In a non-pretentious way the Royal Enfield Himalayan came ‘wisely-set.
Create a character-rich agile and definitely lighter scrambler to delight the 20yr old rider-heart in everyone.
I had the responsibility of retaining the off-road/dual-purpose DNA of the stock motorcycle
The Build process:
After hacking off a few body-parts –I was pleasantly surprised with the build quality and the components on the stock machine. The rear hoop was shortened and remade to match my sketch. To get the stance, I swapped the extremely lanky flimsy 21″ front rim with an 18” aluminium rim but retained the height with 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 the way to go.
The exhaust was re-routed and I found an interesting muffler that was well-built and did not weigh an island. Up-next was the decisive tank, completely hand built from bare sheet metal. Bigger but not visually overbearing, I played with the width at various points, looking closely one can tell how it holds 19 liters of fuel yet looks like a much smaller tank. I had spent multiple sleepless nights to get the exact shape and finish. Once convinced, it was time for the (multiple) headlamp set-up.
A new headlamp set-up with some added illumination provided the menacing character we were going for. The alluminium headlamp frame was built from scratch along with the dash-board cover and grill. 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 fried 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). A hand bent front fender, new springs for the front suspension, a bigger rear sprocket were amongst the many smaller details that went onto making it a thorough-bred custom job.
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. A custom gas cap, hand stitched leather seat and a side bag matched the cross bar cover to round-up the aesthetic continuity of the build. For a small single cylinder engine like this one, I could confidently say that the motorcycle delivers a certain kind of childish joy welcoming every rider to gear-up and take it to the trails.
“Who said scramblers cannot be good looking ?!?’