Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Custom Enfield choppers?

In this blog we don't normally pontificate on what Royal Enfield should do. After all, what does a physics professor know about motorcycle markets. But here I am basing this on a piece by The Vintagent (Paul d'Orleans). He muses about how the motorcycle market in the US is on the way down. Motorcycles are just too perfect and they do not offer striking design beauty features as new motorcycles did in the past. He argues that factories should cut alliances with modifiers and offer customs. I think this idea could work well for Royal Enfield. There exist great customizers in India, but they are essentially unaccessible for people in the most lucrative markets, the US and Europe. One cannot contact a shop in India to have an Enfield customized, it would be a nightmare meeting emissions and safety standards in the US and the inexperienced customer would have to do it. But what if the factory took care of that? They could partner with reputable customizers in India and offer a limited group of custom motorcycles, the buyer could choose features online and Enfield would guarantee the bike is US street legal. Now, think about it: a chopper in the US is $50,000 to $100,000, way away from most people's pockets. But a Conti or Interceptor customized in India could probably be profitably sold around $10,000. And with the 650 Twin, it would have a respectable engine. I think a lot of buyers would go for it. I predict it could be a gold mine!

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