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Friday, September 26, 2008

Racy new bikes from Classic Motorworks

Wild new Indian-made motorcycles are racing toward the U.S. They're coming to Classic Motorworks, importer of Royal Enfields. According to Classic's Kevin Mahoney, Royal Enfield's new Bullets will be marketed along with something completely startling.

"We are bringing in a new line of bikes this year from India. It is the TVS brand. We are starting with a 160cc sport bike (sort of) called the Apache EFI with electronic fuel injection, dual disks, and extremely clean burning engine that gets an honest 114 mpg. Pretty amazing for a real motorcycle," Mahoney said.

While miles per gallon is interesting, TVS markets its Apache on the basis of thrills per heartbeat. The spokes-model in its YouTube video is no relation to your Auntie Enfield either (Check her out below.)

Mahoney's eyes are on other attributes:

"It will also be priced pretty close to Chinese bikes yet is totally Japanese quality. The company used to be Suzuki-TVS but went its separate way several years ago. They have R-and-D facilities that would be the envy of any motorcycle company worldwide.

"The Indian two-wheeler manufacturers are much more sophisticated than most anyone realized. (With Royal Enfield being the notable exception -- they make 40,000 units compared to millions from the others.) But then again they sell millions and you can’t sell junk anymore in India.

"While everyone else has been looking at China I have always kept my head and heart in India. I felt that the day would come when they would far outstrip the Chinese in terms of quality, etc. and that day is now.

"I think that in some ways it will revolutionize the market. Here to now you can buy cheap Chinese bikes that burn very, very dirty, get good mileage but not near what they could get and have little or no support. We think we can bring in price competitive products from India that are vastly superior in quality, reliability and with support.

"I am not expecting to make a huge dent in the market but for someone my size it will be nice small expansion. It has taken me two years to get this far with this company and expanding the line will take another two years. The first one is on its way to an EPA certificate and I hope to start testing them in the market later this year."

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