Indian company Royal Enfield revealed two factory-built custom bikes at the Wheels & Waves custom bike show in Biarritz, France over the weekend. The bikes were both built in the UK and are the company’s first factory-built customs : Dirty Duck & Mo’ Powa!
The two bikes are completely different in terms of overall styling with the Dirty Duck aimed at recreating the ‘survive anything’ build quality of off-road vehicles, while the dragster-inspired Mo’ Powa features a turbocharged version of the Classic 500 engine.
The Royal Enfield Dirty Duck is aimed at emulating off-road cars and the deep-water wading snorkels they feature so they can pass through rivers without drowning the engine.
Royal Enfield says the Dirty Duck is a bike aimed at giving the impression of utilitarian toughness, and the lines of the Continental GT it is based on help to achieve that. To add to the off-road theme, there are chunky Continental TKC80 tyres on the original rims, plus an aluminium sump-guard to protect the motor and frame from any damage and increase overall durability. The frame has been shortened at the rear to accommodate a luggage rack.
The fuel tank has been rusted on purpose in order to “tell a tale of its long life of surviving adventures and make it obvious that one should not feel bad about dropping or pushing the Dirty Duck to its absolute limits”.
Royal Enfield say: “The snorkel is without a doubt the highlight of this motorcycle which has been hand crafted by the extraordinary craftsmen at Harris Performance. Additionally, the airbox has been modified to allow the passage of the straight-through exhaust.”
This turbocharged 500cc bike is Royal Enfield’s take on a drag bike, and gets a lengthened wheelbase thanks to a longer Continental GT swingarm. Add in lowered forks with stiffer springs, flattened handlebars, K-Tech twin rear shocks mounted on lower mounts, and the dragster look is complete.
A Classic 500 Royal Enfield engine is a little lacking the oomph department for drag racing of any kind so a little extra performance has been added courtesy of a turbocharger. Royal Enfield also ditched the standard fuel injection for a carburettor, removed the airbox and swapped some of the standard dials for a boost gauge and an air-fuel meter.
The front wheel has been retained while the rear is a considerably larger- than-stock Excel Rim. For some reason the stock tyres were replaced by Continental TKC70 knobbies; not exactly the sort of thing most drag bikes do but hey, this is the world of custom bikes and it’s more about the looks than performance.
The exhaust has been fabricated at Harris Performance (now owned by Enfield parent company Eicher) and has more in common with a MotoGP exhaust than the usual basic efforts seen in the custom world. The turns of the exhaust were too tight to bend as a whole so the pipe had to be constructed out of many small sections of tubing