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Friday, August 20, 2010

For sale: 2 Royal Enfield C5s with kick start

If you lived in North America and wanted a hot new Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500 that you could kick start, you were out of luck.

The "C5" model, as they're called, come with fuel injection, electronic ignition and the new Unit Constructed Engine. But so far, in the U.S. and Canada, they come with electric start only. The kick start, beloved by some, cursed by others, is unavailable.

Until now.

Two of the new motorcycles, one red, one black, both with kick start levers, are for sale on eBay in Ontario, Canada. You can buy them, but you might have trouble getting them registered.

"Almost brand new 2010 Royal Enfield Classic 500 C5. I am having trouble registering this in Canada, so (I) decide to sell," the seller writes.

I emailed him to ask about the motorcycles. He replied:

"These bikes are electric and kick starts. Can't be registered in Canada because manufacturer is not in Transport Canada list. I purchased them from India without knowing this — BS — and lost money and time."

Well, that explains it. In India, the C5 does come with the kick start mechanism. Note the sari guard on the left-rear of the red motorcycle, designed to let an Indian woman in a flowing dress safely ride side saddle.

Clearly, these bikes were made in India for the home market.

Where they go from here is the question. It will be interesting to see how the eBay auction works out.

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