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February 26th, 2021, 01:17 AM   #1
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Joined: Nov 2001
From: Ely, England

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I Ride: Husaberg FE501e 2003
Taffmeisters - for sale

I intend to get my accounts for the year 2020 in hand and then I'm looking to sell Taffmeisters and retire. I'm 60 in April, the Mortgage is paid, the business is now working and making a profit, I now have rental streams. It's always been my ambition to go to Australia Seriously though, I travelled a lot as a kid and completely lost that hunger which I'm glad I did. Motorcycle Road Racing was the next 'I'm not waisting my life'.

I reckon though that Europe is the right place for it. Branches in Australia and the USA would make it one helluva business but can you trust staff and people? No. Family maybe.

If you have a small business you can be a mechanic and sell parts but you have to get people off the phone and be rude. For me, I could only relax when I closed the workshop and just concentrated on people and parts and the last 4 years have been mostly enjoyable. My staff, whoever they were always managed make me feel that I was lucky to have them, it was me who said 'please' and it was they that said 'maybe I might?'.

I started with my last 20, I had nothing left. It was Christmas 2007 and I'd just been laid off by Trailtours UK. I asked 'can I sign on the dole'. "you're joking. it's not the same now, you get nothing!". So that was out, what else could I do?

So I walked out to my garage and and had a look around; 'something I can turn to money, something I can turn to money' I thought what can I do today on the 15th of December? Nobody wants me a week before Christmas?

30 days before while in my job, I had stopped by a house in Nuneaton and bought a 650 engine that needed work for 100. Building that engine was the only thing I could do. So i stripped it, had a gasket or two, bought a cam chain and one or two bits with my 20 and built it. I then put it on ebay with the description; "I know my Husabergs. This is a good engine!".

Bidding started and got to 300 before slowing. One of the bidders called me and said; "wey eye mun! (that's Geordie speak) I need that engine what'll ya taek?". I had doubts about the auction going much higher so we agreed on 600 and he and his wife drove a long, long way from one end of England down to the other (4 hours-250 miles....Australia eat your heart out!!!😆&#128518 "whey yareally nae yar stuff mun!" so he went off with it.

All my money paid off bills, I had red letters all over the table by now threatening me with court orders etc.

I wrote to the two who'd been bidding on the engine and said that the engine was sold but that "I knew my stuff and would build theirs if they wanted?" what else was I going to do?

So BOTH of them said yes! I then started sorting the workshop, took the engines and deposits and started work on them but the deposits were gobbled up so i had to ask for even more money, then some from Mum and then finally I got paid for them. Then I got a call from the Geordie saying he was pleased with the engine but didn't want to change the registration document to reflect the new engine number - would I rebuild his original? So he drove down twice more once to deliver and once to collect (250 miles; a proper journey that!) and that was another job.
In the meantime I mentioned this curious story of the "unwilling businessman" on UHE and lots of people said; 'do mine!' and I had a business going.

I was continually running out of money, even deposits didn't help, and sometimes engines just wanted for 20-30 of parts and couldn't go out because I just had no money so I started advertising on ebay; specifically the Gel-Cel batteries which I understood and had a headstart on. The 20 and 30 were to help me to finish the engines, not profit for its own sake. This gave me a little tweak of funds to finish the jobs. But although the red letters stopped, the pot was always empty!

Anyway, we have probably between 40-100,000 of spares now and even as I write, I have rocker bushes being made, 2 styles of decal, kickstart shafts and want most of all plastics. So it is always happening here. Knowledge as a Mechanic though is absolutely paramount.

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February 26th, 2021, 02:19 AM   #2
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Good Luck Taffy all the best for the future. Never easy trying to sell a business,
hope it all works out for you and your family.

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February 26th, 2021, 10:47 AM   #3
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I Ride: 2 2005 FS650C; 2 2004 FS450C; 1993 Honda F2; 1972 Triumph Daytona; 1969 Ducati 450 Jupiter; 1974 rd
GLWS. Here is hoping you find a suitable buyer as I would hate to see a stalwart resource of Berg parts and info disappear into the ether.

Given KTM's attitude towards their Husaberg past, acquiring parts for our bikes is going to become way more difficult if your doors close. So, thanks for all the help and good luck in retirement. Again, I really hope you find a passionate Berg person to continue the biz. Thanks again Dave.
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February 27th, 2021, 10:33 AM   #4
Joined: Nov 2019
From: Warszawa

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I Ride: HUSABERG FC 600 98 HUSABERG FC 600 00 Husqvarna Tc 610 94 husaberg fe 501 93 ,Honda Crf 450 04
thank you for everything you have done for our bikes, it's really amazing that there are people like you. Good luck and good luck in health
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February 28th, 2021, 07:14 AM   #5
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it never occurred to me that the taf era could end! you surprised me.
you'll be retiring at about the same age i was when i did it. i think you'll enjoy it. whoever takes over has some big (and worn out) shoes to fill. just think of the stories you can tell at the old folks home.
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February 28th, 2021, 11:47 AM   #6
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From: Snowy Mountains NSW Australia

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Good luck Taffy, and maybe we'll meet again one day down under, bikes are here.
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March 10th, 2021, 10:37 PM   #7
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Please don't retire!

Hi Taffy, you should re-think the retirement thing. I retired 27 years ago from a very successful business, so I could spend the rest of my time with my motorcycle hobby. I specialize in Indians, as well as most other vintage, and race/off road bikes. Like you, I did top shelf work for myself, and everybody wants some of what I can do. I don't advertise, but I have an informational web site (Welcome to Performance Indian !), that is viewed world-wide. I found the need for upgrading Indian valve train, and carb kits. I perfected these parts, and sell them on my web site. This keeps me busy full time, and I can pick the hours that I want to work, here in my big shop at home. It has allowed me to make many friends, and to be regarded as one of, if not, the top Indian authority in the world. That gives me a good feeling of satisfaction, and fulfillment, not to mention all the $$$ that comes in. The money has gone back into my hobby collection, which is now substantial. Plus, I now have many friends world wide, who respect me. It's a good life, and I'm glad things worked out that way.
So, I see you in the same place. If you are good at your hobby, and can make it pay, keep doing it for your own enjoyment. You say you are 60? Well, I'm 70, and enjoying what I'm doing. I just wish there was more time for riding. Good Luck with anything you choose to do.
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March 11th, 2021, 12:17 AM   #8
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From: Ely, England

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I Ride: Husaberg FE501e 2003
that's an inspirational message JMosher. If I thought it could run itself with a good member of staff in here then it might be considered.

I read all about Indians, well I read Franklyn's Indians and thought it an amazing book. AS I know the TT and the Irish troubles so well I had that paradigm as well. What a beautiful bike and I often quote how Indian lost the lead in the war as a 'be careful what you wish for!'.

I also read up 'Iron Redskin' which is considered the best book about Indian I believe. I wrote to the Author who didn't know about the Vincent connection.


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April 7th, 2021, 04:55 AM   #9
Joined: May 2018
From: England

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Well its a shame for me, having a husaberg dealer within 45 mins of me has been pretty handy!
But I do wish you all the best, and thanks for a the help that you have given me over the years.

Cheers, Spencer

Sent from my ASUS_X00TDB using Tapatalk
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