Australian Royal Enfield dealer Mid Life Cycles builds a lovely bobtail special using a Classic 350 as its starting point.
Mid Life Cycles Royal Enfield RE350 Brass Rajah
Engine: 346cc air-cooled OHV single, 70mm x 90mm bore and stroke, 8.5:1 compression ratio, 19.8hp @ 5,250rpm
Top speed: 80mph (est.)
Carburetion: 29mm Royal Enfield CV
Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: 12v, electronic ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Dual downtube steel cradle/56.9in (1,445mm)
Suspension: 35mm telescopic forks front, dual non-adjustable shocks rear
Brakes: 11in (280mm) disc front, 6in (153mm) SLS drum brake rear
Tires: 4 x 19in front and rear
Weight (dry): 269.6lb (168kg)
Price: $11,500-$15,300 U.S.
Royal Enfield’s status as a manufacturer whose product line consists of making yesterday live again means that its bikes naturally lend themselves to period customizing. Except you don’t need to worry about rejuvenating the worn-out mechanics of a yesteryear model when building a custom Enfield — just take a brand-new bike off a dealer’s showroom floor, and you’re ready to go.
Enfields have been featured in bike building competitions all over the world, and last year RE’s Down Under distributor, Urban Moto Imports, staged a RE-only bike build-off. Mid Life Cycles of Melbourne, Australia, conceived and created this delectable bobtail “Brass Rajah” Royal Enfield 350 — one of eight entries for the contest from RE dealerships in both Oz and New Zealand, which had to be entirely constructed within a 31-day period, using a Classic 350cc model as the basis. (All the entrants’ bikes can be viewed by visiting the Royal Enfield Australia and New Zealand Facebook page, or by tracking #royalenfieldausnz on Instagram).
Yet even though it only gained the runner-up slot in the final judging, losing out to Royal Enfield Sydney’s entry named Rough Cut, which narrowly won the online voting, there has been demand for copies of the Rajah. Mid Life Cycles CEO Michael Catchpole decided to construct a series of these to special order, meaning that each bike can be tailored to the tastes of its buyer.
“Royal Enfield Sydney won the competition with a good bike that was very well marketed, and was all over social media,” Michael says. “Our friendly rivalry extended to the last two hours of voting, but the outcome was they got the nod, and good luck to them. But as a company that started out as a classic bike restorer and custom bike builder, from our point of view we achieved the purpose of showing what we could do with a Royal Enfield Classic. So we were delighted when after that the online custom motorcycle blog Pipeburn nominated us to be part of the judging for their 2016 Bike of the Year. What’s more, we made the top 10 in the final judging, which was a vindication of what we’d set out to do. That led to significant pressure from potential customers to buy Brass Rajah replicas, and we’re building two such bikes, plus we’re in final discussions for a third, all within the $11,500-$15,300 U.S. price range for a brand-new Brass Rajah bobber as either a 350 or 500. One of the first two is not perhaps as ambitious as the show bike, and is being built for an owner who wants to ride it in a country town without drawing too much police attention — while getting lots of the good kind! So his would be what we’ll call a Rajah Lite, whereas the other one is an absolutely loaded full-on build with everything included, and a bit more besides.
Order the September/October 2017 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the Mid Life Cycles Royal Enfield 350. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.