsBlog are getting ready to head out to Indy for the World and Locallydealer-expo Famous Dealer Expo. If you’re not going to be there, (And why wouldn’t you be there?) but still want to know what’s going on, visit the DealernewsBlog and sites early and often for the latest, greatest and sometimes strangest stuff the powersports world has to offer.

For example did you read the latest info about more than 100 exhibitors changing locations? If not, go here to find out what’s happening.

If you are going to be in Indy, see you there. And each day look outside your hotel room or around the show floor for our latest Dealer Expo Show Dailies. These daily newspapers will come flying off the presses fresh each night with up-to-the-minute (give or take a few) highlights of the show. We’ll be roaming the floor, covering the meetings, getting the scoop, taking pics, scratching out notes and wearing out shoe leather to cover Dealer Expo from the inside out.

We’ll have “newsrooms” in the second floor of the Indiana Convention Center and in the Lucas Oil Stadium where press info and other related materials can be dropped off. If you want to contact any of us editor types, drop a note at the Dealernews booth just outside the main hall in the convention center.

Dealer Expo is Coming — Feedback Please

January 29, 2009

The 2009 Dealernews International Dealer Expo in Indianapolis is just around the corner and we here at DN are gearing up for what is a whizz-bang, muscle-burning, feet-torturing, head-spinning four days of schmoozing,dealer-expo interviewing, info-gathering, eating, drinking, sometimes-sleeping, always-working, coffee-and-Red-Bull-guzzling fun. Dealer Expo takes place Feb. 13-16.

While we’re going to be reporting live for the Web site and for our Show Dailies, we’ll also be blogging the newsy and not-s0-newsy bits and pieces throughout the weekend.

If you’re one of our four regular readers of the DealernewsBlog, I’d be interested in knowing if you’ll be checking in on a regular basis to get the latest and greatest about Dealer Expo.

I’d love to get your comments on this via the comments section of this blog posting or by emailing me at dennis.johnson @ I appreciate any and all feedback (even the smart alecky stuff) that you leave.