Among the modern-retro motorcycles that we have on sale today, Royal Enfield Classic 350 leads the charge. Though it hasn’t changed much over the past years but it works in its favour and the vintage authenticity surely contributes to its unrealistically high sales numbers. The Classic 350 is also quite a rage among customization houses and we have witnessed quite different takes on the motorcycle. But ‘Encode’ from Mumbai-based Haldankar Customs has taken the retro game higher up and this modified Classic 350 takes us back to the World War II days.
A brief history lesson
Motorcycles played a quintessential role in the World War II and Royal Enfield, which was a British company back then, played an important part too. One of the most revered motorcycles of the wartime was the Flying Flea.
The Royal Enfield WD/RE known as the “Flying Flea” was a lightweight British motorcycle developed by Royal Enfield for the British War Office (the WD came from War Department) as a means of transport for that could be dropped by parachute or carried in gliders, to quickly carry messages and signals between airborne and assault troops where radio communications were not in place. Though Encode doesn’t necessarily look like the Flying Flea but a little history lesson was necessary to establish the fact that Royal Enfield indeed has a connection with the War. It only works in Encode’s favour because it further strengthens the authenticity of the build.
List of mods
Wartime motorcycles were all about stealth and were utilitarian. Chrome was nowhere to be seen because all the bling doesn’t really bode well in wars. As a result, all the chrome bits on this Classic 350 are blacked out and some of it has been stripped off too. The headlamp assembly, for instance, is the stock unit but doesn’t look like one because the chrome surrounding bits are done away with, leaving behind just the round headlamp unit.
The front fork was stripped off its body-matching cover while the dual springs at the back look slightly taller than on the standard Classic which likely results in increased suspension travel. The stock instrument cluster unit is replaced with a custom one with an analogue clock.
Another noteworthy modification is the front mudguard which is also a custom unit with a longitudinally-mounted number plate bearing the name of the motorcycle. The fuel tank is also new, and it’s larger than the original one (18 litres against 13.5 litres), with a small rack on top of it. To enhance its rugged appeal, the engine-guard and the exhaust pipe have both been wrapped. There are also new luggage solutions which are also a part of this custom package. a luggage rack on the tail-end of this motorcycle, with two luggage mounts as well, one on each side.
The stock tyres wouldn’t have looked good with this custom build so they have been replaced with blacked-out spoked units, shod with all-terrain rubber. Like we mentioned earlier, it is all about the stealth when it comes to wartime motorcycles. The reason why we see a dark shade of matte green here. Apart from the above-mentioned mods, we have no word regarding the other upgrades. All the other cycle parts have been retained from the stock motorcycle.