Custom bike makers in India are uncommon. Come to think of it there are a few that one may have heard off but otherwise they are either not very well known or they are unfortunate enough to not have a platform to showcase their talents. Being passionate about custom builds & actually fulfilling your dream of building custom bikes is a rarity.
Customs are all about cruising in style. And Vijay Singh of Rajputana Customs, Jaipur, does make sure that he lives his dream. Custom bikes are often as unique as their owners. ‘Why settle for anything less than your custom dream ride to compliment your lifestyle.’ And having said this, Vijay began his workshop in the year 2009 and built himself his first bike ‘Original Gangster’. He decided to showcase this at the New Delhi Auto expo in 2010 for which he received a positive response & overwhelming affection for the bike. And then on began the journey of being an entrepreneur & of turning his passion in to his profession and to produce highly stylized, exquisitely detailed, awe-inspiring machines, with flawless functionality. The second bike ‘Lightfoot’ built by Vijay was commissioned to him by a very prominent Bollywood personality, John Abraham.
In pursuing of his journey from there, Vijay participated in the India Bike Week 2013 in the Biker Build-off. His team of eight members achieved tremendous success at the IBW 2013 by winning the Biker Build-off where they had to showcase and complete the customization of a bike. The competition wasn’t easy to win as there were two more teams; Game Riders from Mumbai & Transfigures from Delhi. In spite of the competition being stiff, Rajputana Customs won it with ease & we can see why in the picture below.
Sometimes one does wonder as to how you go about naming a bike. But for Vijay, it seems to come without much effort. ‘Gulail’ when translated actually means catapult or sling. A sneak peek into the expert’s mind gives us an insight to the conceptualization of this bike that’s been designed keeping the aesthetics in mind rather than its functionality. All that the client briefed Vijay & his team, was that the bike should look aggressive and should be a bobber which makes the bike a light weight. ‘Gulail’ here was built ‘on the fly’ like most Rajputana custom bikes are made, which means that Vijay doesn’t need a drawing board or an Auto Cad software to first sketch out what’s on his mind. How cool can that be?! It takes a lot of patience and skill to build a bike on the fly…building it, changing it if not satisfied and just piecing together what’s on your mind. A strong visualization process takes place here. All that Vijay needs is just a reference image and he’s raring to go! Each aspect of the bike is decided on the move or while sipping a cup of tea or probably while just mulling it all over in your head. This is what makes ‘em tick! This organic process of building bikes is what makes them the best in the country by far…a twenty percent brief is what was given to Vijay for this bike & the rest was a free reign that he got to build it & shape it. The paint scheme is sober and beautiful which give the bike an ancient look but is actually quite modern.
The bike nicknamed Gulail was built for Mr. Trivikram Singh Toor from Chandigarh and on completion it was transported to Goa for the inaugural IBW Biker Build-off. They used a 500cc Royal Enfield donor bike to start with. Apart from the 500cc RE engine, rims, & tyres everything was built at the RCM workshop. They started with building a hard-tail bobber styled frame with a twisted down tube & an aggressive looking front. Everything from the hubs, front springer suspension, headlights, gas tank, electrical housing, and fenders were custom made at the shop. Post painting the bike they added a leather seat and a few brass parts to further detail the bike. All in all ‘Gulail’ has ‘custom motorcycle’ written all over it and they were, in their words, fortunate enough to have the IBW bikers agree. In all, the bike took them two months to build, paint, detail, & test ride before IBW.
IBW as Vijay says was an excellent platform for bikers from all over the country to congregate & be a part of the bikers’ brotherhood. It was a healthy experience & they certainly look forward to being a part of it in January 2014.