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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Royal Enfield execs want you to ride

Ron Greene will bring the Royal Enfield Rider Experience
to Daytona Bike Week March 3-6.


Two former Piaggio executives join Classic Motorworks, the U.S. importer of Royal Enfield motorcycles. Ron Greene is vice president of sales and Bill Stone is director of marketing and dealer development.

Classic Motorworks President Kevin Mahoney called this "a stroke of good luck for us... We have been able to hire two of the powersports industry’s top executives: Between them, they have over 75 years of experience with the finest motorcycle companies in the world. Both of these gentlemen have also been long-time Royal Enfield owners and enthusiasts. I have known them both for many years and could not be more delighted or proud that they have joined our team."

I reached Ron Greene at his office in Springfield, Mass., the historic home of Indian motorcycles. Born in Springfield, he said "I came home in the sidecar of a '47 Indian." His father worked in the Indian factory from 1947-'53.

Greene said he has spent 42 years in the motorcycle industry, with Kawasaki, Triumph, Harley-Davidson and Piaggio.

He ran the Aprilia Adventure Ride while at Piaggio. Instead of a short demo ride at a motorcycle show, participants paid for an experience that was an hour and a half long, included lunch, and they left with t-shirts, hats and decals to remember it by.

Greene will bring this knowledge to the Royal Enfield Rider Experience during Daytona Bike Week. This free but still "quality ride" will be based at the Royal Enfield of Daytona dealership, Scooter Superstore, on U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and until noon Saturday March 3-6.

Greene said he is aiming to provide an "enjoyable time". It will be a 30-35 mph ride, perhaps 45 minutes long.

Just as important, participants will to talk to people who live and breathe Royal Enfield and love the bikes, and get to share the enthusiasm.

Greene is certainly one of those. He has five Royal Enfield motorcycles, including one with a sidecar that has 6,000 miles on it.

"I've put a lot of miles on them," he said

"I have the first '99 in the U.S. Bought it in 2001 from a dealership (for another brand). The dealership couldn't get it running. I put it in my truck not running and got it going."

He said he ridden motorcycles across the U.S. three times, once as one of the riders on a Kawasaki Voyager Boston-to-Los Angeles speed test. He was a Six-Days Trials rider for the U.S. in 1973 and 1975.

"I figure I'm closing in on a quarter-million miles," he said, adding that he has owned 150 different motorcycles.

"Motorcycles have been a way of life for me. I've met a lot of nice people and had a lot of fun."

He was a U.S. Navy submariner and diver, raced boats with his father and has a son (who builds custom Harley-Davidsons) and two grandchildren. Playing hockey runs in the family. Greene proudly notes that his grand kids are carrying on that tradition. Greene's hobby is radio controlled model helicopters.

At work at Royal Enfield he has been calling every dealer asking how long they've been a dealer, how many units they stock and sell, whether they have parts, have a Royal Enfield sign and what Royal Enfield can do to help them.

"I just got the greatest compliment you can get from a dealer," he said. "He called and said, 'Ron, this is the most fun bike I have ever ridden.' That's what you want to hear, because we are not in the arena of racing against the best suspension, beating Ducati, the techno stuff.

"We're winning our own race. We're not the fastest bike; we don't need to be."

Greene hopes 100 people will be able to enjoy the Royal Enfield Rider Experience over the four days at Daytona. Although there will be a Royal Enfield booth at the convention center motorcycle show, participants will need to go to the Scooter Superstore in Ormond Beach to register for the rides. It's OK to go directly to the dealership to sign up.

Those who show the most interest by showing up prepared will ride, Greene said. Requirements:

  • 21 years of age.
  • DOT approved helmet (yes, even though Florida doesn't require it).
  • Long pants and sleeves.
  • Motorcycle endorsement on license; you can not ride on a permit.
  • Eye protection advised (sunglasses OK).
  • Gloves are always a good idea.
  • No open toed shoes; shoes that project the ankles preferred.

Address is 1459 North U.S. Highway 1, Ormond Beach. Call (386) 671-1977 for directions.

2 comments:

  1. It's too bad that the rides are taking place during Daytona Beach's Bike Week. Its a very crowded, very dangerous time to be riding a new bike. There are lots of intoxicated people, and you would be lucky to get up to the expected 35mph. I lived there for almost 5 years and grew a bit tired of the event.

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  2. Alex, I know what you mean, but Ron Greene has a route in mind that he hopes will get riders out of the congestion. Talking to him, I know he will do everything possible to avoid it. I also know what you mean about riding a new bike, but if ever there was a motorcycle that inspired confidence, it's the uncomplicated Royal Enfield. Thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated.

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