Building the Royal Enfield Himalayan

Inception…

I have ridden the Royal Enfield Himalayan earlier, but it had left me wanting for a little bit more… and by ‘a little bit more’ I don’t necessarily mean wanting for more power or added braking bite but certainly a little extension of time with the motorcycle. The royal Enfield Himalayan impressed me with the upright stance at the get-go, the comfortable seat with the wide handle bar ticked quite a few ergonomics related boxes.

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Photographed by Mervyn Titus

I was apprehensive to start work on a motorcycle on which I have had very little saddle time. In a non-comparative non-evaluative mind I gave it an honest chance. There were nibbling mechanical issues but the workshop (Manzil Motors, Gurgaon) did a good job of it (almost FOC). In a non-pretentious way she came wisely-set. A mix of hurried urgency & leisure, the motorcycle offers a lot of diversity (Mention: torque mid-range). From outward aggression to feel-good grins, it proved to be an able carrier of a wide range of rider emotions. I promised to retain this character if not better it, on day 1 of the build.

The brief:

I had a few design iterations in the form of sketches – but I had realized that I had to redesign very little of the motorcycle’s base construct. Set out for a custom scrambler build – the idea was to create an agile/lighter variant and delight the 20yr old rider-heart in everyone.

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Photographed by Mervyn Titus

Need to state, that I did a thorough-check on every possible problem that the Himalayan has been reported to offer. The rumors and reviews had resulted in sleepless nights until every check were successfully conducted. A tight design-brief was laid-out. A few rounds of black-coffee with the patron (project client)  and the final sketches were selected only to get progressively sharper, eventually. I had the responsibility of retaining the off-road/dual-purpose DNA of the motorcycle intact and make it look convincingly different from its stock avatar.

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Photographed by Mervyn Titus

The Build process:

After hacking off a few body-parts – we were pleasantly surprised with the build quality and the components on the stock machine. This was probably the first time that I didn’t have to rework the suspension set-up of a build. I have imagined thick rubber for wheels, but the lanky  21” section was disrupting the picture, swapped with an 18”rim it got closer but to maintain the height I opted for a higher profile front tyre. A sprightly hyper-motardish feel asked for a wider rear wheel for better stability and traction – Hence, a custom 4.5” wide lighter (aluminium) 17” rim with a wider tyre section was installed.

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Photographed by Mervyn Titus

The exhaust was re-routed and I found an interesting muffler that was well-built and did not weigh an island. The rear hoop was re-made & lowered to match the design blue-print. Up-next was the decisive tank and the (multiple) headlamp set-up. Things kept falling in place and I couldn’t have been happier until the final day of metal-sculpting. By now the bike has been stationary for over a month– I spiritedly swung my leg to take the first spin on the new structure; all I remember is reaching home with a roasted right leg. I reckon I could use the exhaust-pipe covers for barbecue sessions – the metal heat covers failed to barricade the rising temperatures off the pipe. After trying a few different types of heat-resistant wraps, teflon washers and the likes – I was beginning to get uncomfortable as the build stood at the doorway to its final stage – ‘paint’. Almost hesitantly, I resorted to treated wood to carve-out wooden covers that could replace the useless metal ones. The stock cat-con was edited which made the engine exhale better and the titanium heat-resistant wrap seemed convincing after prolonged test rides (under various temperatures and riding conditions).

Conclusively: ‘From it to her’

I have had extended testing periods during this build – and it was not because I was not convinced with the ride quality, but I felt I was slowly developing a relationship. A fond one at that & knowing we had limited time – the feeling was further alluring.

As this project comes to actualization, I am convinced that the Himalayan chassis is a customizer’s delight to work on/with. During my stint with the machine I figured a few things that had gathered complaints regarding the machine –  few of them originating from sheer rider-ignorance apart from the equivocal ones that could have been avoided in this day and age. Albeit there shall be updates and there shall be upgrades but it doesn’t take anything away from the motorcycle for being so welcoming to the rider, it definitely delivers joy, the kind of  joy we call ‘SCRAM212’.

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Photographed by Mervyn Titus

SCRAM212, Motokraft customs’ expression of the Royal Enfield Himalayan will soon exit the workshop after almost 3months and something tells me, she is going to leave me wanting, wanting for a little bit more time with her.

Published by motokraftdiaries

Motokraft Diaries is an extension to two-wheel love. I derive satisfaction by developing and executing concepts which remain wrapped in the mist of dreams. Travels and travel stories, revelations and all that comes along with moto-travels, friends - new ones and the retarded ones, food, roads & routes, all of it ... compressed into one blog .. off and on ...

7 thoughts on “Building the Royal Enfield Himalayan

  1. For the starters this is the most inspiring thing I have read in a while and something which I can connect to so easily specially those sleepless nights. And the timing could not be better for me to find this blog post because for the longest time I have been trying to customize my own RE Himalayan. But for some reasons I was not able to decide where to start from and what to do. As I was trying to turn her into a beauty which will have the attributes of a cafe racer / brat and scrambler. The biggest problem was to find a middle ground to get that design and also not to take away the essence of Himalayan and of course Royal Enfield itself. I genuinely am amazed by your work and it gave me the motivation I was looking for. So this a very humble request to you sir, that I need your help and your expertise to turn my crazy imaginations into reality. I will be really looking forward to your reply. Thank you

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