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Old 06-05-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
CaptMako OP
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Capitalcycle Opinions

Looking on fleabay, Captialcycle has some old parts never used, etc....
Just wondering how their parts are and if folks have had good experiences
using them? Curious.......
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:34 PM   #2
dvblue_2000
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I used to deal with them in the 80s and early 90s, before on-line ordering. At the time, they had a great illustrated catalog and you would mail in their order form or call it in. I called one order in and they sent my order to Wainwright, Alaska instead of Fort Wainwright so I had to wait another couple weeks for my parts. Since then, they've gotten a lot more competition.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:19 PM   #3
Big Bamboo
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I used to buy from them back in the 1980s too. There were stories of bad parts being sold later on, but they seem to have cleared that up. They are the only source I've found in the USA for the points cam and advance unit grease specified by BMW.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:48 PM   #4
disston
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BB,

They haven't had the Ft1V4 in several years, unless Tom has gotten some more recently.



I will reserve my comments for later. I'm slightly biased in this thread. I used to work at Capital Cycle back in the mid '80's
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
Big Bamboo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
BB,

They haven't had the Ft1V4 in several years, unless Tom has gotten some more recently.



I will reserve my comments for later. I'm slightly biased in this thread. I used to work at Capital Cycle back in the mid '80's
Well, I bought mine several years ago. I've given dabs to most of the Airheads on this island, but still have enough to last several lifetimes...
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:08 PM   #6
r60man
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I used them about 5 years ago and had no issues. Now I have a local dealer so I give them the business, so they do not go away.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:16 PM   #7
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I've bought parts from them several times over the last few months. Everything was right. One time I had accidentally ordered the wrong part for a project. One part looked suspicious because it didn't match up to the model BMW that all the other parts in that order were for. They called me and we straightened it out. That's good service.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:10 PM   #8
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It's been 10 or 15 years since I've ordered from them. That's no reflection on them though. I just got out of the airhead thing all together. IIRC their prices were always pretty reasonable. I also remember there were rumors about lesser quality parts but I never had an issue with anything I bought from them.
I wouldn't be afraid to use them again.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:25 PM   #9
disston
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I think things have been getting better at Capital Cycle but there of course may still be Hiccups. It is a very small business these days. When I worked at CC in the Summer of 1983 and some of 1984 there were usually 5 or 6 of us that just filled orders and some of management helped too when it was busy. We would send out over a hundred packages a day via UPS. A big day would be close to 200 packages.

Capital Cycle grew out of Metro Courier. In the '70's this courier operation was big in Washington, DC. It was the days before Email and so many other things the computer does for us these days. Metro was the biggest courier operation in Washington. They had a fleet of about 50 mostly /2 BMW motorcycles. There were one or two R69S bikes too and by 1985 they were putting on a couple of Japanese bikes. The Metro bikes had yellow fairings and they could be seen all around Washington. But Capital Cycle had already split off from Metro when the owners decided they couldn't get along any longer and Rubin took the parts business across Champlain St. and Jerry took over the courier operations.

I have many fond memories about the time I worked at Capital Cycle. I was still drinking a lot in those days and so felt I was making the right move when I quit after a confrontation with Rubin. It was a bad move for me but the business had moved to Virginia out by Dulles Airport. They are still out there in Stirling Park, I think. I started driving a taxicab the day after I quit my job there. That was almost 30 years ago.

Capital Cycle went through several changes after I left. One of the other employees there when I was there ending up doing jail time for stealing from CC. He was taking truck loads of parts away after hours.

The other employees eventually owned the business but this didn't work out. I don't know the whole story about that time but I think what I was told is probably right, there was no management with a room full of Indian Chiefs.

A scam artist owned the company after that and he also went to jail I think. He stole the business blind and it involved defrauding a bank or banks out of their money. He got rid of all of the hard parts CC had on hand and filled the shelves with Cordura travel bags. Saying this was where the money was at in the motorcycle field. I meet him once.

When I bought my current bike about 15 years ago one of the first things I did was ride out to CC and buy some parts. Tom Trang who had worked at CC from the beginning was still there. He was the only one there. He ran the business for the Banks that owned it at that point while they were looking for somebody to buy it. A new owner was found eventually but i'm not sure how long he has had the operation. Tom is still there and was the only employee for awhile. The new owner and now maybe some other help. But I haven't visited for awhile. They have steadily increased some of their ad space and they seem to be getting busier. There are some complaints but actually there seem to be more compliments in the last few years.

I did use to work with Tom and think I know him pretty well. He can be difficult to talk with. His accent is pretty strong, he's Vietnamese, and he talks really quick. But if you have a problem with a part and insist that it has to be returned I think he'll get the point. I had to buy a pair of returned fork tubes from him once because somebody else didn't like them. And I made the mistake of saying I needed some tubes. I did get a good deal.

Maybe none of this story has much to do with what Capital Cycle is today. I think it does. Many other riders here will remember those days too. There was a time when CC was the only alternative to buying parts from the dealer. I think they can still be a good source of parts for us.

Charlie
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:32 PM   #10
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That's a cool bit of history there,disston; thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:09 PM   #11
Bill Harris
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Thanks for the History of Capital. They were really cutting edge in the '80's and I knew that they had their ups and downs over the years. I've got an old Capital Cycle catalog stashed away somewhere.

Nowadays competition must be fierce with online ordering.

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Old 06-06-2014, 06:34 PM   #12
Beezer Josh
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I've been to their office a few times in the last year. Tom is nice and very helpful. They were building a separate lobby area last time I was there. First time I went I bought a cam sprocket from them for half the cost of Bob's, and it was a genuine bmw part. I'd do business with them again. Just wish they weren't on the exact opposite side of DC from me.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:16 AM   #13
DeutschMark
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I've ordered from them twice. The first time, the order arrived quickly and the price was right. The second time, I ordered a latch for a Hepco & Becker hard case. I received confirmation, but never heard anything from them again. Emails were unanswered so I just dropped it.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:54 AM   #14
acap650
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I recently bought two G/S tank stickers from their ebay store. After several emails we could not figure out how to create an invoice so I did not have to pay two shipping charges. I bought the parts and paid the double shipping but later they refunded one charge to my paypal account.

The stickers, well they are the Seibenrock repros, a bit thin and a flat finish unlike the originals but the colors are correct.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #15
Nailhead
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I purchased some H&B Gobi latch parts from them several years ago, and was quite satisfied.

Last week, I received an assortment of parts for the RS, which included a tune-up kit with the wrong air filter, even though I included the year & model of the bike in the comments section of the order form. Not a big deal in the great scheme of things, but it does add to the "Babysit Other People's Fuck-ups" task list.

I think I'll probably still shop there, though.
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