Funky Bob’s Ride With CEEDA

Beverly Written by Beverly Leavitt June 28, 2021 Member Updates

Bobs Motorsports front of building.

You might ask: “Why does CEEDA exist?”

The short answer: to help dealers get the representation they deserve in the industry, especially when it comes to manufacturer relations.

That’s how Bob Funke of Bobs Motorsports started his relationship with CEEDA (formerly ORFEDA). When Bob worked at CL Benninger Equipment Ltd. (formerly J.V.Dent), he started in parts and worked his way up to sales manager. 

He and Carl Benninger saw the value in the CEEDA community; fighting together to keep dealer rights and to protect themselves from contracts that could be cancelled on a whim. Cancelled contracts that could leave dealers with a branded building, unpaid stock, and staff trained on one brand without another contract lined up to take its place. 

They not only believed in CEEDA, but they also worked to help their fellow dealers succeed; Carl was the president of ORFEDA and Bob a Director of CEEDA.

As CL Benninger began to grow, they brought on a Suzuki line and Bob was the perfect fit to spearhead the new department. His passion for motorcycles started as a child, riding dirt bikes around the farm and later when he bought his first Norton bike in 1969.

Bob remembers, “I picked my wife up for a date on my motorcycle, which is when I first met her parents. I wasn’t a shaggy character but they had their misgivings. Her mother’s comment was ‘I hope you don’t become a motorcycle mama,’ which is exactly what happened.

That was her very first ride. Now we own the business together, and Jude still happily rides the back of my motorcycle.” laughs Bob. 

Bob’s enthusiasm for leisure sports turned out to be so strong that they split the dealership in two and that’s when Bobs Motorsports began in 1983. 

Starting up his own shop with motorcycles, ATV, side by sides, snowmobiles, and you name it, perhaps unsurprisingly meant that he kept a lot of the same clientele. It turned out, many farmers also like to use the products for work and pleasure.

Thankfully, through the start of the new dealership, Bob remained a member of CEEDA and has sustained support in his contract negotiations and peace of mind in manufacturer accountability. 

“What CEEDA does is tremendous for our industry. I just wish there were more power sports dealers that would take it seriously and become a member. 

The unfortunate part in the leisure industry is that there have been too many attempts to form a dealer organization that have failed. 

They have a lack of proper management, staffing, and membership. It’s eerie to think that I could upset someone even as an outstanding dealer and they could decide to cancel my contract,” states Bob.

But CEEDA has been around since 1945 and supports leisure dealers the same way it does equipment and farmstead dealers. Afterall, they have more than customers and contracts in common.

“The industry has been good to me; it’s been a rollercoaster but we’re a well-established family-run and operated business. The whole family is involved from my wife, Judy, our son, Darrell, our daughter Sha-lynn and her husband, Mario. The rest of our staff, Brian and Jeff, have been with us for 25-30 years. 

I’m not sure about retirement yet (I’m a fixture here), and there are days when I ask myself: ‘what am I doing here,’ but it’s great when customers come in and thank you for what you did for them. Those are the days that you say ‘yeah, that’s why I’m here.’ You feel good and proud of what you’ve accomplished over the years.”

Interested in learning more about how CEEDA can help your power sports dealership? Give us a call.