Custom motorcycles are nothing new; however, this re-imagining of the Royal Enfield Bullet into a V-Twin by Aniket Vardhan is a custom build that brings two worlds together in more ways than one. Inspired by the rumble of the Harley-Davidson v-twin engine, coupled with the nostalgia of Royal Enfields, the Musket was born.
Vardhan, an industrial designer turned V-Twin engine maker, brings together his love of machining and motorcycles together with the invention of the Musket V-Twin.
The 2002 Royal Enfield Bullet was the starting framework for the “998” engine redesign, with two stock top ends being added to a custom cast crankcase. Both of the resulting exhausts exit forward and sweep around. The expanded engine, along with it’s orientation, required the stretching of the frame to accommodate the doubled capacity.
The Musket “998” engine made it’s way onto an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, along with the first Musket, the “700” engine.
Vardhan starts with a 100% stock Royal Enfield, uses a handmade hardwood crankcase casting pattern to cast the bottom end, and fashions the top end from donor engines. The customization is finished off with handmade stainless steel exhaust.
The carefully chosen combination of stock and custom fabricated parts used in the creation of the Musket makes it surprisingly easy for the owners of these unique builds to maintain their very own V-Twin Musket. The industrial designer aesthetic is obvious with the placement of all components that complement, rather than compete with, the main attraction that is the V-Twin itself.
Though we see a lot of lovely, rare, and well kept vintage motorcycles; it’s not everyday something this uniquely photogenic comes galloping into our parking lot. Vardhan had come by our Throttle Co. shop to see the Royal Enfield dealership with some friends. I ended up taking some photos, some more photos and then a few more photos.
In true photographer fashion, I asked Vardhan to move the Musket at least twice to get the perfect light and background, of course (as any handmade piece of art deserves). But it’s not just for looking at. He was more than happy to oblige with my photo shoot relocation and the Musket effortlessly kicked and rode around the parking lot to where I’d pointed out the best light.
After we ohhh and ahhh’ed at the Musket, Vardhan took a turn inside the shop and talked about our vintage bikes for almost as long as we’d talked about his.
We might get to see the Musket again very soon at the Throttle Co. Bike Night on Friday August 14th. There, it will have plenty of not-so-secret admirers and jealous onlookers.
We can sure sell you a stock 2020 Royal Enfield with some nice after-market parts or accessories to make it your own.
But if you want your own truly custom one-of-a-kind V-Twin Bullet, you’ll have to go to Aniket Vardhan.