You would’ve probably read about a few customised motorcycles from Transfigure Custom House somewhere on our motoring portal in the past. But what exactly goes behind a custom build? Building a custom motorcycle is much more complicated than we could ever imagine. We recently caught up with Transfigure Custom House’s Founder Adil Dumasia to learn the insights of the motorcycle customisation industry and his venture. Here’s an edited script of Dumasia’s interview with Motoroids.
Q: Let’s start with your Company. Tell us about Transfigure Custom House, the story behind it.
Transfigure Custom House was officially started in January 2012. I am basically an ex-merchant navy captain and I was always inclined to creating new stuff, may it be motorcycles or interiors for homes. I loved creating and that gave me a kick. I also love creating new recipes, enjoy cooking too. So building motorcycles was never planned, it just happened casually and I went with the flow and gave up sailing.
Q: What inspires you to design a specific motorcycle? How does the idea become a blueprint and eventually a motorcycle?
I start with talking to the client, understanding his likes, riding style, personality, structure, and various such factors. Some clients have a fair bit of idea about what they want but they don’t know how would I proceed technically and what kind of detailing would go into building it. On the other side, there are clients who come with a blank mind and give me a free hand to design and build the way I want. Some have a budget constraint while some do not. My best combination is a blank client with no budget restriction because that helps me create the best without any restrictions. So sometimes I don’t even draw or design a bike as the blueprint is in my head (hard drive). The journey from a thought to a design to fabricating each part and then getting a complete custom bike successfully riding on the road without issues gives me the best feeling. I feel like creating better stuff every time.
Q: For many custom motorcycle builders, every project holds a special value. You have built dozens of motorcycles till now. Which has been your most favourite built and what is the story behind it?
I have built 48 completely custom built motorcycles while small odd projects for friends would account to about 15. I can’t pin point only one project but a can name a few like the Nirvana, Rudraveerya, Mauri Warrior, Renegade, Aeron, Joker and Troy. Each one has a character of its own. Out of these two are my own – Mauri Warrior is a custom RE 500 which has Mauri tattoo concept and is completely built from scratch. Troy – Custom Harley Davidson Forty Eight 1200cc has another warrior concept of Archilles as Troy, again built from scratch. Both these bikes depict me as a warrior.
Q: Are the modifications limited to visuals or do you offer mechanical upgrades too?
When I design and build, there are three things that are at the core of the project – Safety, visuals and practicality. I don’t concentrate only on looks. For me, a custom bike has to be safe and practical to ride else what’s the point in making a beautiful bike if one can’t ride it safely and practically. I don’t believe in engine upgrades but I do some technical work with sprockets, air intake and exhaust so that even when some extra weight goes into building the bike, it still doesn’t feel sluggish.
Q: Many folks are uninformed about the RTO rules and are skeptical about customising their motorcycles. Can you enlighten the readers about the RTO rules about custom built motorcycles?
RTO rules is a very grey area as no rules are well defined or marked as certain things can be done while certain can’t be. Our authorities should be more lenient to customisation and they should set parameters about safety and ride quality, vehicles should be re-inspected and then should be given certificate to be “Street legal”.
Q: How far do you think Indian customization culture has come along and where do you think it’s headed?
Customisation has indeed come a long way. The very fact that I have built 48 custom motorcycles in five years itself states that its good but I hope it gets better. Though I doubt that because there is a very miniscule number of motorcycle enthusiasts who appreciate custom work and most of riders evaluate customisation with the actual material used on the bike but don’t calculate the engineering, time factor and the art of building something unique every time. Plus these days there are most motorcycle brands that have presence in the Indian market, people who have the money will buy the high-end bikes and would not want to spend money on customisation and rather wait for three-four months for the same. Hence I don’t see a very bright future in India unless people see customisation with a different perspective.
Q: Where do you see yourself stand today in the global customization scene?
In November and December 2015 I was part of 2 Luxury shows in UAE, I shipped 2 custom built Royal Enfields and I had an awesome response. The only strong feedback I received from there for the UAE market was to build custom Harleys and that too not below 1200cc. Hence now I’m preparing for another strong presence there.
Q: Lastly, what message would you give to aspiring custom motorcycle builders?
All I can say to the new aspiring custom bike builders is that don’t just concentrate on looks, make sure your build is safe and road worthy.