Couple opens home for all things Harley-Davidson

Lujans return to motorcycle business by opening Harley-Davidson-focused bike shop
By: Andrew DiLuccia, Journal Motoring Editor
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For the Lujans, the 11-year vacation is over — and the Harley-Davidson motorcycle community couldn’t be happier. A fixture in local motorcycle circles, and the previous owners of Auburn Harley-Davidson, Carlo and Emma Lujan have returned to the motorcycle business. After Bob Holmes was forced to close the Harley-Davidson dealership in May after 33 years of business, the Lujans, who own the building that housed the dealership, decided to open an independent Harley-focused motorcycle store. “We have a building, and we decided the community needed a full-service Harley-Davidson service center,” said Emma Lujan. The Lujans had owned the Auburn Harley-Davidson shop from 1989 until 1998, when they sold it to Bob Holmes. They were in talks with Holmes before the closure to take over the franchise, but once the shop closed, Harley-Davidson would not re-open a franchise in the Auburn region until doing market research on the area. Some time down the line, the Lujans say they might be able to bring back the Harley-Davidson franchise, which means brand-new bikes and Harley-Davidson-brand accessories. And with the couple’s strong ties to the Harley-Davidson company and family, going back to the early 1980s, it could be a possibility. But that’s in the future. Right now, Carlo Lujan and his wife are opening C&E Auburn V-Twin, Inc., which will have its grand opening from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at 12075 Locksley Lane. There will be a barbecue featuring tri-tip steak, refreshments, giveaways and a live band. Emma Lujan said they are already expecting several hundred to be in attendance, so the barbecue starts at noon and will last as long as the supplies do. C&E Auburn V-Twin, Inc. will offer a full-service parts and service center with Harley-Davidson-certified technicians. Carlo Lujan, who is known for his engine-building prowess, will oversee the service department. “Service has always been my passion. Building stuff has always been my passion,” Carlo Lujan said. “(Our service staff) is trained for the new stuff. My greater experience is in the older stuff. So we’ll be able to hit both.” Along with service and parts the store will sell used Harley-Davidson motorcycles on consignment in its showroom. The Lujans will also offer all types of after-market products for bikes, from jackets and saddlebags to other accessories. To start, C&E will employ nine, with all of them returning from the now-closed Harley-Davidson franchise, and the business will be open from Tuesday to Saturday. “The phenomenal thing about the employees that were here (when it was a Harley-Davidson franchise) … they worked here to the end,” said Emma Lujan, who helps organize the Gold Country Toy Run. “They are customer-focused and real hard working. It felt good to give them their jobs back. It felt really, really good.” But local Harley-Davidson riders are even happier that the Lujans are back. Since the news has been getting out that they are returning to run their own shop, the phones at the store have been ringing off the hook. Emma Lujan said she’s had people leaving messages on the business answering machine scheduling appointments to have their motorcycles serviced. In one instance, when Emma Lujan went out to greet a Harley rider who was reading the “coming soon” sign in the window, the man got off his bike and picked her up in a big bear hug thanking her for returning. “It’s touching, we never knew that we made that type of impact before,” said Carlo Lujan in regards to the enthusiasm for their return. “We were actually hoping people would just remember us.” Customer service will be a goal of the Lujans — from getting whatever part their clientele may want, to finding a certain type of bike for a particular customer. But along with service, C&E will offer something else — the camaraderie that forms among Harley-Davidson riders, and a place for all things Harley. “We’ve just been working long hours to get the doors open,” Emma Lujan said. “We do it so people don’t have to go somewhere else … and to let them know they have a home to come back to.” The Journal’s Andrew DiLuccia can be reached at __________ C&E Auburn V-Twin, Inc. Where: 12075 Locksley Lane, Auburn Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Service department open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact: (530) 885-5556