“Lose your mind, find your soul…”
This is the motto of La Ruta del Nabab, an invitation-only rally across 1000 kilometers of Moroccan roads, trails, dunes, and creeks, scheduled to run May 28 – June 7, 2022. The event began in 2020, with a fleet of scramblers and adventure bikes tearing across the entire Iberian Peninsula, coast to coast, riding from Barcelona to Lisbon. Now that the world has opened up significantly, they’ll be taking their stampede of knobby-tired stallions south, across the Strait of Gibraltar to the storied landscape of Morocco.
Recently, we heard from our friend Giorgio De Angelis of Rome’s De Angelis Elaborazioni — one of our favorite Italian builders. He built one of the most popular builds we’ve ever featured, a BMW K1100 cafe racer that’s inspired K-bike builders all over the world, and in 2019, he rode in another trans-Moroccan rally, Scram Africa, on a custom Honda FMX 650 desert sled we featured.
Now Giorgio is gearing up for La Ruta del Nabab 2022, and he’s customized a new machine for the journey. This time it’s a Royal Enfield Himalayan, the company’s middleweight single-cylinder adventure bike. On paper, the 411cc air-cooled machine may not raise the pulse like the latest gizmo-sprouted BMW GS, but the Enfield has proven itself even among ADV aficionados:
“Ever since the Himalayan came to North America in 2018, it has exceeded our expectations with the capability, versatility and style it offers in a $5,000 adventure bike.” —ADV Pulse
It’s also proven itself as a versatile canvas for customization. In this case, Giorgio focused on light weight and function, fitting lighter bodywork, a handmade headlight mount and instrumentation panel, and a high-rise handlebar with hand protection. He replaced the passenger seat with a luggage rack, lightening the original rear section, and fitted Mitas knobbies.
The engine now boasts a tuning module and handmade titanium high exhaust, and he disabled the ABS for better off-road control. Below, Giorgio gives us more details on the build, along with photos from VD Photo.
“The Legend” Himalayan: In the Builder’s Words…
The bike was developed for La Ruta Del Nabab; it will have to face more than 1000km of Moroccan roads between sandy roads, stony ground, dirt and fords.
It has been completely lightened by all its original fairings and a completely handcrafted front structure has been mounted, which maintains a homologated headlight and all the original instruments. A 28/22 mm variable section handlebar with high risers and hand protection has been mounted. The rear has also been lightened and a luggage rack structure has been fitted to replace the passenger seat.
Obviously, Mitas branded knobby wheels could not be missing.
To give the engine more sprint, an additional control unit and a completely handcrafted titanium high exhaust were installed.
Oh, I almost forgot: all the ABS was eliminated and customized direct brake hoses from the Frentubo were installed.
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