One of our favourite bikes we have featured this year was the elegant Royal Enfield Bullet 500 built by the very talented Max Hazan from Hazan Motorworks. The bike was pure class and had a level of craftsmanship we rarely see. This film gives us a look into Max's world and his passion for building these bespoke motorcycles from his Brooklyn based workshop. You can tell he loves what he does and is the first to admit he is one hell of a lucky guy to be making a career from it. A lot of people dream of chucking in that desk job, Max is actually living that dream.
Entries in Royal Enfield (15)
When Numero Uno Jeans were looking for the numero uno bike builder in India to build them a café racer, they were told to visit Rajputana Customs. Even though Rajputana hadn't built a café racer before, they had the credentials and were keen to build something a little different from their past projects. Numero Uno were pretty loose with their brief. It had to be a café racer, it also had to use the Numero Uno colors and it had to have a few branding details – so people knew it was a Numero Uno bike. Vijay and the guys from Rajputana started with the classic Indian donor bike – the 500cc Royal Enfield. “This is our first full-blown café racer and we hope to build a few more of these in the years to come” says Vijay. The bike took them three months to build and all for the very palatable cost of 450,000 Rupee, which works out to be around $8000 – not bad for a fully customised, ground up build.
Here's a little piece of motorcycling trivia for you. Do you know why riders in the '40s and '50s ended up wearing flying jackets and aviator goggles? Give up? It's because many of the English and American guys who'd flown planes in WWII took up motorcycling as something to do after the war was over. It not only put a little thrill into their comparatively dull civilian lives, but forming clubs that met and rode regularly was a good way to stay in touch with airforce buddies. So in many ways, the biking culture that we all enjoy today was a product of bored flyboys. And what better way to acknowledge this than to build a bike that's a lot more khaki canteen than it is café. Here's the ‘Fox’, Old Empire Motorcycles’ latest build.
A quick list of major German accomplishments. Kraftwerk. Krautrock. Sausages. Beer. BMW. Autobahns. Rockets. Rotary engines. Jet fighters. Printing presses. Diesel engines. Boxer engines. Cocaine. Amphetamines. Morphine. Asprin. MP3s. Record players. Tape recorders. The pill. Toothpaste. X-ray machines. Geiger counters. Zeppelins. VWs. Helicopters. Television. The theory of relativity. Computers. Gliders. Cars. Motorbikes. Oh - and this bobber. OK guys. Enough's enough. Now you're just showing off.
You want another bike, and you want it bad. But you know the awkward, tense, likely-to-be-sleeping-on-the-couch discussion with your partner about the money that you should be spending on the mortgage/rent/credit card payments will be a killer. The more ordinary amongst us would probably leave it at that. God knows I would. But not one Mohit Sharma from a little place west of Asia you may have heard of called "India". See, when he wanted a new bike for his stable, he didn't ask the misses. Oh no. As a matter of fact he didn't tell her at all; what he did was build this here bike you see before you and then give it to her as an anniversary present. Genius or what? We're pretty sure the Nobel Prize doesn't have a "Contributions to Bike Collecting" category, but if it did then this Sharma dude would be a dead cert.
The country Nepal is probably most famous for that rather large hill they call Everest. Known to the locals as 'Sagarmatha', or 'Goddess of the sky'. The thing they are probably least famous for is their killer death metal bands. Oh - and building custom motorcycles. As we recently learnt, there's a reason for this. Any type of of motorcycle modification is strictly prohibited by the Nepalese Government. Not one to thrive living inside the rules, Sergey Egorov decided to chance it and build one of the first truly custom bikes in Nepal. This is the story about the bike named 'Himalayan Outlaw' or as we'd like to call her if we magically got naming rights, 'Goddess of the street'.
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..."
When I first came across photos of this beautiful scrambler with the script "McDeeb" painted on the tank, I pictured a small company in the countryside of England, producing some classically-styled machines. After doing a bit of research and finally getting in contact with the owner, I realised how off the mark I was. Fabrizio Di Bella (AKA McDeeb) turns out to be an Italian with a penchant for Royal Enfields and classic motorcycles. Fabrizio has had an impressive career in the Italian motorcycle industry. "My career began as a motocross and road test-driver for some motorcycle magazines" Fabrizio says. "My technical background was formed mainly in R&D in the Kawasaki off-road and ATV's Italian branch". Then twelve years ago he got sick of working for 'the man' and decided to start his own garage and workshop which he called Classic Farm Motorcycles.
This bike, believe it or not, was a wedding gift. No, it wasn't on the gift registry but the soon-to-be groom Subhayou Nayak decided to buy himself a little present before the big day. Smart guy. So he commissioned Vijay Singh and his team at Rajputana Customs in India to build him something special. The brief for the bike was pretty straight forward. "Subhayou specified that he wanted an old-school-looking fatty, with a 300mm rear tyre and a Royal Enfield 500cc engine" said Vijay. Apart from that, they could pretty much do what they wanted.