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Author Topic: My Unique 350 Military...  (Read 7861 times)

Hughbruder

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My Unique 350 Military...
« on: February 12, 2012, 01:50:53 PM »
Greetings fellow Royal Enfield lovers...
This rare 1983 gem with 16 original miles was a barn find in South Florida. The bikes serial number can be traced back to being part of the Indian Military, and made its way to the US via Mexico. It was purchased by a wealthy Mexican business owner who traveled to India and purchased 10 rare bikes. When he passed away he gave them away to family members. One of those family members emigrated to the US and the bike wound up collecting dust for many years in a barn. This is truly  a unique and rare 350, I hope you all enjoy the pics...
Hugh
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 01:56:43 PM by Hughbruder »

The Garbone

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 02:32:36 PM »
Nice find.   

Looks like someone did a pretty decent job painting that beast.    I would hazard to guess that the speedo is the only thing with only 13 miles on it with that rig.  From the worn look of the fasteners and scuffs on the metal and paint as well as the grime on the oil filter housing that bike seems to have a few miles.

Don't get me wrong.  Its a beut.  I like the old style side stand, bars and how the key is on the right tool box. It has a lot of the features my 95 had when I got it.

Makes me wonder that year they added the oil catch can under the battery? Mine had one yours does not.  Maybe they did not put them on domestic bike..  Hmmm..
Gary
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Hughbruder

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 02:43:37 PM »
Thanks for your response,
Yeah I'm not sure if it was ever repainted. I actually spent allot of time in India for Business over the last several years and the color of my 350 is identical to the color used by their military. Regardless it is very cool and I am debating if I should keep her stock or tweak her out before I try and get a buzz on the auction scene to sell her off.
Happy trails...
Hugh

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 11:35:09 AM »
Quote
This is truly  a unique and rare 350,

Er... it's history may be unique, but I believe the Indian army may have had more than one 350.
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Hughbruder

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 02:08:58 PM »
Thank you for stating the obvious...

The point is, that a vintage bikes intrinsic value is and can be heavily based on the story behind the bike as well as its origin. The rarity applies due to the fact that I am sure you would be hard pressed to find a 30 year old authentic military version with such low mileage anywhere in North America, as was indicated to me by several prominent collectors.
  
I guess every forum has to have members that enjoy posting sarcastic and negative comments :( :(

Thank you,

Hugh

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 02:58:09 PM »
I wasn't being sarcastic nor negative. It was you that claimed it was unique. Which it clearly isn't. You misrepresented it. Which isn't big nor clever.

There are others on here too.
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Arizoni

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 04:31:18 AM »
That is a neat motorcycle! 

I know next to nothing about the colors used on a 1983 Indian Military motorcycle but I find it interesting that it is almost a "Desert Storm" tan color.
The interesting part comes from the fact that the Indian Government prohibits Royal Enfield from selling the Olive Green "Military" color in India because it is the same color that the Indian Military is using on their motorcycles.  At least that's what I've been told.

The new "Desert Storm" tan Royal Enfields are all the rage now over there and if this 1983 model color is representative of what their military used back then it would appear they have gone full circle.

Perhaps I'm wrong but I suspect that any 1983 Royal Enfield in the USA is both unique and rare.  I don't believe anyone was importing RE's to this country then.

As to whether this adds to its monetary value, that is another subject.

A collector of foreign military equipment might be interested in it so they might be willing to spend more for it?
I don't think the motorcycles journeys from India to Mexico to Florida would add much value although that sort of history is always interesting to any buyer.

Thank you for showing your bike. :)
Jim
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Hughbruder

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 01:22:20 PM »
Wow,

Now that's what I call a well written, thought out and respectful respone...

Thank you for taking the time to appreciate a cool bike. I can tell you that I have been to India three times last year on business, and you see allot of Military dudes riding around on RE's, and the color seems to be identical, keeping in mind of course that the bike has sat for the better part of the last 30 years in a Barn.

I have actually turned down a pretty penny for the bike cuz I think its to cool to give up for now. I have taken the bike to a few shows and its been a blast sharing stories and watching the buzz that this little Bullet creates when its out in the public eye. 

I am glad to see that at least the majority of you appreciate this unique bike. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and its refreshing when members can share their views in a constructive and kind manner.

 :) :)


Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 02:19:53 PM »
Majority? I said it's not unique and you took unbridge and another pointed out that the only thing of 13 miles is the speedo.

One other person says there isn't much merit in a bike via Mexico and you comeover all gushing.

It's a nice bike. AgentX's bike is just as good. Mine's more unique though (sic). It looks very similar, but hasn't all that green paint on it.

I like you. You're funny. Please stay a while.
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Hughbruder

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 02:23:31 PM »
Would love to see your bike any pics on the forum...

 :)

rotorwrench

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 07:09:44 PM »
Some of the folks who frequent this sight do so to either ask questions about the machines or answer them and that includes all Royal Enfields whether UK built or India built. Personally, I've seen quite a few bikes that were built in India being misrepresented as comeing out of the factory at Redditch in the UK so you can see the sceptisism some may have when claims are made about authenticity, year of manufacture, or place of manufacture. My knowledge is mostly from the UK built machines since they evolved over the years and had quite a few changes that can identify them. The Indian manufactured machines, up until the recent years were largely patterned after the 1955 350 Bullet manufactured in the UK. When manufacturing started in India, there were more than just a few things made differently due to the limited capability present in India at the time. The Indian made machines evolved differently due to this so its a little easier to tell where they came from.

There is a lot of room for disagreement when trying to authenticate the Indian made machines since their serialization is kind of a mystery here in the USA. A person can say a machine was built in 1957 in India and there is likely no way you could tell whether the information is correct or not. I certainly can't.

They are a motorcycle and look pretty much like the 1955 UK Bullet which gives them a nod in the direction of being a Classic design. So the consensus is that they aren't bad looking bikes all in all. As far a rare and unique I guess that is just how a person feels about the bikes heritage and the quality of it's manufacture. There is nothing wrong about being proud of a person's own possessions. Someone else may have different experiences and have a completely differing opinion.

I can see a lot of items on that machine that say 1980s or 1990s so my sceptisism is present. Looks good though.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 07:24:14 PM by rotorwrench »

Hughbruder

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 08:01:29 PM »
Thanks for your post...

I agree with your comments... Its funny when I purchsed the Bike I was also a bit skeptical, so I called Royal Enfield in India and they admitted that before 1985 the records are very sketchy cuz they didnt move completely to India until 1986, however; based on the serial number it appears to them that it was Indian made, he also stated that to his knowledget all models for military use were made in India that year and based on the set up was not a civillian model.

Guess it will be hard to get  true and authenticated information, but I will keep trying cuz it is a cool bike...

 :)
   

rotorwrench

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 12:13:55 AM »
All I know from sketchy history of the time was that Royal Enfield in Redditch, UK sold them license to build the bikes in 1955 so that they wouldn't get backlogged on UK home front sales. The first units were knock down machines that were crated and shipped to India to be assembled & used by the Military. Once they had the capability to manufacture the parts in India, they no longer needed the parts from the UK. In 1956 Royal Enfield UK redesigned the frames so the UK counterparts started to change their looks shortly after the license was sold. There became a point in time where nothing on the Bullet was even similar to the Indian made product just due to this manufacturing & styling deviation. In 1963 the UK Bullet was unitized with transmission so they really look different. After Major Walker Smith died in 1964, the company  was basically going to have to be sold off. The Bullet remained in production long enough to make the 1965 model year but that was about the end of it. The other singles were gone by the end of 1966.

With this knowledge, a person can pretty well figure that the bikes built in India were completly Indian by the late 50s. When they started selling them to civilians is a question I'd like to know. They started exporting them to other countries in the mid to late 1980s. I can remember seeing adds for them in Classic Bike and other rags in that time frame.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 12:20:16 AM by rotorwrench »

bullethead63

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 02:17:58 AM »
She's quite lovely,and I'd be proud to ride her,no matter when,or where,she was born,nor how many miles are on her clock...thanks for sharing! ;)
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Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: My Unique 350 Military...
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2012, 08:07:44 AM »
Great input guys.

But there was no malace intended or incredulity of the providence.

I'm sure it is what was stated, but there are others - albeit maybe not in the States.

Pity we're not closer as I'd like to buy the man a pint and see if he lives upto his monicker "HugeBladder".

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