August 3, 2007
Dear Mr. Ehlerding:
Congratulations! The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is pleased to announce that Ehlerding Motorsports has won the 2006 MSF Award for "Outstanding Dealer/Retailer". This award is giver for your outstanding contribution toward motorcycle safety. A special thanks is extended to H. John Bodeker for helping us reconginze this excellend achievement through the MSF annual award process.
The summarized sumbmission below was given on your behalf for this nomination:
"Don Ehlerding has been involved in rider education in Indiana for over 25 years. Don didn't hesitate in dedication one of the parking lots at his dealership for motorcycle testing. After 25 years, Don Ehlerding and Ehlerding Motorsports are still synonomous with rider education and motorcycle safety in Northeast Indiana."
The MSF is appreciative of the hard work and commitment and commends the dedication it took to earn this achievement. The MSF Awards Program is one way we are able to recongize such outstanding accomplishments. Congratulations!
February 27, 2007
Dear Business Owner,
Please accept the enclosed "Member Selected Golden Dealer" sticker awarded by the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) with our compliments. We hope you will display it proudly on the front door or window of your business.
Your "Member Selected Golden Dealer" sticker denotes that you went the extra mile for one of your members who appreciated your actions and attitude enough to write to the montly magazine of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association - Wing World .
Since December 2004, we have tried to honor as many of these "Golden Dealers" as possible in Wing World by printing the members' letters praising them bi-monthly. A letter praising your business has appeared in our magazine, hence your selection as a "Member Selected Golden Dealer." This program is unique because it is member-driven.
Thank you for your service to our members.
Enjoy the ride,
Melissa (Exective Director)
Ehlerding Motorsports, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Ahh! The July Fourth holiday is always a great time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends and perhaps even a picnic and/or barbeque. A great day to be off work. Right? Stay with me here.
Saturday, July 2, Patty & I headed out for our vacation trip to Wing Ding in Fort Wayne. We were on Patty's new trike riding two-up instead of taking both bikes. Our goal for the day was Birmingham, Alabama, a mere 612 miles. I had not ridden the trike very many miles since we purchased it and this would be a new experience for me. After a few hundred miles of the bumpy Interstate 10 in Louisiana, I started noticing how the handlebars were pounding the palms of my hands to the point that my hands were starting to hurt. At first, I just thought it was the rake of the forks and the "nature of the beast" when you trike a bike.
Sunday morning, we got an early start and had nother 600-plus miles to cover but would arrive in Fort Wayne by mid-afternoon. The roads I-65 through Alabama, Kentucky, and Indiana are really beautiful and in great shape. I kepy noticing how badly the handlebars were pounding at the occasional road seam, and I was now convinced the steering head had to be loose. During one of our fuel stops, I noticed the handlebars actually rising up during a stop at a signal light and this convinced me that the steering head was loose! I planned then to see if one of the vendors at Wing Ding would simply tighten it up.
We arrived safely at our hotel about 2:30 p.m. and were immediately checked into our toom even though there were dozens of fellow Wing Dingers at the desk. By the way, the Fort Wayne Marriot, without a doubt, has the most caring hotel staff that I have ever experienced!
July 4, Monday, we headed for the Coliseum to pick up our registration package and proceed to the vendor show. I was anxious to locate a vendor that could tighten up the steering head bearing.
The crowds inside the coliseum and vendor area were worse than I had ever seen at a Wing Ding! I don't know if it was a smaller vendor area or if it was just the size of the crowd but I was having a very difficult time seeing any of the merchandise, much less trying to talk with the service vendors. We did find one of the vendors that claimed to be the only Honda dealer in the area (20 miles north of Fort Wayne). The gentleman said their store and service area was open but couldn't promise they could even get to our trike. Frustrated, Patty & I left the Coliseum and returned to our toom at 11 a.m.
While in our hotel room, we started thinking that Fort Wayne had to be learge enough to have a Honda dealer closer than 20 miles away, so Patty took out the telephone directory and discovered there were five dealers in town. We wrote down the addresses and decided to ride around, find one of the dealers, be there early Tuesday morning, and hope htey could work us in at some point during the day. After all, we were planning to head for Canada on Wednesday morning and I didn't want to hit the road with that loose steering head.
We didn't know the streets in Fort Wayne and didn't have a city map but withing ten minutes we came upon a Honda dealer called Ehlerding Motorsports- and THEY WERE OPEN!
We pulled into the parking lot and walked into the showroom. There were a few customers (other Gold Wingers) buying some parts and I asked if we could get on a list for service. The sales person pointed to the other person standing behind the counter and said, "Just one minute, he is the Service Manager and will be able to help you."
Within a few seconds Service Manager Dennis Werling asked how he could help us. I asked if we would get on the service list Tuesday morning to have the streering dead bearings checked and explained that we were driving a GL1800/Motor Trike conversion. He said, "Well, all of our mechanics are at lunch right now but they would be able to look at your bike in 10-15 minutes." I was nearly speechless. He then said, "Why don't you drive it into our service entrance and I will go ahead and write your service order."
Now remember, it was Monday, July 4, a national holiday, and this Honda dealership was open with full services!
Dennis quickly got us written up and even allowed me to park our trailer safely inside the service area while the trike was being serviced. Just as he said, whithin a few minutes mechanic Jim Beer took the trike back to the shop area and confirmed the steering head was definately very loose!
Rather than just tighetning the steering head and sending us on our way, Jim removed the entire top of the triple tree and inspected the bearings before properly adjusting the steering- a complicated job that actually took the remainder of the day. When we saw the care that was being taken to assure a proper repair, we were as ease even though we expected the repair costs were going to be pretty high since it was now over four hours of shop time. While waiting for the repairs to get completed, Patty and I shopped inside their beautiful showroom and added a few other items to the final bill.
All of the staff at Ehlerding Motorsports treated us specially and even gave us a huge discount at the final checkout!
Now, remember my very first paragraph?
Thank you, Ehlerding Motorsports (especially Dennis Werling and Jim Beer), for the great service and for working on our national holiday, and thank you, Fort Wayne, for the hospitality!
Pat & Patty, Gold Wing Road Riders Association Magazine