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Craig McEwen, Published November 15 2007

Motors manor

Three tiers of motorcycles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and personal watercraft fill huge bay windows fronting U Motors’ new 45,000-square-foot Fargo store and service center overlooking Interstate-29 south.

What started in 1967 as University Motors at 1920 12th Ave. N. in Fargo has a new owner and new home.

Del Arneson bought the business earlier this year and built a $1.5 million, two-story facility at 3525 38th St. S.

U Motors specializes in Honda and Yamaha motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, personal watercraft, generators, aluminum trailers, and apparel and accessories, said Jonathan Eggers, sales manager.

No specific area stands out as being most popular, he said.

“We’re heavily involved in motocross and street bikes,” Eggers said.

We attend bike runs. We sponsor a couple of sport-bike races. We’re part of the new ATV club. We really don’t leave any area blank,” Eggers added.

The new U Motors showroom is six to seven times larger that the previous location, Eggers said.

“We used to have inklings of clothing scattered out front. Now we have a full line of apparel,” he said.

The new facility has a customer lounge, a second-floor conference room for local clubs to hold meetings, and training center for customers and staff, he said.

Before Arneson bought University Motors, the business employed about 17 people, said Eggers, who has been with the company for 12 years.

“Now we have about 27 employees,” he said. Many of them work in the expanded shop and service area that services all types of motor- sports vehicles.

An enclosed dynamometer, used to measure motorcycle engine mechanical power, is linked to a big-screen TV in the showroom. “So you can watch (and listen to) your bike being fine-tuned,” Eggers said.

“This is going to be state of the art,” said technician Mark Dvoracek, who has been with U Motors for 21 years. “Everything is top-of-the-line, top shelf and bigger than we would probably expect in this area.”

There’s no comparison between the new facility and the previous location, he said.

“It’s unbelievable, the difference in how much room we have and the types of machines we get to work with,” Dvoracek said.

Arneson also purchased Edge Motorsports in Fergus Falls, Minn., which was previously Steve’s Cycles, and is building a new facility along I-94 north near Nelson Ford, Eggers said.

That business will employ 15 to 20 people and serve as a dealer for Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Ski-Doo products, he said.

For more information, call (701) 235-6478 or log online to www.umotorsfargo.com.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502 Motors manor Craig McEwen 20071115