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Author Topic: End of an era - It's official now  (Read 19814 times)

Kevin Mahoney

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End of an era - It's official now
« on: December 17, 2007, 03:35:26 PM »
Well it is official now!!  Please read the memo that I got from the factory over the weekend;

Dear Sirs,
This is to bring to your kind notice that we will be discontinuing export production of the 500cc cast iron engine series on the Royal Enfield Bullet with effect from Feb 2008. Beyond that date, we will only produce the Lean Burn and the EFI engines.

 We now wish to take orders from all importers for the last production batch of the 500cc which will happen in Jan / Feb 2008. We request you to please plan your requirements and place your orders on us latest by the 20th of December for production in Jan / Feb 2008. Thank you.

 
The last cast iron engine Bullets will be made in February and that will be the end of this iconic engine. The roots of this engine go back over 70 years and it is the longest running production of any motorcycle or auto engine ever. We are in the process of placing our order for the last of these VERY COLLECTIBLE bikes now. We have a few left now and will get a final batch, but that will be that. The Classic models will survive as you know them now with the Lean-Burn engine in them so the great Classic look will not change. Only a few countries still allow the importation of this engine, with the US being one of them. Unfortunately our importer friends in Europe are unable to supply any more of these so we will get the very last of them.

You are the first to see this historic memo from the factory. Plan accordingly


« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 03:37:46 PM by Royal Enfield 1 »

exiledcarper

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2007, 03:44:23 PM »
A sad day, which I know many were hoping wouldn't really come.  On the other hand, an Enfield Classic with Avl is going to be right up many rider's aleys ::).  I just hope it doesn't have the moniker "Machismo" anywhere on the bike.  I'm sure it's a valid name in India, where it's a big bike compared with most, but would seem rather silly over here.  I might have to get one of the AVL Classics,  I like the traditinal look of the motor , with it's benefits, but just don't reall fancy the styling of the Electra.
  Just my opinion, but a Classic AVL sounds like a winner to me, although it would be nice if the iron motor could live on too, can't have it all ways it would seem.

fredgold52

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 06:58:44 PM »
I'm new to Royal Enfield, but it does seem sad that something that's been in successful production for 60 years would have to be discontinued.

I will be buying an RE early next year.  My wife love the styling of the Classic as do I.  But, the more refined engine seems to me (a noobie) to be a good thing.  I just don't care for the Electra styling near as much.  So it seems this latest announcement fits right into what I want most - a Classic with an AVL engine, for me it's the best of both worlds.
2006 '65' and a 200cc Stella, Indian all the way

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2007, 10:29:34 PM »
The Machismo is one of those things they should teach business school studens about when it comes to cross cultural marketing. If fits well in India an would be considered bizarre in the US. We won't see it here at all.

exiledcarper

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 11:06:00 PM »
I would hope you're right there.  Looks like just the bike many are looking for, I'm guessing that R.E. will keep the Bullet name in some form for the bike?

indian48

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 02:56:27 AM »
Ironically, I will not be able to buy the 500cc classic iron engine bike in India, they do not sell it in the local market anymore - for a year now. I gotta find a way to rock the boats in RE India to get one by some special dispensation before they stop making it. Hey, Kevin, any thoughts on what I need to do to get myself the classic in India?!
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 04:11:06 AM »
Buying a cast iron 500 in India will be very difficult. You may find some 535' s around that were sold for a while in India or one of the very few 500's. Your only other choice is to get a converted 500 (from a 240), but then what it the point?

RagMan

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 06:22:25 AM »
As I posted elsewhere  - the world is going bad fast. I don't know why, it is just a progression towards what none of us will enjoy.
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BanditRE

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2007, 12:24:01 PM »
Bummer. Sad day.

I wonder if that'll make my 07 a "classic" in a few years! Heck, its already a classic. I'm just glad I didn't put off buying mine for another year. I bought in May of this year, but almost postponed it. Good job I didn't I guess. I'm afraid without the original internals, it will be just another retro bike, rather a 'real' classic bike. Time will tell I suppose.

Thanks for the update Kevin.
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indian48

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2007, 04:44:39 PM »
I hear what you say will not be possible in India, Kevin, and I am not ready to give up just yet! After all if they can send the bike to a customer in the US, why can they not make an exception at the end of the production run for one in India?
Lots of things to try to beat the system, including ordering it on CMW, and asking you to ask RE India to ship it to me here! Can't you quote me a price excluding shipping to the US, and the cost of any mods you do to the bike in the US when you get it from the factory before delivery to your customers?! Might be fun to ask RE to do it and get them in a logical bind, if there is not another way around this!
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indian48

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 04:47:09 PM »
Kevin, if you are able to, can you also share with us just what it is that you do in the US to the bikes that are shipped to you before you sell them there - this may be of interest to others on the forum as well, for other reasons than mine.
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

cyrusb

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2007, 12:33:10 AM »
Will the remaining bullets increase in price?

C.C.

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2007, 04:53:54 PM »
Will the remaining bullets increase in price?

My Bullet just went up in value. When the last new cast iron Bullet is sold it will go up even more. I bought this bike not because it is a new bike built to look retro but it is the real deal. The whole point to vintage is to show your skills dealing with a carb or points. Keeping the engine running at top level because you tune it well. I hope they continue to sell the Bullet with whatever engine they feel the need to put on it but also sell the iron engine so we can change it out.

Chris
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prof_stack

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2007, 07:32:06 PM »
Increase in value?

Perhaps they will.  But when I asked the president of an active local vintage motorcycle club about Royal Enfield of India, he quickly said they are P.O.S.  I don't think he meant "Pieces of Superiority."   ;D

This club's monthly meetings usually has old thumper iron from Norton, Velocette, Matchless, AJS, BSA, etc.  Most of these bikes are lovingly cared for.

My take is that RE will continue to be seen as an oddity in the modern motorcycle world except for us old guys and some soon-to-be-old guys.  Perhaps the UCE will change that.

cyrusb

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2007, 08:15:43 PM »
Iwhat I meant to say was will the remaining NEW bullets go up in price?

Jerry

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2007, 12:14:10 AM »
Any idea when we can order/purchase/take delivery of a Classic with the AVL?

                                                    Jerry.

prof_stack

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2007, 12:35:42 AM »
I believe the 2008's have a $200 price increase across the board.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2007, 03:35:49 PM »
The new Bullet Lean-Burn should be available from dealers toward the end of Janruary. I do take offense about the POS remark,(from the person who spoke not from prof_stack) it shows the ignorance of the club member you talked to. I would hold a current RE up against any of the Brit bikes mentioned when they were new. Back in the day, most any Brit bike was a "work in progress", it took a lot of care, fooling around with etc. to get them in the shape that they are today. There was most likely never one made that didn't leak from the factory. Any restored bike you see now is typically grossly over restored compared to how they really were coming out of the crate back then. To be sure the RE has all of the issues that come with 1950's technology, but the materials, machining etc are vastly superior to the reality of bikes back in the 1940's and 1950's. It is easy to only remember how beautiful they were (are) and forget how fussy they actually were. If you are ever able to talk to someone who actually sold them back then you will get the same story.

cyrusb

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2007, 05:13:43 PM »
I agree 100%. I had a few of them (old britbikes) and if anything I think th RE's are on par or better. I suspect the comment came from someone who never had to live with an "original".I believe the poor quality was one thing on a laundry list of reasons why the "originals" went out of business.

prof_stack

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2007, 05:33:01 PM »
I agree.  Also am looking forward to seeing an '08 Bullet AVL!  Might just have to jump in by Springtime and get thumpin' again.

stipa

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2007, 07:35:56 PM »
Price increase of $200 bucks?  Are they crazy?
How much has the price of home heating oil gone up, just in the past few months. Diesel fuel?  Bunker fuel (ship's fuel?). 
I surprised the price doesn't go up another $1000.00.  Ocean shipping  is one of the
big bargains in the transportation industry, but the rates are set in large part by the cost of fuel.  (Labor they can adjust accordingly and quickly, as I can personally attest).
I think these Royal Enfields' are one of the big bargains of the motorcycle world.
I think the UCE is a step in the evolutionary cycle, and rather than the end of an era, is the continuation thereof.
I just wish they would lengthen the frame out a few inches.  Buyt I can do that myself.

The fuddy-duddies that sniffle about the quality of the Enfields, and maintaining the purity of the British Iron bloodline are the same uprights who refuse to imbibe anything other than French sparkling wine,  (oops, I mean champagne!)!!

Oh yeah,when their PC misfires, do they think customer tech support is in Liverpool, or Berwick-upon-Tweed?  Bangalore, baby!!!

Steve, former owner of 1967 Bonne

p.s.  For the record, a good Stilton is, and will continue to be, one of the finest cheeses in the world.  Really.



prof_stack

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2007, 08:34:33 PM »
p.s.  For the record, a good Stilton is, and will continue to be, one of the finest cheeses in the world.  Really.

Everyone knows a good Wisconsin cheddar is better!   ;D

RagMan

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2007, 08:43:42 PM »
I am very fond of Wenslydale, and Caerfilly in cheeses, but true..  a really good Stilton is hard to beat..

and, don't it suck that most tech departments are now in Poland, China and India. crazy.
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GreenMachine

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2007, 09:18:55 PM »
Agree with comments from our "Administrator" re. comments on the Indian built Enfield motorcycle...These bikes have been around a long time. If anything they have been improved upon while maintaining their basic configuration ( As far as I know, Indian Enfield is the longest production bike ever made) ...One can only assume that collectors of the British version of bike are proud and have spent considerable time and money in restoration and maintenace of their machines...I can understand their diligence in maintaining the status quo of collectable machines...We all appreciate the value that these machines bring to the motorcycling world but at the same time, one wonder if these same type of comments were the butt of jokes when the Japan influence shook the motorcycling world. and the same irrelevant comments were made on British bikes of that era..  I like the Enfields for what they are...Change was inevitable...I will wait n see what comes forth..Hope to c u all the D.C Convention center in early January for the bike show...cheers.. 
Oh Magoo you done it again

exiledcarper

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2007, 12:46:17 AM »
p.s.  For the record, a good Stilton is, and will continue to be, one of the finest cheeses in the world.  Really.

Everyone knows a good Wisconsin cheddar is better!   ;D
Now now, everyone knows that Cheddar cheese comes from Cheddar, not Wisconsin!
« Last Edit: December 22, 2007, 12:48:00 AM by exiledcarper »

RagMan

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2007, 02:56:27 AM »
That is very true - I have eaten real cheddar, in the Cheddar Gorge, in Britain. It tasted totally unlike any I have tasted in the US.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
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fredgold52

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2007, 02:37:30 PM »
I think the UCE is a step in the evolutionary cycle, and rather than the end of an era, is the continuation thereof.

I think that's a very insightful comment, from Stipa.  And I like what it says about the Indian Enfield company.  To break away from the old iron engine is a gutsy move that demonstrates to me a determination to be competitive in the market place with solid technology while not sacrificing their values regarding product.
2006 '65' and a 200cc Stella, Indian all the way

SRL790

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2007, 06:03:24 PM »
p.s.  For the record, a good Stilton is, and will continue to be, one of the finest cheeses in the world.  Really.

Yeah, but have you seen how much the price of Stilton has gone up in the last couple of years!  Nothing better melted over the top of a good steak though.

Used to buy cheddar on the wheel when I was a kid back in UK.  Today's pasturized, homogenized, steralized c__p that they sell in the grocery store, complete with yellow food dye whatever, ain't nothing like it!
Andy Wiltshire
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bill440cars

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2007, 05:38:28 AM »


         I agree, it IS a sad day to hear the death of the old motor! :( Where does that leave the folks who have or might get an Enfield with one of the old motors? Will parts still be available for them and, if so, how long? I mean, if a person considers buying a Bullet, will he be able to get the necessary parts? I hope that they will keep a sufficient supply of parts for those folks. Just my 2 cents worth. ;)

                                                     Later on, Bill :) ;)

birdmove

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2007, 06:57:21 AM »
    I believe I've heard that there is a law in India that they must have parts available for a vehicle produced there for either 10 or 15 years after production stops. Maybe someone else can confirm this?

    jon
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HMR

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2007, 09:28:22 AM »
    I believe I've heard that there is a law in India that they must have parts available for a vehicle produced there for either 10 or 15 years after production stops. Maybe someone else can confirm this?

    jon

Don't know about the law, but the sheer number of Enfields in India will continue to support the spare parts industry for many, many years to come. Enfield too makes a lot money through authorised spares, so I guess there won't be worries on that front

HMR
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prof_stack

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2007, 04:56:10 PM »
With so many riders being in their 50's and beyond I think there might be more worry about parts being available for our bodies than for the classic RE!   :D

bill440cars

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2007, 05:50:32 PM »
With so many riders being in their 50's and beyond I think there might be more worry about parts being available for our bodies than for the classic RE!   :D


                                               Good Point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



                                               Later on, Bill :) ;)

LJRead

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2007, 01:00:59 AM »

I appreciate Kevin's remarks and his resentment over negative remarks made about Enfields (P.O.S.).  If you watch the marketplace, you see a lot of Triumphs, BSAs and even Nortons for sale, but hardly any early Royal Enfields, nor later ones for that matter.  Over the months I've been involved I have gotten the impression that in their day, when traditional British bikes were still being produced, Enfield was a class act.  Since it has been improved since those days, it would be, from a technical viewpoint, even more of value today.  Collectors are an odd lot, many have to have a superiority complex or they wouldn't place such value on collecting antiques.  Sure there are collectors among us here, but of bikes they value and not necessarily to realize a profit or to boost their egos.  There is a big difference between having something you like because you like it and having something because others place a high value on it. One is enjoyable, the other just ego.

luoma

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2007, 01:15:08 AM »
I'd be willing to bet that when production ends for the traditional Bull, the vintage guys will start to warm up to the RE. The idea of a true vintage machine that is still being produced is something they can't quite get a grip on. But, when they look at the bike, post production, and see a machine that has outlived all others, they may change their minds. Shouldn't make a difference, but with some people, it does.

CHarte

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2008, 10:22:28 AM »
Just a note on the price increase of $200.

The Rupee has appreciated almost 15% against the dollar since last year.

That means that prices should have increased 15% just to RE in India gets the same income, and it doesn't factor in inflation, increased labor costs (getting crazy here), etc.

Effectively, the small increase means that RE is absorbing much of the forex hit and other rising costs.

Just giving you guys the view from here.  It's actually incredibly fair, and I commend them for this.
1963 Bullet
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deejay

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2008, 04:20:11 PM »
There is a big difference between having something you like because you like it and having something because others place a high value on it. One is enjoyable, the other just ego.

BINGO

BanditRE

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2008, 05:17:15 PM »

There is a big difference between having something you like because you like it and having something because others place a high value on it. One is enjoyable, the other just ego.

Awww, nuts! Does that mean my Enfield isn't going to be worth $30,000 in five years?
2007 Military. It needs some company now the Suzuki has left the stable..........

stipa

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2008, 06:06:56 AM »
Saw this on the "other" Enfield site;  anyone know what this is? 

Looks llike Royal Enfield already ended one Unit Constuction Era?



[old attachment deleted by admin]

BanditRE

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2008, 01:24:48 PM »
I'm not sure what bike that is, but I know their 250cc single bikes had a unit construction in the late 50's and early 60's.
2007 Military. It needs some company now the Suzuki has left the stable..........

stipa

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2008, 04:02:24 PM »
Well, it's sure a litle sweetie, nice, clean and to the point.

hutch

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2008, 04:45:52 PM »
BanditRE is correct. It is either a 250 Clipper, or Crusader from the late 50's or early 60's. It has the early seat, and late gas tank.    Hutch
You learn from your mistakes, and I have LEARNED a lot.

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2008, 03:02:10 AM »
BanditRE is correct. It is either a 250 Clipper, or Crusader from the late 50's or early 60's. It has the early seat, and late gas tank.    Hutch

Sometimes, even I get one right!
2007 Military. It needs some company now the Suzuki has left the stable..........

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2008, 12:27:53 AM »
The new Bullet Lean-Burn should be available from dealers toward the end of Janruary. I do take offense about the POS remark,(from the person who spoke not from prof_stack) it shows the ignorance of the club member you talked to. I would hold a current RE up against any of the Brit bikes mentioned when they were new. Back in the day, most any Brit bike was a "work in progress", it took a lot of care, fooling around with etc. to get them in the shape that they are today. There was most likely never one made that didn't leak from the factory. Any restored bike you see now is typically grossly over restored compared to how they really were coming out of the crate back then. To be sure the RE has all of the issues that come with 1950's technology, but the materials, machining etc are vastly superior to the reality of bikes back in the 1940's and 1950's. It is easy to only remember how beautiful they were (are) and forget how fussy they actually were. If you are ever able to talk to someone who actually sold them back then you will get the same story.
Yeah Kevin, I don't like that POS remark either. The fit and finish on my RE is equal to that of my BMWs and it runs great. But I have had many British bikes and did not find them fiddly at all. Once everything was set up right it stayed that way for as long as I owned the bikes. Except my Trident which required adjusting the valves every time I ran it past the ton........Dew.
If it hurts, you're not dead yet!!!!!

DaveG297

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2008, 10:00:50 PM »
WOW  I finally got a collectible.    Heck, I'm collectible and so is Hutch I bet.  Keep it and we might finally git rich.   Progress doesn't bother me as long as it has two wheels and u can sit on it.............dg :D

hutch

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Re: End of an era - It's official now
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2008, 10:39:56 PM »
DaveG, I think I feel closer to recycleable than anything,   Hutch
You learn from your mistakes, and I have LEARNED a lot.