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Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

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Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby Fullauto » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:32 pm

There have been a few changes on the long and winding road. The business has changed along the way, so let me inform the esteemed members of the forum what is happening. I was informed that the price of my heads was to now be 50% higher than previously. This was non negotiable and a fruitless search for other foundries to do the work was undertaken. So, I had a couple of choices. The first was to take the casting production overseas. Not an option to me. The second was to pack up shop and either sell all the tooling and intellectual property or mothball it. Not very palatable either way. The third path was to go ahead with production but change the way I do business. My intention is to set up a website and retail the heads direct to the customer, while maintaining supply to my established dealer network at somewhat less attractive terms than previously. The website has not yet been set up. That will be happening shortly. Consequently, the new batch of 27 heads is being packed as we speak to meander it's merry way to me. As this batch has taken so long to come about, not because of my suppliers, Harrops, but because it was a serious decision to be made regarding the future of my heads, with various back orders and current demand, I find that all that I have left to offer my retail customers is a solitary 750 head.

But, fear not readers! I have ordered another batch which is to be delivered by late November. With the changes, I am hopeful that a constant supply will soon be available. With 200 heads sold up til now, not including the current batch, they have come to be a sought after product. I have about 37,000 miles on my first production head (number 2 ) and I cannot ride my bike enough! I do 1,000 miles per month, using my Norton as an everyday bike. Enough of that.

My heads will retail for AU$3400.00 plus GST for Aussies, plus postage worldwide, so that the increase in price to the customer is not as great as a 50% increase in costs would normally infer. Heads can be ordered by emailing me at kenc@upnaway.com. I will issue an invoice by return, and when the money appears in my account, the head/s will be sent.

It's a real gamble if I survive or not and hasn't been without a lot of sleep deprivation and gnashing of teeth. Money is always an issue, but I hope to have my new product available in the new year. No, not barrels! Not yet.
Last edited by Fullauto on Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby worntorn » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:58 pm

Weren't they close to that price before?

Glen

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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby Fullauto » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:28 pm

worntorn wrote:Weren't they close to that price before?

Glen


Yes, Glen. I have tried to keep the price down for the end user.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby Mr. Rick » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:36 pm

My currency calculator give this 3400 Australian dollar price (today 8/30/17) as:
2685 USD
2262 Euro
2078 GBP
If I were 58 years old instead of 68, this wd be a no brainer. I'd order one today and thank my lucky stars it's available.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby Fast Eddie » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:11 am

Best of luck with it Ken.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby SteveA » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:37 am

Ken, with good 40 year old heads getting even harder to find the market will be there.

Similarly with the values of Commandos themselves still rising, as a percentage of bike value it is a sensible purchase.

For a racer like me surely the best basis there is for a new motor.

Good luck with it.

Before long there will be complete motors coming from the antipodes as there already are with gearboxes.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby Fullauto » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:55 am

Thanks guys. It's been pretty tough to keep it all together. But, hopefully we will move along now.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby JimC » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:59 am

Since you have a backlog of orders and no competitors, that I'm aware of, I don't reckon price should be your main concern. If your customers were price conscious what in the hell are they doing with a Norton? Keep up the quality and there will always be a market for your product.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby NortonMKIIA850 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:16 am

JimC wrote:If your customers were price conscious what in the hell are they doing with a Norton?

Speaking for myself only, I bought my Commando nearly 20 years ago when I had a job and could afford it. But circumstances change. 20 years later, I don't have a job and can just about afford to keep it going, barring any major developments. But I love it, it's become part of who I am. Just saying ...
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby Frankie17 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:41 am

once the current market demand is filled price will become an issue , selling direct and cutting dealer margins will only discourage dealers from purchasing stock , competing with thier supplier does not sit well with most traders as forward orders from dealers on future batch production go out the window , as a result full auto will have to fianance thier own production and stock in the future which puts even more pressure on cash flow

i have seen lots of UK manufacturing companies take the same path , with manufacturing and direct selling you have to have very deep pockets and carefully set your retail price levels where it is difficult for new players to enter the market overprice your product and competition will eventually arrive

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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby SteveA » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:56 pm

Frankie17 wrote:once the current market demand is filled price will become an issue , selling direct and cutting dealer margins will only discourage dealers from purchasing stock , competing with thier supplier does not sit well with most traders as forward orders from dealers on future batch production go out the window , as a result full auto will have to fianance thier own production and stock in the future which puts even more pressure on cash flow

i have seen lots of UK manufacturing companies take the same path , with manufacturing and direct selling you have to have very deep pockets and carefully set your retail price levels where it is difficult for new players to enter the market overprice your product and competition will eventually arrive


Not going to argue with your comments on the difficulty of doing business and the complex decisions on matching supply to demand. AN is a dealer for this part today, and they will need to keep a head in the catalogue to offer the full range some builders will want to single source. And they know full well the complexity of retail alongside wholesale.

But I am interested to know your current assessment of potential 'market'.

How many completely new engines are being built each year for racing and restorations worldwide?. Peter Williams replicas could possibly use a production batch if the potential is met there, NYC Norton is making a few bikes with new motors, then you have what CNW and HNW are doing, and a few others. Then you have well funded home scratch builds in 3rd party frames, full bike restorations and the repair market. 2 Batches? 50 heads, around 1 a week?

The 200 sold so far have I think been manufactured at a lower rate, I had #101 in my hands in late 2014. I would think it might be difficult to fund and run manufacture rate beyond two batches of 25 a year.

Ken will have a better idea and I am sure this is what has been driving his worry beads for some time, but onn the basis of what we can easily see, I would anticipate several years at that rate is viable.

(just a guesswork opinion, I am no retail/restoration expert).

A wider product range of heads, ready fitted optons and blanks for developers, and moving beyonds just heads may well enhance the proposition.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby mdt-son » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:19 pm

Fullauto wrote:As this batch has taken so long to come about, not because of my suppliers, Harrops, but because it was a serious decision to be made regarding the future of my heads, with various back orders and current demand, I find that all that I have left to offer my retail customers is a solitary 750 head.


Ken, I sincerely hope you will not slash making the 850 heads, as supply of good OEM heads has virtually dried up .....

-Knut
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby acotrel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:11 pm

'Quality does not cost - it pays'. Too many of us buy primarily on price, that is why much of what we buy is crap. It is also one of the reasons the Chinese are more successful and our manufacturers move offshore.
A lot depends on what you are doing with your bike. About 10 years ago a Molnar Manx was brought to race at Phillip Island, it was reputed to have cost $90,000 to get it there. In that context , Ken's $3400 Australian is not so much. The problem is that most of us bikies are cheap-skates. In Australian Historic racing, there is only one cheap option. You could build a competitive Period 4 Featherbed JAWA two valve for about $15,000. The rest is ridiculous.
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby kentvander » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:34 pm

Have you talked to Bruce Verdon of TTIndustries? He manages to offer his transmissions in Aluminum or Magnesium. The castings look good and his prices seem good for complete transmissions. I can't believe his production volume of Norton gearboxes is much greater than your FullAuto heads. Just an idea. I got one of your heads and hate to hear you're considering discontinuing production of such a quality product. Best of luck!
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Re: Fullauto Technologies cylinder heads

Postby gortnipper » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:01 pm

kentvander wrote:Have you talked to Bruce Verdon of TTIndustries? He manages to offer his transmissions in Aluminum or Magnesium. The castings look good and his prices seem good for complete transmissions. I can't believe his production volume of Norton gearboxes is much greater than your FullAuto heads. Just an idea. I got one of your heads and hate to hear you're considering discontinuing production of such a quality product. Best of luck!


He makes more than gearboxes for Commandos, he does for Manx, G50 and race cars as well, so has a bit more scaling efficiencies I would imagine.
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