Friday, May 12, 2017

Should you buy a used Royal Enfield motorcycle?

It looked old but my Royal Enfield Bullet was dealer fresh in 2001.
This blog lists Royal Enfields motorcycles for sale in the United States. I generally don't include new Royal Enfields for sale at dealers, unless I find the bikes especially interesting or peculiar.

I do this because I love looking at old motorcycles and I know you do too.

But this means you generally won't see brand new Royal Enfields listed here. And, yet, when I bought my own Royal Enfield Bullet, in 2001, I went to a dealership and paid full price.

Why? Because that was part of the attraction of Royal Enfield. You can purchase what is essentially a vintage motorcycle brand new, with a warranty and without the vintage worries.

My personal experience had been with old cars. They fell apart, rusted or wore out faster than I could restore them and I am confident most of my vehicles have long since been junked — complete with the rebuilds and restorations I performed and paid for.

It's not the money spent I regret. It's the guilt! I loved those machines, but my attentions only hastened their doom.

Mechanically inept, with a limited budget, no garage, pressing transportation needs and unrealistic goals, I had no business trying to polish these old beaters into gems. It was hopeless.

In contrast, 16 years after buying a new Royal Enfield, I still have it. It still looks good and it still runs. The warranty is long past, but it gave me the breathing room to learn a few simple maintenance tasks. When, at 40,000 miles, I thought the motor needed a rebuild, I took it to someone who knew how to do it.

Same motorcycle as above, but 16 years later!
(By the way, he was honest enough to tell me he didn't think a rebuild was needed, but I self-diagnosed, possibly a mistake.)

I've written before, partly in jest, that I love Royal Enfield but I recommend Honda.

That recommendation still stands. At the risk of offending the Royal Enfield owners whose used motorcycles are listed on this blog, I would add this:

If you must have a classic Royal Enfield, I recommend a new one!

1 comment:

  1. There again, if you are ok with the maintenance and parts are ok, then a vintage twin can be quite a smooth ride. 'Kevin', my 1959 Meteor Minor De Luxe is a museum piece, but also a nice ride.


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