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    MOTORCYCLE marque with 99 years of history is being imported by a Gloucestershire firm but until now, it has not had a dealership in the county.

    All that is changing, though, as BVM Moto in Stroud has just been appointed as a dealer in Royal Enfield machines, which are imported by Blockley-based Watsonian Squire.

    The sidecar maker has sold more than 3,000 machines since it began bringing them in to the country in 1999 but BVM is its first Gloucestershire dealership.

    Already the London Road, Stroud, shop has sold half a dozen of the machines, which are made in Chennai, India.

    The name, price, retro appeal, and economy appear to be a big pull for customers.

    Officially the fuel-injected 500cc single returns just under 80 miles per gallon (mpg) but a recent real-world on-the-road test recorded figures of 107mpg for the old "lean burn" engine, and 118mpg for the new fuel-injected motor.

    "There is nothing else like it on the market," said Royal Enfield sales director Ben Matthews, who was delighted to get BVM on board.

    "The styling and characteristics are from the 1950s but they live in the real world."

    The machines, which come in five main models, are sold with a two-year warranty, and have electric start and left foot gear change as standard – but are said to lose little of the appeal of their forebears.

    "It seems like there is a big demand in Gloucestershire and now we can supply it," said BVM Moto sales manager Tim Stubbs.

    "The importers welcome customers but they don't retail – that's what we do and we have the service back-up to go with it.

    "We have parts in stock and anything we don't have, we can get next day.

    "We have just about the full complement of bikes and so far have sold every one in the range.

    "BVM Motos has just sold one to a 77-year-old who cannot kickstart his BSA C15 anymore, and for him, the Royal Enfield keeps him on the road on the kind of bike he likes to ride."

    Bikes can even be delivered next day to BVM Motos as well.

    When Royal Enfield went the way of most British motorcycle marques in 1970, that was not the end of the story.

    Since 1949, they had been made under licence, then produced independently, in India.

    Last year its Chennai factory produced some 50,000 machines.

    UK distributors Watsonian Squire – a marriage of two famous sidecar manufacturing names – has 50 dealers nationwide, now including BVM.

    Find out more at www.royal-enfield.com and www.bvm-moto.co.uk.

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