Sunday, September 21, 2008

Making a Royal Enfield out of 'parts'

You've heard people suggest taking a Royal Enfield in India apart and shipping it piece by piece to the United States. A seller on eBay is honest enough to confirm that it happens. Here's his description of a "1955" Royal Enfield Bullet he has for sale:

"Up for bid, 1955 Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle with only 350 original miles. I don`t know a lot about this bike, as I received it through a trade. This motorcycle was brought over to the US one piece at a time in 2003 until the entire bike was here, then assembled. Motorcycle was titled a 1955 (Arizona clear titled) because it shifts on the right side not the left like newer bikes. So what you're bidding on is a 2003 motorcycle with a 1955 title... This bike is outlawed in the state of California, but may be registered there because it has a 1955 title, and will not need to pass emissions. This bike comes with no warranty, and you're buying as is."

The seller doesn't reveal his reserve price, but he started the bidding at $1,900. Purchased in India new, in 2003, the motorcycle probably cost the equivalent of at least $2,000. Breaking it down, shipping it and assembly certainly cost something. So, here is a motorcycle that probably cost about $3,000 and is probably worth about $3,000 (assuming it's true that it can be titled and registered). Where did the import-it-yourself savings go?

Maybe I am just naive to be offended by this. But somebody along the line must have told a lie to get this 2003 motorcycle titled as a 1955 motorcycle. I guess we are going to have to trust that same person when we believe that the speedometer showing 350 miles is the same one the bike started with.


  1. Anonymous9/21/2008

    o0o fancy graphic


  2. Anna, I appreciate your comment. I really expected people to comment on my math. I said the motorcycle cost $2,000 in India and $1,000 to ship and assemble, so that is $3,000, which is what it is maybe worth now, so where was the savings? The logical flaw would be that it would have cost $4,000 in the U.S., so there's a savings of $1,000. I would have answered that that was true in 2003 -- but the process apparently took five years, and the bike hasn't been ridden more than 350 miles in all that time. So five years of depreciation have wiped out the savings and no one has gotten to ride very much. Also, that $4,000 would have included a warranty, certainly a $1,000 value. So there you have it. Am I right?

  3. math was never my thing.

  4. Anonymous1/15/2009

    Is it possible that the seller was misinformed and the bike is one of the refurbished by nova classics using old frames and new parts and imported into the us
    Ron Stone Tulsa Ok

  5. Anonymous5/12/2009

    It's difficult to guess what really happened here, since the guy states he got the bike through a 'deal'..
    fishy, anyhow

    pavle estrajher


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