Our History

Our History

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…

George Schulteti’s relationship with Harley-Davidson® began in 1922 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At that time, he was the proud owner of a Harley-Davidson® bicycle, and when he couldn’t find a replacement part at a local dealer, he went directly to the H-D® factory. 

To his dismay, the plant’s guard told him that he would have to go to a dealership to get the part. Showing the determination that would become his trademark in future years, George would not accept “no” for an answer. One of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson, heard the spirited discussion from a nearby office and not only provided Schulteti with the part but also a promise. Davidson told him that if he ever wanted a job, he could have it. Two days later, 16-year-old George Schulteti took him up on the offer and was hired to sweep the floors of the factory. 

His intense love for cycling and excellent mechanical abilities allowed him to excel with Harley-Davidson Motor Company as a service technician and as part of the research and development team. He was also one of their most competent test riders.


While he enjoyed his work at the factory, George had greater dreams for himself and his family. He was determined to become a Harley-Davidson dealer. To this end, he patiently and diligently saved his money. And he waited for the right opportunity. 

During World War II, George was assigned to inventory all the Harley-Davidson motorcycles in military service. In the process, he rode more than 50,000 miles per year. On one of these business trips, George met Max Colville, a dealer in a small town in Illinois. After realizing that they both shared the same dream, George and Max decided to take action.

After working at the Harley-Davidson factory for 25 years, George realized his dream when he and Max pooled their resources and purchased John Morgan Harley-Davidson, an existing dealership in Indianapolis since 1919.

In October of 1947, they took ownership of the business.

    


His wife, Ann, joined George as the office manager and also worked the parts counter when needed. George moved his family into one of the apartments above the dealership at 701 So. Meridian Street. Several years later Max Colville sold his share of the business to George, who made perhaps the most important decision of his business career. He decided that the dealership should truly be "family-owned and operated." George and his family welcomed customers to the same location for the next 51 years.

In 1997, Harley-Davidson® Motor Company approached the Schulteti family with a new national marketing plan that would even out the distribution of dealerships throughout the Indianapolis area. As part of this plan, they wanted the Schulteti family to scout out a new location for their dealership. At the time, the dealership had only 17 employees (including family) and a rapid hiring process began. Having built its reputation on knowledgeable sales and service staff, this was a crucial period for the dealership. By the time it moved in 1998, the number of employees had risen to 32. For the first time, employees would greatly outnumber the Schulteti family members, and everyone wanted to ensure that the change was a positive one.

Since the move, the number of employees has nearly doubled and there have been additions to the facility to enlarge the service and storage areas. A focused approach to serving customer needs has allowed Southside Harley-Davidson® to maintain and grow its customer base. Many of our loyal customers are second, third, and even fourth-generation Harley-Davidson® motorcycle owners.

Southside Harley-Davidson's goal is to satisfy every customer that walks through the doors. The Schulteti family takes great pride in knowing that our customers have grown accustomed to feeling like a part of our extended family.

Future plans for the dealership include raising a fifth generation of the Schulteti family to carry on the tradition of serving Harley-Davidson® riders.

Join us, as you always have, in supporting the lifestyle, the sport, and the adventure of motorcycling. Ride free and do it safely. Thank you.

For 74 years and across five generations of family working in the dealership, we have provided that special touch which only comes from passion, focus, and dedication to the business and our devoted customers.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF ANN M. SCHULTETI 
1910-2006