Road Dirt – Rob Brooks | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine - Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog

Road Dirt – Rob Brooks

Published on November 10, 2016 under Born To Ride
Road Dirt – Rob Brooks

John Landstrom is a student of history—motorcycle history. And his shop, Blue Moon Cycle, is as much a history museum as it is a motorcycle sales and service enterprise. Tucked in a two-story, dual-building warehouse in Norcross, Georgia, northeast of Atlanta, Blue Moon is a time machine, a portal through which one can be transported back to experience over a century’s worth of European and North American motorcycle legacy. John has parlayed a love for classic and vintage motorcycles into a very successful business, and has amassed one of the most impressive collections of lesser known or unknown brands and models I have ever seen.

An icon in the Atlanta and north Georgia vintage scene, John is known and respected nationally in the motorcycle industry. And yet, this soft-spoken and friendly enthusiast enjoys nothing more than wrenching on old motorcycles, notably BMWs, tinkering around his impressive showroom, and hanging out with fellow riders.

I first met John many years ago, at local motorcycle events and rallies, and have visited Blue Moon several times with family and friends. I love this place, and never tire of strolling among John’s artifacts of moto history. We sat down and talked recently, and I enjoyed learning some of the back story behind the man and his “museum/ showroom.”

John first found a love for motorcycles at age 14 via motorcycle magazines; he built his first mini bike that year with the motor from the family snow blower. “I caught hell from my old man that winter,” he recounts, “when he needed the blower, and it was minus an engine!” By 16, John earned his license, and bought his first working street bike, a Honda SL100 in about 1969-70. (Note: he had previously bought a Ducati 125 that he never got running) A BSA 650 followed the Honda, then a Harley Sportster by his senior year of high school.

John’s interest in the BMW brand came in 1974, as the result of a cross-country moto trip with several friends. He had built a rigid-frame Harley chopper to ride to the west coast, with a stop planned along the way to witness Evel Knievel jump the Snake River Canyon. They left Chicago, and found themselves having to stop at nearly every Harley shop along the route to keep the bikes road-worthy. Deep in Montana, the friends pulled into an H-D dealership that also carried BMW motorcycles. “I always thought BMWs were old men’s bikes,” John quips, “until I laid eyes on a two-tone, race fairing R90s. (An identical one sits on his showroom) I absolutely fell in love with it. After 2000 miles on a rigid frame Shovelhead, I said, ‘That’s my next bike.’” And a life-long love affair with BMW was begun.

John asserts he still has a great affection for Harleys, Indians, and Brit bikes, as evidenced by some of the rare and outstanding models out on display. But his expertise and passion lies with classic European motorcycles. Blue Moon features over 150 motorcycles, overwhelmingly vintage, with brands from Harley and Indian, BMW and Ducati, and relative unknowns ranging from Ariel and Adler, Hercules and Munch, NSU to Zundapp, and everything in between. Brands and models few people have ever seen. The collection attracted the crew of “American Pickers” on two occasions, and every time those shows air in syndication, the visits and the calls come pouring in.

Upon moving to Georgia in the early 80s, John worked at a BMW dealership in Lawrenceville. A deer impact (common Georgia occurrence) left him with a severely broken leg, knocking him out of work for about a year. While laid up, John began restoring old motorcycles, working on friend’s vintage BMWs, and he never returned to the dealership. Blue Moon Cycle was born. “My hobby faded over into my profession,” John muses.

Over the years, Blue Moon has been an official dealership for BMW, Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield, Ural and MV Augusta at various times, all with great success. But after 30 years in the motorcycle industry, John felt it was time to return to his roots. He sold the BMW and MV lines to the Campbells, who opened Hourglass Cycles 20 miles north ( John and his staff of five now carries Ural exclusively, as well as late model used Euro bikes, and recently became an authorized dealer for Zero Electric Motorcycles, out of California. Yes, you read that right.
Asked the obvious, “Why Zero, amidst all the vintage?” John recounts an unexpected meeting. “I never really thought about electric motorcycles, hardly even read anything on them. Then one day, this Zero rep shows up here, with a truck full of their bikes. He encouraged me to ride one, an opportunity I’d never turn down, and I found myself amazed by it. Way faster than most anything I’d ever ridden. Absolutely silent, no shifting, just light, nimble, easy handling, and so fast! 0-60 in 3 seconds, with no sound, was something few have ever experienced. I was blown away.” After some research, they decided to sign on, and Blue Moon became an official Zero dealer. John once asked his Zero contact, “Why did you come to us?” The reply was, “We wanted to prove something. If Blue Moon can sell Zeros, anybody can!” And they have been, becoming the best Zero startup dealer nationally to date. “This is the motorcycle of the future, in a showroom full of motorcycles of the past,” John observes. I say, it works.

What else makes Blue Moon Cycle unique is that everything is for sale. A museum where you can purchase and take home anything you see. And you will see some of the most amazing motorcycles anywhere on the planet. Maybe one can go home with you?

John and crew have arranged the showroom to feature used and late model bikes, Zeros and Urals on the main floor, even some consignments. Further back, Blue Moon features vintage bikes, with a separate display area known as the War Room. All military, 12 brands from 12 countries, from WWII through the first Gulf War. Tip: Look for two American bikes, an Indian and a Harley, with very unusual and rare engine configurations. Upstairs John and company house 100% vintage bikes and memorabilia, ranging from 50cc Avanti Victorias to a massive Munch Mammoth. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it.
If you plan to visit, take your time here. There is so much to see, so much to discover. It is a true walk-through, tangible history display; a most unique, eclectic collection.

What’s the future hold for John Landstrom and Blue Moon Cycle? A simple vision, really: “Just keep sharing this love of motorcycling, supporting the classic and vintage moto community, keeping our customers happy, keeping interesting motorcycles coming and going through our doors, and making new friends along the way. I’m doing what I love.”

Check out John and Blue Moon Cycle on the web at, and definitely drop in sometime. They are located at 752 W Peachtree Street, Norcross, Georgia, 30071. Give them a call at

By Rob Brooks

Originally published in the Born To Ride Florida Motorcycle Magazine, Issue #150

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