OrMotors transforms a wrecked Continental GT into the “Scram Rally.”
Our friends at Fuel Motorcycles recently celebrated the 10th running of the Scram Africa rally — a ~10-day, 2500-km ride across the rugged mountains and vast deserts of Morocco. The route changes from year to year, but riders are sure to encounter a challenging terrain of dunes, mountain trails, river and creek crossings, desert oases, and isolated villages before making it across the finish line.
The grueling nature of the Scram Africa is rewarded with epic beauty, unforgettable memories, and a deep camaraderie forged between its riders. There’s a taste of the old Paris Dakar days in the style of the event, which is restricted to just two classes of bikes: production scramblers and customs.
We’ve featured several custom Scram Africa bikes over the years, and they’re consistently some of our favorite builds, as they’re designed not only to capture the style of the event, but to survive the rigors of the rally itself — more than 1500 miles in some of the most challenging conditions known to two wheels.
Recently, our friend Orion Porta of France’s OrMotors decided to build a bike of his own for the event. Orion became a professional dealer after three decades of building customs, which heavily influenced his choice of franchise:
“I chose the Royal Enfield brand because…they were born to be transformed.”
Orion has certainly proved his case with this “Scram Rally” build. Instead of opting to start with the more obvious choice of Enfield’s 411cc single-cylinder Himalayan adventure bike, Orion got his hands on a wrecked 2020 Continental GT 650 — the company’s production café racer!
This gave him the power advantage of the larger 650cc parallel-twin…and the undeniable cool factor of performing such a radical transformation. Little of this café racer’s past life remains. Up front, the bike has been outfitted with a set of Himalayan forks, packing a YSS suspension kit to compensate for the 650’s added weight, and a 21-inch front wheel — de rigeur for serious off-roading.
The rear suspension was a challenge. Orion and crew adjusted the shock mounting points on the swingarm and opted for a set of longer shock absorbers from The Magicals — overall, they gained about 10cm (4 inches) in ride height.
Meanwhile, the rear subframe was shortened, and now features a luggage rack and thickly-cushioned comfort seat for those long days in the saddle.
Orion worked with a number of partners on the build: Bonvent Motorbikes for bodywork, Black Pines for the crash-bars and engine guard, Hedgehog Motorcycles for the side covers and headers, KUST Players for the muffler, MKC Kustom for the paint, and Fabian Malo (@v_brations) for the photography.
As you might imagine, the riding experience has been transformed just as radically as the design:
“It’s very different. Very high, very agile with the weight reduction, and it has the ability to jump and absorb shock. But it’s not so easy like an enduro bike 😊”
Unfortunately, family and work got in the way of Orion’s 2023 Scram Africa dreams, but he’s keen to make the ride next year. Here’s to Scram Africa 2024 and many more off-road trips to boot, Orion!
Royal Enfield “Scram Rally”: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
It’s a Royal Enfield Continental GT 650cc 2020 — involved in a big crash!
• Why was this bike built?
I made this bike to go on the Scram Africa to Morocco with Fuel Motorcycles, but in the end I couldn’t find the time with my job and family to go this year. I have imagined all the parts I’d need for the desert.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I love the 80’s trail bikes and I tried to make a new bike in this spirit.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We’ve swapped in a Royal Enfield Himalayan fork with YSS suspension kit and a 21-inch Himalayan front wheel.
The high rear shocks are from The Magicals, and we moved the shock mounting points on the swinging arm. We gained 10 centimeters relative to the ground.
We cut the rear subframe and added a luggage rack and a comfort seat.
We worked with Bonvent Motorbikes on the bodywork: tank cover in fiberglass, headlight plate, etc.
Black Pines made the crashbar and engine guard especially for this bike, in order to protect the machine in case of a fall.
The exhaust headers and the side covers come from Hedgehog Motorcycles.
The silencer was handmade by KUST Players.
Paintwork by @mkckustom66.
Renthal handlebar, Mash mudguard, Michelin enduro tyres, and some other accessories.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride, especially compared to the original?
It’s very different, very high, agile with the weight reduction, and it has the ability to jump and absorb shock. But it’s not so easy like an enduro bike 😊
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
It was a good collaboration with various partners to do a very cool bike and functional. Not easy to make a functional bike with style. I hope i can do the Scram Africa next year and lot of off-road trips with this bike.