The flying squad of the Navi Mumbai RTO seems to be on its toes when it comes to illegal modifications. Motoroids had earlier reported many instances of modified vehicles being seized by this flying squad and now yet another vehicle that makes it to the list is an illegally modified Royal Enfield Electra 350.
The Flying Squad of the Navi Mumbai RTO had earlier seized a Mahindra Scorpio modified into a Hummer limousine, an illegally modified Maruti 1000 and so on. Coming to the Royal Enfield Electra, the bike bearing registration number MH-01-QA-4244 was seized today from a building in Vikhroli. The person in possession of the vehicle, identified as Rajesh Bhingarde neither had any documents related to the motorcycle nor the details of the owner.
Originally a Royal Enfield Electra, this motorcycle featured a number of changes that included modifying the O.E.M. chassis into a design of a chopper, replacing the original suspension with a swing arm to accommodate a wider tyre and replacing the original chain drive with a belt drive. The rear wheel brakes were altered or replaced and the wheelbase of the bike was increased. The aforementioned changes or modifications were found to be in violation of the Motor Vehicles rules.
Anandram Wagle, Inspector from the Flying Squad, Navi Mumbai RTO said, “In the motor vehicle laws of the land, there are prescribed testing agencies under the Central Motor Vehicles Rule 126 which are entrusted the responsibility of testing every prototype manufactured in India and for homologation of vehicles imported. Every vehicle manufacturer is required to have their model type approved from any of the agencies pertaining to safety, road-worthiness and emission standards et al. No end user is permitted by law to carry out modifications in a type approved model unless he is permitted by the manufacturer and modifications certified by the testing agencies. The process being expensive and time consuming is not adopted. Hence any modifications deviating from the type approved models and un-certified by testing agencies are rendered as illegal modifications.”
The modification was reportedly carried out by a popular firm known as Vardenchi. The proprietor of the firm, Akshai Varde is the husband of bollywood actress Sameera Reddy. A quick view of the customization website reveals official images of a model that is more or less the same. The custom job is known as the Dark side.
Official image from the Vardenchi website
This news comes as a stringent warning to those who carry out or indulge in illegal modifications to their vehicles. Sticking to the manufacturer’s design is the best thing as these modifications end up causing problems to the owners sooner or later in their life cycle mechanically, if not for legal hassles. The only way to avoid such risks is to keep your bike in its original and pristine condition.