Bob Schulteti is currently the owner of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson, the oldest H-D dealer in the state.
Bob’s first involvement with the business was in 1947 when he was 14 years old. His early responsibilities at the dealership were sweeping the floors, washing windows, keeping the showcases clean and helping out wherever he could. In addition to working at the dealership, Bob raced motorcycles any chance he got. He participated in many different kinds of motorcycle racing, including: English trials, hare & hound, short track, half-mile and mile flat track, hillclimb, road racing, scrambles, cross country and enduro racing.
His first competition event was in the fall of 1948, an English Trial in Butlerville, Indiana. Bob took 1st place in the lightweight class. In July of 1949, Bob raced in a hillclimb at Mann Hill in Indianapolis. He took 1st in the novice class on his Harley 750 and 5th in the open class. In the fall of 1949 he competed in the Indiana State Championship Hare & Hound race and finished 1st place over all classes. In 1949 the 125 came out so Bob started working on the lightweights as a mechanic at the shop. In the spring of 1951, his first flat track race was a lightweight race during intermission at the Terre Haute, Indiana half-mile. Bob finished 2nd.
He remained a mechanic until July of 1953 when he was drafted by the Army. While in the Army, Bob still got to run two races during a break. His folks brought a racing 165 to the Evansville, IN Saturday night short track, where he finished 1st beating Eddie Conley. The next day Eddie beat him at the Booneville, IN half-mile flat track. After two years in the military, he came back home and began managing the Service Department at the shop. Over the years his job melded into managing both the Service and Parts Department. Later he moved into motorcycle sales. In the mid-50s the AMA started a new class for amateur racing called the Sportsman class. It consisted of 0-175cc, 200cc and 250cc motorcycles. The National Championship Enduro series covered all sizes of bikes from 175 to heavyweight and sidecar classes. Bob competed at the Alligator in Daytona, the Jack Pine in Michigan and the Little Burr in Ohio for several years.
Bob worked his way up to Vice-President of his family’s dealership in 1957. Bob also raced at Daytona in the 175 class from 1957-1959 at the road races held at different abandoned airports in Central Florida.
The last on-track race Bob rode was the National Road Race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1963. He continued off road racing for the next 6 years, winning one of the most prestigious off road races in Indiana, the Buffalo 500 Cross Country run in 1965. Bob became President of Indianapolis Southside H-D in 1981 and continued to help build the company into what it is today. Around the dealership, he’s called Dad, Papaw and even “Bobby” by his old racing buddies – however, if you ask him about his “title” here, you will get a surprising answer. He says, “I’ve become the gopher again.” Certainly, it’s an exaggeration – however, these days, he enjoys keeping a pulse on all the community relationships, staying active in restorations and keeping an eye on the movements of the business.
Bob and his wife, Anita stay active in charity rides and community causes citing The Annual Miracle Ride and Toys for Tots as being their favorite events to participate in. Whether it’s taking part in community events or building a successful family business, they keep their philosophy pretty simple. “The RIDE is the pleasure…not the destination,”