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Rajputana Customs Royal Enfield – ‘Chingari’

Posted on September 12, 2011 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 15 comments

Here at the Pipeburn palace, we often wonder aloud to ourselves while relaxing river-side with the elephants, a fresh yoghurt Lassi and decent serve of post-curry gulab jamun, just why there isn’t more Royal Enfield-based customs around the place. After all, they are in a way a living fossil whose basic design hasn’t changed since 1948. Surely this would make a perfect base for creating a motorcycle that would be pleasing to these young coffee racer-types we hear so much of? Today we were doing just that – wondering, that is – when the young tea wala broke his usual silence and pointed out to us that we had indeed received a communiqué from our good friend Vijay of the very reputable Rajputana Customs in Jaipur just this very day. “My word,” I exclaimed. Then there was a long pause in proceedings where I stared into the distance, adjusted my monocle, and commanded the wala to refill my tea with a mere twitch of my eyebrow. “Well, shouldn’t we read it?” Scotty interrupted. “Jolly good,” I said. “Let’s have at it then…”

Over to Vijay. “Vishal Mangalorkar is a 35-year-old advertising film maker from Mumbai, and I met him a month back while visiting the city. He wanted to spruce up his existing 350cc Royal Enfield and had a budget of Rs 1.5 Lakhs (about US$3000). Vishal wasn’t sure what he wanted and I wasn’t quite sure what I’d be able to do for him either… given the fact that he didn’t want a build from scratch and had a restricted budget that wouldn’t allow me to do so even if I was to convince him. Nonetheless, we chose to modify the 350 on the lines of a racer/scrambler without changing the stock frame.”

“To start with I lowered the front suspension and stiffened it to keep the fender from touching the neck of the bike. We fabricated the gas tank, tool boxes, seats, rear cowl, exhaust, handlebars, and fenders. Vishal was insistent on having a second seat for his wife who I’m guessing has the last say on all major expenses in that house hahaha… so we gave the bike a detachable rear cowl which conceals the pillion seat. The bike had to have it’s main wiring harness chopped and changed big time now that we had moved the starter key and amp meter into the toolbox, replaced the front mask for a single head light, and mounted the rear indicators and brake lights under the rear cowl.

The rear tyre is a 5.00-16 Avon Speedmaster which was imported from England while the front is a stock RE 18incher. The foot-peg placement has not been changed because Vishal didn’t want a very aggressive riding position, it’s actually worked in our favour cause for all i know maybe we’ve stumbled upon a cafe racer kit for stock RE’s in India having built Chingari. Let’s see how things go in time to come but as now I’ve been getting a lot of serious inquires about potential cafe racer modifications to other people’s Royals.”

“Lastly, Vishal was adamant on having the bike painted yellow ’cause it’s his favourite colour, we went a step further and gave the yellow a few black lines and blocks which draw inspiration from the old school Yamaha racing colours… excluding the white of course. All round this build didn’t involve half the work we usually put into a build from scratch but it was a challenge nonetheless. The main obstacle was to try and create something authentic and unique while still maintaining the essence of a Royal Enfield within a limited budget and we hope that we did so.”

“Chingari for me is probably gonna be the start of a new genre of ‘budgeted customs’ wherein we don’t build a bike from scratch but rather change up a few essentials to a stock bike in order to do justice to the modified finished product. Once the bike was done I decided to name her “Chingari” which in Hindi means “spark” – let’s see if this little yellow spark can set off a bomb of “budgeted customs” in India. Fingers crossed. Cheers!”

  • Never been a fan of the Royal Enfield but when I saw Rajputana Customs Bobber "Nandi" I was amazed at what they achieved. I'm again amazed at what they have done with a bike that has a frame that suits the bobber style. Great job Vishal.

  • P.F. Flyer

    This really hits the nail on the head as far as looks, you know what they say if you can't go fast, then look fast!

  • D.

    Looks good, but it seems like kind of a weird thing to do to an Enfield.

  • The owner might want to save up another big,big pile of rupees and give it the Ace Fireball treatment, because it now looks like a bike
    with more than 40 hp. It'd be aShame to keepthis thing at 22-25hp.

  • HMR

    I'm a great fan of Rajputana who manages to keep the 'essence of a Royal Enfield' and his own Rajput aesthete into his builds. It's also great to see him venturing into the cafe racer/tracker style customs with the impeccable Chingari.

    @davidabl the Ace Fireball treatment wouldnt work with this new gen unit construction engine. It's for the venerable cast iron lump from two generations ago, engine-wise

  • Ash in Bali

    I like it, nice looking build. Rode an Enfield in Goa (of course) back in the early nineties. It was pretty tame but reliable and a lot of fun. I hope the cafe racer trend catches on in India, another fascinating country with millions of motorcycles and creative artisans with the skills to produce interesting customised bikes.

  • Ash in Bali

    PS: It appears Kipling enjoyed himself at the Pipeburn Palace for a round of Croquet and several rounds of Bombay Sapphire. May the sun never set on the The British Empire (the burgeoning Australian Republic excepted) and Tally Ho chaps!

  • Davo

    it confuses me how such a massive cylinder can only be 305cc….

  • Very cool bike!

  • Sizzler

    I'd like to see what they could do with the Carberry- Enfield.

  • SportsterMike

    Very good visual flow with the bright yellow – to make it look good whilst keeping the stock awkward looking frame
    Yes, for me to, those Enfields in Goa were very tempting.. until I saw how the locals drove

  • Joe Crow

    very tasty indeed…and a distinct improvement on both the standard bike and the existing cafe-racer kits already out there.

    i considered one of the cafe-racer conversions when i decided to buy a 500 bullet, but decided on a 'trials' version instead…and this is the first time in 9 years that i have doubted that decision!

  • Robert


    This bike is both an EFI model and a 350. The fireball kit is only for pre-EFI iron barrels.

    This custom is so slick. It maintains so of the key elements of the RE and yet shows itself to be quite the contemporary cafe bike. Well done. . .

  • Manmeet Khalsa

    The bike looks stunning, but there is one little thing wrong with it…. You know since its a cafe racer, don’t you think that its front foot-rest should be little backwards so that the rider can get that aerodynamic position when he rides it… in this its the same as its in Royal enfiled’s bullet.

  • arun

    ye bike 1.50 lakkh kki pdh jaegi yaa bike pe custom 1.50 lakh ka h