Sin Central | Ambassador
Two years ago when I really got my American V-Twin brain wrapped around the Royal Enfield platform I fell in love with the styling of the motor. Do I wish it was a 750cc two lunger, yes, but the styling of the motor just screams old British bike! The rest of the bike’s styling is great but it’s the motor that has captured my attention. After digging into the company’s history I realized the brand never had its 1970’s chopper hay day. All the British bikes got to live life as long, skinny crazy creations but Royal Enfield just missed that part of motorcycle culture.
“After digging into the company’s history I realized the brand never had its 1970’s chopper hay day.”
The Continental GT that Royal Enfield NA provided me deserved a better life as a complete bike. But I knew that 535cc motor was begging to be thrown into a long, skinny chopper. The 70s didn’t offer up a lot of custom motorcycle parts to the masses. Arlen Ness, Dave Perewitz and their buds had to modify parts off of other bikes or build what they had in their heads. And it’s with that in mind that I attacked the build. The frame is a one off with a 6 inch engine cradle, 8 inch wide rear end attached to a 10 inch over girder front end with a spool wheel out front and a 19” dual disc narrow hub sporty wheel out back. An exaggerated gooseneck on the frame harkens back to the Digger as does the prism tank. The seat pan comes up to shroud the driver seat just a bit while the passenger rides on a really thin narrow strip of “how much further.” The rear fender first lived life on a 1973 vintage cruiser but has now been cut, trimmed, beaten, welded and rolled as an homage to the early bike builders recycle, repurpose, reuse ethos.
“But it’s going to do what I wanted. It’s going to give that Royal Enfield brand a proper chopper.”
This bike is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It is an era specific bike that pushes form far ahead of function. The paint, by Darren Williams of Liquid Illusions down in Kansas City, will have as much to do with performance as the 10 ½ feet of length the bike has and the 48 degrees of rake. But it’s going to do what I wanted. It’s going to give that Royal Enfield brand a proper chopper.
Chop Docs, no doubt, will build something sensible. Ron Harris will play it safe and build a café racer or board track racer out of a bike that already had a café racer, board track racer stance. He’s a great painter so it’ll be pretty and it’ll be clean. But will it have soul? Will it have a personality? Will it look significantly different than anything else builders have done with a Royal Enfield? I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to see. Sin Central Garage looks for the unusual to create the incredible. When we see a nice ’69 Mustang convertible we go out and find a ’69 Mercury Cougar convertible to show it up. When restoration and vintage rods are popular we restomod a 1962 Cadillac (4 door, oh yeah) with an LS motor. And when given a sexy new Royal Enfield engine we build a 70s style chopper. Be Bold, It’s Beautiful!