Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Royal Enfield in U.S. recalls G-5 bikes

Royal Enfield G-5 motorcycles in the U.S. are being recalled for a possible transmission fault. According to U.S. importer Kevin Mahoney of Classic Motorworks, no motorcycle in the U.S. has suffered the problem, but all with the unit constructed engine (UCE) are being recalled, as a precaution. The fix involves adding clearance between two parts in the transmission. Mahoney posted this notice Tuesday:

"Last Friday we received a call from Royal Enfield telling us of a recall of some G-5's. We were able to notify all of the owners in the US (only six) by that evening. While the engineers at the factory were quite certain that only the VIN numbers given to us were affected, after much discussion they decided that to be on the safe side they would recall all G-5's. We got that notice this (Tuesday) morning and have been calling dealers who are calling customers as we speak. This is a very aggressive way to handle the problem and will cause some customer inconvenience but it is the 'right' thing to do.

'We want all of our customers to stop riding those bikes right away.'

"For the U.S., any bike with the UCE engine in it will be officially recalled. (See important note below if you are from another country). We want all of our customers to stop riding those bikes right away. The actual official recall will come a bit later. The official notice process involves the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and requires some paperwork and for them to approve the recall letter. The people from that agency have been very helpful. It is one of those cases where someone from the government actually is helpful and not a hindrance. I have been impressed. Royal Enfield and CMW decided that rather than wait for the official notice we would call all of our customers right away to keep them safe.

"The problem involves possible insufficient clearance between the mainshaft of the transmission and third gear. Third gear rotates all of the time on the mainshaft. There has been at least one case where a bike (not in the U.S.) had the gear seize to the shaft. When they replicated the problem at the factory the failure seemed to be preceded by a screeching noise and only happened at highway speeds when the transmission is good and hot. That is not to say that if you ride it slowly it won't happen. The engineers have implemented a fix that involves more clearance between the shaft and third gear as well as a couple of other improvements. It is a good fix and will solve the problem.

"We are now three work days into the process. We have not announced how we are going to handle the repair of these bikes. The reason is simple: when we formulate the final plan we want it to be right, timely and definitive. The fix is a good one so once it is done it will be done for good.

"We don't think that we will be judged because we have a recall , but rather on how we handle it. Royal Enfield and CMW (as well as Watsonian and the other importers) are acutely aware of this. We are all very small companies but we are very confident that we can do this effectively and efficiently.

"If you have any questions you can call us at 800-201-7472 or call your dealer. However we really can't tell you any more that you are reading here nor can your dealer. It has always been our policy to be open and forthcoming with our customers so what information we have will be passed along to our dealers and customers as soon as we know it. Please don't spend time speculating as there is no point. You will know when we know.

"The good news is that this recall will not cover any of the C-5's that we have coming.It also does not cover any other bikes or models we have sold in the past such as Lean Burn models or Cast Iron models...

"IMPORTANT NOTE: This information ONLY APPLIES IN THE US. In other countries other models may be involved, I can't say and I won't speculate. Please contact your dealer in your home country as there may be different issues and different models."


  1. I can only hope that dealers in other countries react as responsibly as CMW does. Kudos to Kevin Mahoney for handling this in such a professional way!

  2. Anonymous6/10/2009

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Anonymous6/10/2009

    It's a machine, parts are available, and it's fixable. CMW is doing things perfectly as far as I can see. Man I can't wait for mine to get here!


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