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Old 13th May 2015, 10:01   #16
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

Retro is the only thing which RE does as good as modern domestic and global players.

The further they move from that, the more they enter on to a playing field where they would be little more than a bit player.

Because quite frankly, machine to machine, there is really nothing they do better, or even as good.

So in a way I agree with both Vinit and Naveen above. Because no two customers are alike. Some are in the market for a retro machine. Some in the market for just a machine. RE (or any other manufacturer) want both of their monies.

I hope this is not taken as a negative statement but as a pragmatic look at the reality of machinery, technology, and performance in the real world.

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Old 13th May 2015, 10:57   #17
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

I am in complete agreement with ebonho's views here. As of now, RE's strength is retro machines.

But I'm sure Siddharth Lal realises that even in global markets where he has set his sights on, retro is a very niche lifestyle segment and hardly a bankable asset.

Siddharth contradicts this acquisition by stating elsewhere that currently they will not focus on performance oriented machines. But the business reality is that sooner or later RE would need to 'man up' and produce the entire complement of modern lifestyle machines like everybody else - Tourers, Sports, Enduro etc. or face marginalisation.

Triumph is the nearest example I can think of which had similar issues and successfully reinvented themselves.

This acquisition is definitely a step towards that unstated but unavoidable milestone for Eicher Motors. To me no other reason can explain this strange marriage of a retro machine manufacturer with a racing oriented design group.
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Old 13th May 2015, 11:30   #18
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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Originally Posted by outofthebox View Post
But the business reality is that sooner or later RE would need to 'man up' and produce the entire complement of modern lifestyle machines like everybody else - Tourers, Sports, Enduro etc. or face marginalisation.

Triumph is the nearest example I can think of which had similar issues and successfully reinvented themselves.

This acquisition is definitely a step towards that unstated but unavoidable milestone for Eicher Motors. To me no other reason can explain this strange marriage of a retro machine manufacturer with a racing oriented design group.
I sort of agree with you on this. RE has tasted marginalization twice and were nearly thrown out of business during the first time. As I have mentioned in my posts on this thread and elsewhere RE is trying to reinvent themselves and experiment with different models. Look at the spy pics of the Himalayan, if it is for real then RE sure is considering other models too. Evolve or Die is the new mantra.
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Old 13th May 2015, 23:15   #19
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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Old 14th May 2015, 11:01   #20
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
They did try to bring a change with the 5 Speed AVL LB engine but it never picked up as they expected it to.
Many buleteers still feel AVL 500 LB to better performer though. its their marketing tactic which led them to this level

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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Harris performance has been doing a great job in selling upgrade kits and performance parts, chassis and engine bits for the RE bikes in the UK. In fact they are getting almost 50 -60 bhp extracted from the 500cc mill!! .
Are you sure ? i will be more than happy to spend another one lac over and above the price of C500 to get this figure.

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
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Old 14th May 2015, 11:21   #21
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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On one side, I am happy to see Royal Enfield scaling the wall of technology. On the other side I fear that the self serviceable simple machines are going to be extinct.
regards adrian
Aren't they already extinct by the advent of UCE engines? For ease of work, nothing comes close to old iron block engine.

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Not exactly mate, there is one bike which if not dented has scratched RE's market and in the wake has transformed many purists and hardcore Bulleteers and all for a good reason. The bike in question is the KTM Duke 390.

They have been selling just due to Retro Classic design is not entirely true. They are selling in huge numbers due to transformation from 4 Speed CI to UCE.
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Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
To me, the comparison you put across is like comparing the swifts and i20's to safaris, dusters, Scorpios. For me, cruisers (read as motorcycles) start with the bullet, and then multiply the budget 4-5 times to reach the triumph and harleys. There is, for me, nothing else.
But maybe that's just me.

Additionally, they have been selling more due to the increased purchasing power with the young. 25k down payment and rest on emi is nothing for today's fresher's at job. But in my time, when we started at around 5k, 65-70k for a new bullet was a big thing, and vehicle loans were not easily accessible.

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Retro is the only thing which RE does as good as modern domestic and global players.

The further they move from that, the more they enter on to a playing field where they would be little more than a bit player.

Because quite frankly, machine to machine, there is really nothing they do better, or even as good.
very valid points about why does RE sell and what is the competition. RE made a killer combo of retro looks + ease of use (UCE engine and left side gear shift), which coupled with the spending power of the current gen, gave them the spurt of growth. But as Doc says, if taken machine to machine, there is nothing they do better.

In India, competition is also defined by the price band - if there are multiple products available in same price bracket, there will be cross shopping. Case in point, I am now helping my colleague to find a suitable car for her mother and her choices are only between Elite I20 and Ford Ecosport (common factor being the almost same price band). In a similar way, three of my friends were in a market for a new Bullet, with a similar budget (2L). They did TD of CL 350, TB 350 and Duke Twins - one brought TB (His reasoning - ease of ride), one went for CL 350 (his reasoning - Looks) and one signed the dotted line for Duke 200 (His reasoning - what a performance macha). So, even if the comparison is between Apples and Oranges, cross shopping always happen in India.

I can put forward my case also. I have been a Bullet fan-boy for years and still have huge partiality towards the brand (and still ogles at almost all the REs I see), and have owned more than a couple of bullets in last 10 years (still have a Cast Iron 350), and had a Desert Storm 500 for a brief period of time, but realized that if performance is what I want, then Duke gives it in a much better way than Bikes from RE stable. I had to let go of the Desert Storm due to some circumstances, and when it was time for me to sign the dotted line again, I ditched RE (even though I could have easily afforded the Desert Storm or Cafe Racer) and signed for Duke 200.

So, I agree that no two customers are same and there are purists like you, but there are others who cross shop between Enfields and other bikes, so if enfield do not up their ante, they will face heat. I hope this acquisition proves to be a step in the right direction and RE does a Triumph.

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Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
Many buleteers still feel AVL 500 LB to better performer though. its their marketing tactic which led them to this level

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
+ 100.

--Anoop

Last edited by theexperthand : 14th May 2015 at 11:23.
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Old 14th May 2015, 12:02   #22
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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Many buleteers still feel AVL 500 LB to better performer though. its their marketing tactic which led them to this level
I am one of them, having owned all three 500 motors.

The LB was also the last Royal Enfield that looked and felt like a Bullet, though even then, classically, never accepted universally as a Bullet.

That said, a stock well set-up and run-in LB with the long OE silencer and the super slick 5 speed box with toe-only shifter was the pinnacle of my Bulleteering days, when on tour. The raw toque and punch of that bike was unbelievable. And up a hill, in a race, it would invariably leave an equally well set up and run in healthy engine 4 speed cast iron Standard 500 behind.

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Aren't they already extinct by the advent of UCE engines? For ease of work, nothing comes close to old iron block engine.
True.

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But as Doc says, if taken machine to machine, there is nothing they do better.
That was actually an uncharitable and unfair statement and I would like to retract and/or modify.

The Bullets/REs are very tough machines, and can and often do go through hell and back and limp home with their rider. Sometimes through stuff that would make other machines come home loaded on trucks or trains.

The above is one of the main reasons why we all love our Bullets so much and for the fanatical jingoistic loyalist following it has the world over. Its the "soul" that is so often spoken about, but abused beyond recognition by newbie fanbois who have just jumped on to the bandwagon and want to look cool mouthing cliches without knowing what they are actually talking about. Just because they have crawled all over the Internet and read the same in a hundred different places.

Glad to have gotten that off of my chest.

Quote:
In India, competition is also defined by the price band - if there are multiple products available in same price bracket, there will be cross shopping.

So, even if the comparison is between Apples and Oranges, cross shopping always happen in India.
+1000
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Old 14th May 2015, 12:34   #23
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
Aren't they already extinct by the advent of UCE engines? For ease of work, nothing comes close to old iron block engine.
--Anoop
Actually there is still some scope left with the UCE 350 carburetor versions, especially the Standard / Electra variants.

regards arun

Last edited by adrian : 14th May 2015 at 12:36.
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Old 14th May 2015, 13:38   #24
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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That was actually an uncharitable and unfair statement and I would like to retract and/or modify.

The Bullets/REs are very tough machines, and can and often do go through hell and back and limp home with their rider. Sometimes through stuff that would make other machines come home loaded on trucks or trains.
I think this is applicable only for the REs of past - the CIs and LBs. Today if I have to choose a bike for a 'to hell and back' journey, the UCE REs will not have a place in my list of top choices.

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The above is one of the main reasons why we all love our Bullets so much and for the fanatical jingoistic loyalist following it has the world over.
So True. This is coming from a fan who actively considered tattooing his arm with the RE logo.

Quote:
Its the "soul" that is so often spoken about, but abused beyond recognition by newbie fanbois who have just jumped on to the bandwagon and want to look cool mouthing cliches without knowing what they are actually talking about. Just because they have crawled all over the Internet and read the same in a hundred different places.
Glad to have gotten that off of my chest.
Couldn't have said it better. And that, IMHO, started the decline of old Bullet Brotherhood.

--Anoop

Last edited by theexperthand : 14th May 2015 at 13:41.
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Old 14th May 2015, 14:00   #25
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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And that, IMHO, started the decline of old Bullet Brotherhood.

--Anoop
Anoop, people may beg to differ, but the end of the Bullet brotherhood began when some Bulleteers began taking themselves too seriously and started seeing a commercial angle is what till then was a band of 300-500 close knit brothers across India.

That came first.

That was then followed by the UCE and the thronging faceless multitudes. And the mushrooming fancy-name clubs all over.

The result is the RE run Rider Mania. Where riders pass by other riders without even acknowledging, leave alone the normal bear-hugs and colorfully abusive greetings of riders from different cities catching up.

Last edited by ebonho : 14th May 2015 at 14:15.
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Old 14th May 2015, 15:22   #26
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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Anoop, people may beg to differ, but the end of the Bullet brotherhood began when some Bulleteers began taking themselves too seriously and started seeing a commercial angle is what till then was a band of 300-500 close knit brothers across India.

That came first.
Yes, but it was more like a bloat in the landscape but...

Quote:
That was then followed by the UCE and the thronging faceless multitudes. And the mushrooming fancy-name clubs all over.

The result is the RE run Rider Mania. Where riders pass by other riders without even acknowledging, leave alone the normal bear-hugs and colorfully abusive greetings of riders from different cities catching up.
...This was cancer which killed something which was once a beautiful bond.
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Old 14th May 2015, 15:55   #27
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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Yes, but it was more like a bloat in the landscape but...
I have a very different read on this buddy, but would prefer to let some things remain unsaid ....

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...This was cancer which killed something which was once a beautiful bond.
See the facts are that in case of other marques, like Triumph, Harley, KTM, Kawasaki, it is the company that makes the community.

Whereas in the case of Royal Enfield, the community was made and driven by the riders. And hijacked by the company.

When something that starts out as your passion becomes your bread and butter, your priorities naturally change.

RE has more real world riding talent and expertise and passion in-house than Bajaj-KTM does. Though even that is changing now.

Then why is it that Bajaj-KTM is universally considered to be a more rider-centric responsive dynamic company than RE is? Forget the end products .....

Last edited by ebonho : 14th May 2015 at 16:00.
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Old 14th May 2015, 17:41   #28
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I have a very different read on this buddy, but would prefer to let some things remain unsaid ....
Yeah - I can understand that. My experiences (wrt to the Bullet Brotherhood) date back to only 12 years (Yes, when you were touring the length and breadth of India, I was getting acquainted to my first bullet) so my insights about what it have been will never amount to what you have

Quote:
See the facts are that in case of other marques, like Triumph, Harley, KTM, Kawasaki, it is the company that makes the community.

Whereas in the case of Royal Enfield, the community was made and driven by the riders. And hijacked by the company.
Yes, Exactly.

Quote:
When something that starts out as your passion becomes your bread and butter, your priorities naturally change.

RE has more real world riding talent and expertise and passion in-house than Bajaj-KTM does. Though even that is changing now.

Then why is it that Bajaj-KTM is universally considered to be a more rider-centric responsive dynamic company than RE is? Forget the end products .....
Mindset. No other simple answer which I can think of.

--Anoop
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Old 15th May 2015, 11:48   #29
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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That was then followed by the UCE and the thronging faceless multitudes. And the mushrooming fancy-name clubs all over.
This internet knowledge 'i know it all' attitude is cancer and slowly outnumbering all old school, learned on road kind of people.
Same is happening in offroading world with people buying M&M Thar, rebuilt jeeps/Gypsies put one dozen lights and Chinese winch, form a club with Jazzy name and roam around in city and highway

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The raw toque and punch of that bike was unbelievable. And up a hill, in a race, it would invariably leave an equally well set up and run in healthy engine 4 speed cast iron Standard 500 behind.
I am not sure but LB500 with 4 speed gearbox is killer in hills, worth riding once !

Regards,
Shubhendra
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Old 15th May 2015, 11:55   #30
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Default Re: Royal Enfield acquires design & engineering firm Harris Performance

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I am not sure but LB500 with 4 speed gearbox is killer in hills, worth riding once !

Regards,
Shubhendra
Actually Shubhendra, at one time around 2007 when I was taking my Std 500 to the track, I had gotten my hands on a 5 speed box second hand in really good condition (bike destroyed in Gujarat floods, broken and sold as parts) and after completely reconditioning it was planning to plonk it on my standard 500, but then I decided to keep her stock with her neutral lever and classic Albion heritage box - and just learn to live with the big gap between 3 and 4. That said, a std 500 in 3 can and does kill a LB 500 in a much longer meaty pull.
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