Emperor Motorcycles Retro Naut - A Royal Enfield with Retro-Modern Look

Today we are featuring a Royal Enfield modified to have retro-modern look which was made by Emperor Motorcycles from Kerala. They have named it Retro Naut.

Emperor Motorcycles Retro Naut

On Discussion with Bimal, Owner of the company, he said that stock bike is 1978 Royal Enfield, 350 cc , 4 speed transmission. Bimal told that client particularly wanted a very unique look, at the same time retain the visual identity of the enfield . The Client preferred old bullets to the new UCE models. Preferred Dark tones and even suggested matte black color. Also he wanted a wide fuel tank. And did not want the 19 inch usual skinny tyres. The bike had to be very RAW in appearance as well.

Design 

The client was a fan of the legendary Cuban rebel Che Guevara. So he decided to keep that as the main source of inspiration. Before departing for Bolivia, Che Guevara altered his appearance so he would be unrecognizable as Che Guevara. He posed under the false name Adolfo Mena Gonz├ílez as a Uruguayan businessman working for the Organization of American States. The man looks so different yet still imposes that strong, resilient and  indestructible appearance.


Bimal wanted this bike to reflect that "Sophisticated Rebel" look and feel. He did not want to put something that reflected Che very directly. He preferred a lateral approach to execute ideas associated to Che. The perforated steel mesh applied on the gear, kickstart and brake pedal was inspired from the heat shield found on rifles and the brass from bullet shells.The block tread pattern dual purpose tyres is a reminder of the "off road" life of Che.

Bimal has affection with the design elements of vintage cars and bikes so he tried to incorporate few elements of the vintage era. Like for eg. the Leather strap on the fuel tank is not just for aesthetics. It serves a purpose. The tank has been split into two and it now bolts to the chassis from only two sides which are located on the sides of the chassis. Considering the condition of Indian roads he was concerned if it would cause any fatigue induced crack at the mounting points after a few years of usage. So, He decided to use a leather strap like in good old vintage boardtarck bikes and cars. There is a loop at both sides of the center piece of the tank on which the speedometer is fixed. The belt passes through the loop and wraps around the tank. This snugly holds the tank to the chassis making it an integral part.

Although the client suggested matte black colour, Bimal went ahead with this metallic dark grey color with semi matte clear finish that gives it a certain parkerised or a gun metal look. Besides, he felt, painting the whole body matte black would not help highlight the engine since the engine was powder coated black with texture finish.

One cannot just simply look at it and walk away without having some thoughts about it swirling in your mind, whether you like or hate it..

The name

The “Naut” part of the name is sort of associated with astronaut , cosmonaut, aquanaut terms. Since this bike was a mix of old world and new world charm, it had to have a name related to that. Chrononaut was a too direct, and lacked any feel what so ever. So he refined it with “RETRO”. It instills a sense of nostalgia in the minds of the viewer.

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