Indian Motorcycle of Monmouth comes to the Jersey Shore
By Elana Knopp
Ron Mitro and Jason Gamba have a real passion for motorcycles, and you can see it in every inch of their brand new stunning and spacious showroom located in the heart of Neptune.
Mitro and Gamba opened Indian Motorcycle of Monmouth in November, and the two haven’t looked back since.
The idea of Indian Motorcycle of Monmouth came about a few years ago when Mitro and Gamba realized there was a need to fill a void for the Indian Motorcycle brand in Monmouth and Ocean counties. With their many years of combined experience, the two came up with a state of the art facility.
The motorcycle shop is a jaw-dropper. Besides the many stunning Indian and Royal Enfield motorcycles on display in the beautifully-appointed showroom, the shop offers a huge space with a pool table and TV, an espresso and coffee bar, and an outdoor cigar patio. The shop carries tons of cool Indian Motorcycle merchandise, Indian brand coffee, and even Indian brand cigars. The shop also has a large service and repair area, with experienced technicians on staff.
Mitro told JerseyShoreVibe that his love of motorcycles began many years ago.
“I got my start in this industry when I was five years old and my mother gave me my first motorcycle ride on her Honda 'Dream,' " Mitro said. “I was hooked from then on and was buying and riding motorcycles all through my young adult life.”
According to Mitro, he got his first job in the industry 16 years ago when he was hired by a local Harley-Davidson dealership, and he quickly worked my way up to sales manager and worked at several Harley dealerships.
It was while he was working for Harley that he met his business partner, Gamba.
“Jason was a great salesman and through training, he became one of the best F&I managers in the business,” Mitro said.
Mitro said that he has always loved American motorcycles, but that when he first laid eyes on an Indian—well, it was love at first sight.
“When I first set eyes on the new Indian motorcycles a few years ago, I was floored,” he said. “They were big, bold and extremely beautiful. I was watching and waiting at that point.”
Indian motorcycle started in 1901, two years before Harley-Davidson came on the scene. Throughout the years, Indian and Harley battled for market share--known as the Harley—Indian wars. By 1953, Indian had gone bankrupt due to poor marketing, loss of a military contract and a shrinking motorcycles market as the automobile had taken over.
“There was only room for one major American brand at that time, and Harley-Davidson won,” Mitro said. “Fast forward, and Indian brand was purchased by small groups of enthusiasts in hopes of reviving the brand. With very little knowledge of the industry and with the giant Harley-Davidson to compete with, they had little or no chance of succeeding.”
In 2011, Polaris—one of the largest recreational vehicle manufacturers in the world-- purchased the Indian brand, and they set out to revive the Indian brand.
In 2014, Polaris launched the new Indian line of motorcycles.
“They set the industry ablaze,” Mitro said. “Once again the iconic Indian brand had a heartbeat and a winning product. These new Indian motorcycles must be seen in person to truly appreciate their beauty and quality.”
Since 2014, Indian motorcycle has been taking back market share that was once theirs from its rival, Harley-Davidson.
“Although Harley holds a large percentage of the market, Indian now has their attention once again,” Mitro said. “The start of the new Harley--Indian wars has begun.”
Living in the digital age has hurt the motorcycle industry some, said Mitro, as the younger generation is staying in more and are less interested in riding. That said, with gas prices down and the joy of riding alive and well, the Indian motorcycle brand is thriving.
“Motorcycling can be very therapeutic for some and just plain fun for others,” Mitro said. “It’s also a very eco-friendly way for getting from point A to point B. We have a wide range of customers. They range from hard-core riders to business men and women who ride on the weekends. Really, almost everyone who walks into an Indian dealership becomes a rider. They are just that nice of a motorcycle.”
Mitro said that even the most steadfast of Harley riders have turned to the Indian brand.
“We had a hard-core Harley-Davidson rider come and visit us one day,” Mitro said. “He is friend of ours—however, a lifetime Harley guy. After some time and arm twisting, I got him to take a demo ride still while swearing loyalty to Harley. To make a long story short, he was one of our first customers and now swears by Indian motorcycles.”
Mitro said that he and Gamba are thrilled to have found a great building in a great location.
“We serve all of Ocean and Monmouth counties,” Mitro said. “We wanted to be centrally located between the two counties. The Township of Neptune welcomed us with open arms. Honestly, Neptune was really a great town to work with.”
Mitro said that he is looking forward to a busy spring and summer season.
“We invite all to come visit us, hang out, play a game of pool, have a cigar with us out on our cigar patio, have a cup of our exclusive Indian coffee brew, and, who knows—maybe ride a beautiful Indian motorcycle.”