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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Enfield looks hot, but don't get burned


Enjoy looking at pretty motorcycles? Me too, that's one of the reasons I list Royal Enfield motorcycles for sale in the U.S. on this blog. People have done some very nice looking modifications that may give you ideas.

But that doesn't mean that I've ever really seen these motorcycles, or know their owners. If you consider buying a motorcycle of any brand, do it with your eyes open.

A peculiar issue that affects Royal Enfields is that they are imported both officially, by the U.S. importer, and, less officially, by others. India naturally holds a wealth of great old Royal Enfield motorcycles and it is full of experts who can make any motorcycle shine.

Unfortunately, the world is also full of people who may be willing to bend the rules. It is hard to believe that all of the magnificent motorcycles advertised as "restored in India" are really old hulks brought back to life.

It is perhaps possible that some of them are almost brand new; it's their paperwork that has been "restored" to turn them into something that might be easier to ship past the authorities.

So, if the "never titled" motorcycle you like the looks of has a speedometer that reads in kilometers per hour and just doesn't look 40 years old, consider that you may face some inconvenience at your department of motor vehicles. Or maybe you won't. This motorcycle may be exactly as it is represented, and beautiful to look at, too.

It doesn't hurt to look. But, sometimes, you have to look but not touch.

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