Never buying a UCE then, it seems. And it looked like the idea of a reasonably reliable but easy-to-order-parts-for vintage bike is gone.I will stil have plenty of fun with my AVL, but that's it if I have to go through a third party for OEM parts.
Funny - I'll bet you don't get parts for your car, dishwasher or lawn mower right from the distributor. I'll bet you use a dealer for THAT stuff - or aftermarket. Calling a distributor who is 2000 miles away doesn't really make sense - especially when you consider that the distributor probably doesn't have the intimate knowledge of the bikes like a dealer would. Your dealer should be your best ally!
I called NField and they didn't know how many teeth came stock on an AVL counter-shaft sprocket. So....
This would be a good time for a dealer to step up to the plate and start a mail/internet order parts business. Someone that knows the difference between an Enfield and a pair of socks.
The thing that was nice about the way it was set up, though. By coincidence, it was like new internet business models, with parts straight from the manufacturer. Now, you're restricting us back to the "old ways" by adding another intermediary who will take yet another chunk out of the profits (and therefore increase the price even more). "No, No! You must go through THIS person who will charge you MORE - you can no longer get things from me, I'm breaking it off. He still gets your old prices, though."
The manufacturer sets MSRP. I sell for MSRP. On a regular order there is no shipping charge to my customers. I only charge for shipping if the customer has to have it NOW, and is willing to pay for the special shipping. With the volume CMW is now doing extra people would have to be hired. At some point the prices would have to go up to cover this. There is not as much profit in parts as people think. Plus, as I stated before, more dealers would be interested in taking on the line if they did not have to compete with the distributor. The current business model is not conductive to long term dealer satisfaction. Fewer dealers = fewer bike sales= smaller, less viable distributor. The new business model should strengthen the brand and will help keep pricing at more reasonable levels. It is a sound business decision that will benefit everyone in the long term.