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History of Harley-Davidson® of Indianapolis

Our history begins back in 1976.

Gerald Ford was the president; "One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest" won Best Picture at the Academy Awards; "Send in the Clowns" by Stephen Sondheim was Song of the Year; and the Dellen Automotive Family took it's first step into the world of motorcycle sales.

At the time, Dellen Automotive had established itself as an automotive dealer in Indianapolis selling GM cars and trucks, but Russ Dellen and his father, R.P. "Red" Dellen, wanted to explore other options in the world of transportation. When a friend of Russ's put his motorcycle shop (then called Fun Club Kawasaki) up for auction, the opportunity to get into the world of motorcycles was there for the taking, so they took a chance and purchased the dealership.

Their first task was to turn a profit selling Kawasaki's and put some black ink on the ledger. They did just that and soon after Harley-Davidson® approached them in 1978 with a franchise opportunity. At the time, Harley-Davidson® was owned by AMF, American Machinery and Foundry, and was going through a low-point in their company history where quality was down and sales were suffering.

Not long after Russ's decision to add Harley-Davidson® to their lineup, the motor company was bought back by the original owners in 1981. The company was then revamped and quality of the product and sales went up tremendously. A boom occurred for all Harley® dealers, then called Keystone Cycle Sales, the store went from having 150 bikes in stock at the shop and couldn't give them away to having 1-year wait lists on Fat Boys and Ultras. Not until the early 2000's did this wait list stop.

In 1996, the company added Honda and Suzuki to their line of motorcycles. Soon after, Harley-Davidson® approached Russ with a request to move to a better location and build a new store. The old store was lacking the much needed facility space and was falling apart, so the decision was easy. It was time to start fresh, so they moved to the current location on the north side of Indianapolis and renamed the company, Motorcycles of Indianapolis.

Business continued to boom for Harley-Davidson® sales at our store, but Kawasaki sales were slower than ever. In 1998, they made the decision to drop Kawasaki and concentrate more on Harley-Davidson®, Honda and Suzuki. At the time, all three lines were still producing profitable results, until 2004 brought the end of Suzuki at the store and the beginnings of a two-line dealer with Harley-Davidson® and Honda. That lasted until January 2011 when the Honda franchise was dropped and the dealership was 100% Harley-Davidson®!

More recently Harley-Davidson® of Indianapolis once again decided to make a huge change, and open a state of the art 37,000 sq/ft facility in Fishers, Indiana. The new dealership has modern features and styling that will be the standard bearer for years to come. Not to mention the dealership will now be a destination location with our new customer lounge and a covered patio complete with fireplaces that will help us hold events well into the colder months. 

The Harley-Davidson® of Indianapolis family has continued to establish itself as Indianapolis' premier motorcycle dealer. Home to one of the largest new and pre-owned motorcycle inventories in Indiana, we are staffed with experts in sales, motorclothes, service and parts that are ready to service your every need.

Harley-Davidson® of Indianapolis is conveniently located near the areas of Carmel, Fishers, Broad Ripple, Beech Grove and Anderson.

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