Any ardent biker always rides for the passion and craftsmanship that goes to rock his world between his legs. And with Royal Enfield fulfilling most of those, it only makes blind sense that they become the right weapon for those who live to get their wild imaginations etched.
Royal Enfield entered the motorcycle industry more than 115 years back in the UK which makes it the world’s oldest motorcycling company in continuous production. Since then, they have been giving us with simple and resilient machines that are ridden across some of the world’s most exciting terrains. Then there came a wave of this breed of custom builders who turned these spirited machines into a beacon of beauty, simplicity, class and definition.
Royal Enfield, has been the spoilt choice for many custom bikers and builders around the globe. They are mental, and they are a gold find for its simplistic construction and the liberty for customisation. You can chop it up and put them together, and they will carry a whole new charm.
With the soul of ’go anywhere, do anything’ taking up a new meaning every time it goes under the axe, below are the five unique builds we think is worth gauging your eyes out to:
1. The Surf Racer by Sinroja Motorcycles
Celebrating the spirit of motorcycle culture, Royal Enfield participated at the Wheels and Waves 2017 festival with Sinroja Motors as their official partner. This was their modern take on the Continental GT that captures the theme of the festival in a shade of dark grey and blue inserts.
Who doesn’t love the swoopy lines and the curvy silhouette of the Continental GT? Taking the best dressed Enfield and giving it a complete makeover needed a lot of imagination, and luckily, the folks at Sinroja boasts of a few. You just know that when you see this Surf Racer.
Started as a stripped up GT, Sinroja wanted it to keep it to the bare essentials honouring the true essence of a cafe racer – ultimate super light retro racing experience. Giving it a little more of those curves is a floating half fairing at the front that features a windscreen, and it extends as far down as the sides of the cylinder block. This alone covers the retro appeal of the motorcycle because what comes next is nothing less than a sci-fi fantasy.
Just have a look at that rear, and you’ll know what I mean. The intent of the “jet” style tail exhaust is all for making you drool with some hankering lust. Beautifully sculpted rear panel accentuates the curves flowing in from the front fairings and finishes off with a single pot exhaust unit housed in a brushed aluminium cone. The proportions are spot on, and it just looks fab!
The handlebar unit is totally new, and it replaces the slip-on with the attached unit within which is housed a single pot analogue instrument panel. Use of premium materials, attention to details and the level of fit and finish is top class handiwork achieved by Sinroja. The simple yet bold paint job and that blue stitched saddle express a stylish and artistic approach to the racing heritage of both land and sea. Below all of this is an all-black treatment given to the frame, engine, alloys, footpegs and the USD forks which compliments the bodywork.
The motor on this Surf Racer is basically the same single-cylinder, air-cooled, 535cc Royal Enfield engine but is tuned with higher lift cam, inlet manifold and machined piston barrels offering higher compression. A Dellorto carb conversion kit gets the air sucked into the powerplant to make at least 32 bhp of peak power and 45 Nm of peak torque. With this, we have no doubt that it will easily hit the 155 kph mark at top speed.
What is also completely changed are the tyres and the suspension and braking units. 17” performance rims on black alloys, upside down forks and an under engine rear shock, converts the Conti’s brisk Café ride into a ‘speeding bullet’ for the Surf Racer. The brake rotors too are updated with petal disc and bigger callipers to help heave this machine to a stop.
“The perfect machine for racing the sunset.”
2. Brat Bob by Grid7 Customs
The chaps at Grid7 Customs have seemed to have caught this custom spirit pretty seriously, and you get to see it in their builds. And the most recent of them all is the Royal Enfield BRAT-BOB. Now, that’s how you name a motorcycle.
It is a Classic 350 motorcycle that has been stripped apart, chiselled, painted, replaced and put back together to form a Bobber silhouette and it looks gorgeous for one. The frame, to begin with, was altered with extended swing arm and was painted with taupe-lighter shade to get the gunmetal finish. The front headlamp unit was switched with the current Thunderbird’s, and the wheel arches adorn new mudguards. At the rear too a minimalistic tail lamp sits on the mudguard.
They have even changed the tank unit to replicate the bobber’s tall and less wide unit and behind that comes the tan, brown stitched custom seat. The instrument cluster is now a part analogue part digital unit with LCDs, and the LED turn indicators have been tastefully embedded within the handlebar ends and rear shock strut. Don’t miss out on the custom rear view mirrors bolted to the sides of the headlight unit. It seems functional too.
You also see an addition of rear disc brake unit tethered to wider tyres (110 mm at the front and 140 mm at the rear) and the most exquisite changeover of all is the steel brushed exhaust canister that has a resemblance to the ones on Triumph’s Bonneville Bobber. Apart from this, all surfaces are painted in a lacquered black finish, and it looks absolutely stunning.
There isn’t much change with the mechanicals of the motorcycle, and it still runs on the 346cc Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark, Air cooled power mill that can produce a healthy 20 bhp power and 28 Nm max torque. However, the stock air intake has been replaced with K&N air filter and custom open exhaust piping of course.
Only if I could throw a leg around and ride this element of craftsmanship that has charisma written all over it. Everything just compliments everything else. All in all, it is a well put together package maintaining a classy and simple design with fantastic detailing. If you don’t want to ride this in a heavy downpour-not that we’ll blame you-you can grab a cup of coffee, put your legs up only to stare at it, and you’d be no less disappointed.
3. Bulleteer Customs ‘72
I’m a sucker for mad wheels, and this one here turns out to be just the one my brain was wanting to hanker on. This Bangalore based custom house most probably makes the cleanest looking mod jobs I’ve seen across the custom scene, and this ’72 is their most affordable build named after a 72’ model Enfield.
Straight up, let’s get talking about those shiny wheels. Some would say they are too flashy, but for my taste, they are just about right. Bringing in the adequate amount of retro into this build, the full billet alloy wheels looks the part from anything on two wheels currently on the roads. It looks as good even on the move, i’m sure, with the punched holes trying to create a trippy pattern.
The handlebar is switched to a single flat tracker unit, and the front headlamp gets modern LED clusters. The rear, however, gets the old school brake lamps and indicators borrowed from the Continental GT. The instrument cluster is now a circular pod unit and the stubbed tyres with both front and rear fenders chopped, make up for the scrambler-esq getup.
The folks at Bulleteer Customs have also engraved the brushed steel tank sections with their insignia in black and it looks neat. Dark brown plush leather saddle looks comfortable, and the seating position is a modern upright one. The bike exuberates minimalism with a modern-retro outlook. Looks like a match made in heaven.
Mechanically, except for the old Bullet Cast Iron Engine form the original 72’ model, everything sees an upgrade. A legend for the bullet fraternity, the long stroke 346cc cast iron engine is an air-cooled thumper we all are fond of. Producing 18 bhp and 27 Nm, the kicker and the gear lever meshes with 4 gears and the power is transmitted via a chain drive. They have it completely restored and power moded. And of course, with this setup giving our ears what we need from a Royal Enfield, not much play has been done with the exhaust unit. God Bless them for that.
Because of the fancy wheels there, the braking units had to undergo variations, and both sides get smaller drum brake setups. It is, however, a more efficient and modern drum brake unit that is opted to give sufficient bite out of your levers to stop this machine. The suspension units also undergo a revamp to suit modern conditions with telescopic forks at the front and gas charged unit at the rear to provide for a supple ride.
Even with all these contemporary changes to the 72’ model, this bike sure still captures the essence and character of an old-school rider. Picture a black&white background and riding this around town will still take you back to the 70s’. Perfect for a set of retro snaps for all those social media buffs.
4. Kaali by Rajputana Customs
Hustled amidst the royal city of Jaipur, this entry is probably the most extremists’ one here. Built by the house of Rajputana Customs, Kaali is based on a Classic 500 underpinnings with no subtleness whatsoever. The all matte black theme of the chopper is for those rebellious ‘laundas’ who have no care to give to the world.
This black chopper is named after the Hindu goddess who is supposed to be the destroyer of evil. But is itself high on vile. The extended frame and the long springer forks at the front give out a menacing feel to the rider, and the handmade fuel tank completes the striking build the folks at Rajputana were after.
Bulbous Avion tyres at the rear make the bike get a drooling effect on everyone who lay their eyes on this machine. Ape handlebars with custom bar ends shouts style and sophistication which along with the low seating gives you a clean chopper style riding position. Extended custom made footpegs and gear levers provide a unique seating position meant only for the royals.
There is no front fender, and the huge rear unit is painstakingly built to wrap the wider tyre. There is, however, a chrome touch onto the engine covers which is the only shiny part of the entire machine. Old school headlamp unit fits right for the job whereas the rear is shunned from all kinds of it.
The frame holding the fuel tank is exposed on purpose and gives an intimidating outlook. The wrapped short exhaust sure sounds gothic from the UCE construction modern Classic 500 engine. This fuel injected 499cc engine puts out 27.2 bhp of power and 41.3 Nm of torque and comes mated to a five-speed gearbox.
This along with every other build from Rajputana Customs are a one-off specifically by order for a customer. Incorporating the customer’s choice and character into the machines is a job well done by the Rajputs.
5. The Gentleman Brat by Sinroja Motorcycles
If the Surf Racer was all about performance and looks, this bad boy is for those who deal with having a different idea about life itself. They say you know the man if you know what motorcycle he rides. Being the only one in the list with the Himalayan underpinnings, it is all about fun. ‘Gentleman’ is only in the name.
This Brat concept started its life as the Royal Enfield’s not-so-extreme adventure tourer, the Himalayan. Stripped off to bare bones, only the tank and the engine kept their place. The highlight being the cream over grey paint scheme, it kind of plays with your perspective of a motorcycle, thanks to the 16” white rims coupled to the whitewall tyres. It loses out on the fenders, guards, windscreen and the two-up saddle. What it gets rather, is a retro round headlamp out front, beefy tyres and a simple yet elegant aluminium exhaust manifold.
The single seat saddle in leather with blue stitching accents is more than enough for you to place your behind and to sit upright with the high handlebar setup. The cut-off half-duplex split cradle frame at the rear exposes the entire make of the tastefully machined aluminium exhaust pipe. It just calms your soul to look at it, but at the back of your head, you cannot wait to hear the explosive soundtrack of the LS410 motor coming out of this baby.
It’s got the looks of a motorcycle parked up in front of a classy beachside restaurant. But don’t let that fool you, for this can also run places others barely can. The engine, which has been christened as LS410, is a stroked out version of the 350cc engine of the Classic or Thunderbird – this four stroke, single cylinder, air-cooled, 411cc FI engine can churn out a maximum power output of 25 bhp and a maximum torque output of 32 Nm through the 5-speed transmission.
The Himalayan already poses a whole new image of Royal Enfield with its dynamics and suspension setup. The Brat, however, gets an upgraded suspension setup to add more capability and it carries the same 300mm front disc brake and a 240mm rear disc brake units as the Himalayan.
The “spirit of going anywhere” wears a fine new dress. And it forces you to get decked up just ride it around the coast to eventually find yourself.