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ADV NewsRoyal Enfield And MotoExotica Partner to Build Ultimate Himalayan

Royal Enfield And MotoExotica Partner to Build Ultimate Himalayan

The popular adventurer gets a performance boost and full carbon fiber treatment.

Published on 12.20.2022

For Indian builder Arjun Raina, founder of MotoExotica, a custom house nestled in the Himalayan foothills, motorcycles are more than insensate machines. His latest build for example, dubbed the Ultimate Himalayan, was inspired not by a particular look or performance goal, but rather, how it might serve as a perfect companion for Raina’s regular adventures in the mountains where he was born and raised. 

“I would consider myself a mountain goat,” he says. “So this motorcycle is a reflection of me.” He adds that the intention was never about building a bike that would conquer the Himalayas, but instead, bringing to life a sidekick that would enhance his riding experience. He wanted to exemplify how a motorcycle and its rider can connect so completely they become “a single entity.” 

Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build

And while you’re creating an object that’s a reflection of yourself, no shame making it look as sexy as possible, too, although the undeniable visual appeal of this custom was a goal secondary to improving the bike’s performance. Arjun says he and his team were clear on a few things. They were looking for improved power, aggressive suspension and stronger brakes, as well as weight reduction and ergonomics suited for aggressive off-road riding. 

Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build

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All the work was done in-house at the MotoExotica facility in Dehradun, which according to Royal Enfield’s Custom World (a program that supports and showcases the vision of hand-picked builders), is a full-fledged prototyping center using ultra modern techniques in its design and production processes. 

To enhance the RE’s power output, the Ultimate Himalayan’s stock 411cc single was bored to 500cc and fitted with a high lift camshaft. A standalone, programmable ECU allows for adaptable power management, while a completely custom copper-hued exhaust system does double duty as a visual highlight. 

Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build

The bike’s stock suspension was swapped with a re-valved long travel upside-down fork from WP and custom swingarm with a direct mount, fully adjustable rear mono shock. For better control, the front brake was upgraded from a 300mm disc with 2-pot calipers to a 320mm with 4 pistons. As for wheels, the stock 17” spoked rear was swapped for an 18 incher, and paired up with a 21” front. Both are shod in rally-spec knobbies. 

Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build

When it came to shedding weight, Raina and his crew landed on the idea of molding an entirely new fairing and body panels using carbon fiber. As you can imagine, this was the most challenging aspect of the build, requiring not only artistic sense and skill, but high-tech CAD and CNC equipment and the experience to use it. 

In an added challenge relating to the use of carbon fiber, the team decided to apply a topographical map of Mount Everest, “because that symbolized the ultimate Himalaya, so that goes with the Ultimate Himalayan theme.” The wrench was that traditional vinyl graphics won’t adhere to carbon fiber so the design had to be meticulously hand painted onto the fairing and carbon-shrouded aluminum fuel tank. 

Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build

As for the overall aesthetic, Raina says while he envisioned an evolved machine, he also wanted people to look at the bike and know right away it was a Himalayan. Therefore, great attention was paid to preserving the bike’s quirky silhouette, for example, by retaining the distinct round headlamp shape. Yet within that shape live two diagonal rows of marble-like LED lights to give the bike an edgy vibe. Behind the small windscreen all the RE instrumentation was removed and symbolically replaced in its entirety by a Garmin GPS.

Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build
Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build

The Ultimate Himalayan’s custom aluminum fuel tank also echoes the standard bike’s silhouette, even though in reality it’s quite different and larger. A simple, earth tone seat lends a muted quality to the machine, which is exactly what Raina was after. “You can feel every bit and piece of the mountains,” he says of the color tones and overall look. “It’s meant to blend in and be subtle, yet be strong in its own element.”

Ultimate Royal Enfield Himalayan bike build

As for the large G.O.A.T. graphic, it surely holds a double meaning. Most will assume that as the “Ultimate Himalayan” it’s not a stretch to nickname the bike the Greatest of All Time. Or we can remember that its creator and owner, Arjun Raina, is a self-proclaimed mountain goat and this bike, his carbon fiber and steel alter ego. 

Either way, this custom looks like it wants to take on some mountain trails, and do it with style. 

Photos courtesy of Moto Exotica

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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Joe John
Joe John
December 20, 2022 12:33 pm

I’d rather have a tricked out xr650l. I think that is closer in spirit to the final project here.

Randy
Randy
December 20, 2022 8:34 pm

Excellent work, beautiful, functional and unique.

Bob
Bob
December 21, 2022 10:00 am

Royal, please put your 650 single motor in the Himalayan frame. Make it available in the USA. Thank You!

Prasenjit Debroy
Prasenjit Debroy
December 21, 2022 10:51 am
Reply to  Bob

The 650 is a parallel twin motor buddy.

Bob
Bob
December 23, 2022 3:07 pm

Thank you! That makes the bored out big single shown here, more interesting.

ronen berman
ronen berman
December 22, 2022 10:36 am

Fantastic work

Moh Chow
Moh Chow
December 23, 2022 8:22 pm

Looks nice for a single rider with no luggage. I’d be interested to see what additional accesories there are for this and when it will be launched globally.

Carl
Carl
December 25, 2022 6:18 pm

Nope! Even bored out, it’s just not gonna happen. RE needs to put the 650 twin in it or no deal

James Bagley
James Bagley
December 30, 2022 1:39 pm

Cool bike.

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