It’s a matter of pride to own a motorcycle, but owning a customised bike reflects one’s perseverance and hunger for biking. Getting that unique shape, graphics, or sound on your bike is a way to reveal one’s admiration for two-wheeled machines.
Uncle Bunt, Arlen Ness and Ben Hardy, became known as the forefathers of custom motorcycles. They built the iconic FLH ‘Captain America’ for Peter Fonda, an American actor. Crafting Chopper machines, these guys declared that a motorcycle could be a work of art in its own right.
Taking art to its next level are some Indian bike modifiers for whom recreating a motorbike is not just a job, but a dream come true.
Rajputana Custom Motorcycles, Jaipur
Owned by Vijay Singh, this small outfit was formed in Jaipur in 2009. The company transforms stock bikes as well as assembles them from scratch. Their first piece of art was a Royal Enfield Classic 350cc, and was named Original Gangster. Vijay Singh exhibited that bike at the 2010 Delhi Auto Expo and received rave reviews.
After that day, the next bright day for Singh was when a mutual friend of his introduced him to John Abraham. The actor became his first customer and commissioned a board track racer – a lightweight, narrow framed motorcycle – which Singh nicknamed the Lightfoot. After that, from bike to bike and strength to strength, he became a popular name in the automobile industry.
Old Delhi Motorcycles, Delhi
Bobbee Singh, the founder of Old Delhi Motorcycles, is deeply in love with Royal Enfield bikes. He believes that the metal, the pulsating sound that emanates from it, and the feeling of the bike starting makes his heart beat. He calls his bike – The Indian Sweetheart. What he does is purchases vintage Royal Enfield bikes – snags them – restores them – and sells them to a global customer base. Bobbee is fond of British bikes like Norton, BSA, Triumph, besides Royal Enfield and likes to work on vintage pieces. His company works on about 15-20 bikes annually, each of which costs between rupees 3.5 to 5 lakh.
TJ Moto, Delhi
TJ a.k.a Tushar Jaitley, started his company in 2012 when he came back to India after studying automobile design at Turin’s Istituto Europeo di Design. TJ’s first project was chopping up his own Harley Davidson Iron 883. He is inspired by the minimalistic approach of American motorcycle builder Indian Larry, known for his old-school choppers.
On an average, he charges rupees 6 to 8 lakh for doing up a bike. The custom-made parts that he uses in the modification are from firms like Vince & Hines, Roland Sands and indie bike builders he finds online. Besides that, he also likes crafting various components required for customisation.
If you’re among those who don’t like settling for the regular, these bike modifiers will help you unsettle – be unique – and make your bike sensational.
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