A CL500 scrambler from the Land of the Gods…
Tucked in the far north of India, in the mountain state of Uttarakhand — known as the “Land of the Gods” — is a small crew of craftsmen building some of the most innovative, interesting customs on the planet: Moto Exotica. Founded by Arjun Raina some five years ago, Moto Exotica seems to bear the influence of the Himalayan range in which it’s located. The team is largely self-sufficient, not outsourcing any work, and they often ride off-road through these harsh, rugged, beautiful mountains — giving them a unique perspective on scrambler and enduro builds.
“We are a very small family, all of us multitask and strive to excel at each project. The focus remains on fast, performance-oriented builds.”
That influence is seen in this Royal Enfield Classic 500 “Urban Scrambler,” showcased last month at Rider Mania 2018 — a three-day festival for Royal Enfield enthusiasts from all over the world. While the CL500 is one of the world’s most customized bikes, most scrambler builds consist of modifications that are as much cosmetic as functional.
Not so for this build. Arjun and the team built a complete custom chassis, complete with a custom engine damper to keep vibration in check, as the air-cooled 500cc single has been tuned to rev over 6000 rpm. The bike now has an oil cooling system, a high-performance Keihin carb, hydraulic clutch, tuned multi-section exhaust, and “true blue” enduro suspension. Says Arjun:
“The design intention was to build a very modern street scrambler, that would completely feel at home while negotiating a trail with your buddies or urban commuting.”
Below, we get the full story on this staggering CL500.
Classic 500 Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
Of fire and passion, of love and and sweat! The best is yet to arrive!
A long pending build, seems to arrive at a beautiful conclusion…
Few years back we bought a CL500 from a close friend. The build started fairly quick, but stopped for no apparent reason except for the fact we intended it to be grander than it was taking shape… A dark unattended cover was chosen at the shop and the work so far was dumped there.
A few RD350 cafe racers and scramblers later, we got into a conversation with Royal Enfield Rider Mania team to build a slick urban scrambler to showcase at Rider Mania 2018.
The RE Classic 500 is certainly the most modified motorcycle around the globe. Our intention with this build here is to instill freshness to this saga. The design intention was to build a very modern street scrambler, that would completely feel at home while negotiating a trail with your buddies or urban commuting.
We have a very modern approach to this build: a complete custom chassis, a removable sub frame, under-seat tuned exhaust system, Enduro suspension — all contribute to an upright comfortable ride.
On the performance front, we added oil cooling, a Keihin FCR carb for better throttle response and more power. The engine cradle runs a custom damper to keep those vibes in check as we make the CL500 rev well over the 6k mark.
The result is a stunning lightweight scrambler, that does manage to retain the Enfield flavor and weigh itself well among the modern sharp urban scenery.
Royal Enfield CL500 Street Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
It’s been over five years we started to build custom bikes. We are a very small family, all of us multitask and strive to excel at each project. The focus remains on fast, performance-oriented builds. We are tucked away in the far north of India in the mountain state of Uttarakhand, We run a very detailed chop shop to the point that no job is outsourced here.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
2011 Royal Enfield Classic 500 EFI.
• Why was this bike built?
The bike was showcased at the Royal Enfield Rider Mania Festival in Goa, india.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The idea was to bring the Enfield with its old world charm to a modern platform, to the likes of modern street fighter singles.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Complete custom chassis, true blue scrambler suspension, addition of oil cooling, a radical carburetor replaces the stock FI system, a tuned multi section exhaust system, hydraulic clutch conversion, state of the art brakes.
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Yes, the complete custom frame which is heavily inspired from enduro motorcycles was quite a task as the Enfield motor is quite large in size.