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June 7th, 2017

If there’s one thing a Royal Enfield stands apart for, it has to be the thump from its big piston, long stroke engine. The modern classic motorcycle has its distinct chug that is instantly recognisable from afar. It’s this bespoke identity of the Royal Enfield that quickly imparts on to its rider as well. This unique combination of character and intellect presents itself quite differently when it comes to voicing an opinion. Something the Royal Enfield 350 “Swar” is all about.

Customising motorcycles in Nepal isn’t exactly legal, specially in the capital city of Kathmandu. While the Ministry of Transport has declared modifying motorcycles illegal, they have hardly given any concrete reasoning for doing so. Raajib Sayami and many other passionate motorcyclist can only wait and hope that one day, this handicap will be lifted. Till then, Raajib voices his rebellion quietly by building more custom motorcycles, dedicating each of them as an addition to the Nepali motorcycle community’s voice, or “Swar” as they call it locally, who want freedom to ride their machines the way they want to.

“Swar” is a 2004 Royal Enfield 350 created by Raajib at RS Moto, a Kathmandu-based custom atelier who have created some beautiful custom machines in the past. The Royal Enfield takes Raajib back to his early days with the Indo-British thumper. It was a Royal Enfield that started Raajib’s love affair with motorcycles and brought him to wrenching motorcycles, understanding the difference between what works and what doesn’t when putting together a custom build.

“Swar” is everything one would want from a hand-built machine – rustic, charming and full of intricate details. It took Raajib nearly three months to complete the build, a time well spend once you have a look at the way the final product presents itself. The clutch casing is beautifully engraved, and is the only part on the entire custom Royal Enfield build that was outsourced by RS Moto along with the leather seat cover. The clutch casing was worked upon by a local statue engraver going by the name of Raju, while the leather seat cover was stitched by Latido Leather while the design was provided by Raajib himself.

The seat plate and cushion was made in-house by RS Moto, along with the air filter and battery box cover, both of which are made out of copper. To match the copper finish Raajib has plated the footpegs, fender holds and small components in gold, which is also a great way to contrast against the silver fuel tank and side panel. The front and rear fenders along with the speedometer cover are also made in copper and are hand-beaten to shape giving them a distinct undulated look. “Swar” is kept suspended on WP forks at the front, while the rear gets a set of Paioli piggyback shocks mounted upside-down, both connected to a pair of Firestone tyres.

With custom motorcycles like the “Swar” Royal Enfield 350 and builders like RS Moto, it is clear that there is incredible talent in Nepal. Hopefully Raajib’s drive to make gorgeous custom motorcycles encourages others across the Nepal and seeing the enthusiasm, passion and talent that the country has, the Nepalese government considers abolishing their current stand on custom motorcycles.

Images via RS Moto

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