Custom Harley Sportster Built In India.

You already know that India, the second-most populous country in the world with over 1.2 billion people and one of the fastest GDP growth rate, is the new Eldorado for all motorcycle brands. You hear all the time about American and European brand and product strategies to tap this huge market. But what about India’s motorcycle scene? Although unknown outside the country, very limited in terms of number of professionals making a living out of it, yes it exists. Until now, these custom builders devoted most of their efforts to the customization of the most popular brand in Indian, namely Royal Enfield models. But with the new availability of Harleys, Triumph, BMWs, Ducatis, etc, things are changing very fast. New custom shops mimicking the Western World’s business model are popping up all over the country. In the next 5 years expect to see and meet Indian Custom Builders showing their work in major European and American bike shows…

Best way to give credibility to this prediction is to show you this Harley Sportster built by a new shop in Jaipur called Rajputana Customs. It’s only their fourth project after 3 others using 350 cc Royal Enfields as donor bikes. Although  not very sophisticated by our one-off hand fabrication high standards and still close to “stock” status  (just a modified Springer and a one-off exhaust), this custom is interesting because it incorporates typical Indian art, something new to our occidental eyes. Shop owner Vijay is a youngster who got acquainted to motorcycles when at the age of 7 his Dad was transporting him on a BSA Falcon aka BSA Bond (India was under English influence and administered directly by the United Kingdom until it became an independent nation in 1947.) After spending 4 years at the University of Ottawa, Canada – where he was exposed to the North American custom culture, he came back home to India in 2009. After a lot of soul searching and convincing of his family, and although a university communication graduate with a promising career in India,  decided to pursue his custom motorcycle building dreams and set up a garage in Jaipur.

Named “Rajmata” after the late Indian Princess, one of the most beautiful women in the world, this 1200 cc Sportster is slightly modified but highly stylized and exquisitely detailed, and of course keeps its full functionability, an absolute must on India roads. Both in modern as well as in traditional forms, Indian art is famous around the world for its very unique design patterns. So, admire the South Asian art featured on this Sportster: gas and oil tanks miniature paintings by artist Nandu Ji. Exquisite engraving and etching work on the clutch cover by Koftgari. Seat Leather work by Jawaja. Mix of silver and gold inlay work on the caps, etc. Rajputana Customs

16 Responses to “Custom Harley Sportster Built In India.”

  1. 1 Steve Carr Jun 25th, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Great looking bike!

    Steve Carr

  2. 2 Greeko Jun 25th, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I think Cyril is right in his prediction. After European and somewhat Japanese (for old school style) influence, we may see a lot of builders from India bringing their own custom culture here in the US.

  3. 3 RE enthusiast Jun 25th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I follow the Indian custom scene and some of the things I have seen in the last two years are stunning.

  4. 4 Kevin Boyle Kustoms Jun 25th, 2012 at 8:35 am

    well done

  5. 5 Seven Jun 25th, 2012 at 8:40 am

    bad ass looking bike!

  6. 6 Bruce Jun 25th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Another great find abroad and another very correct prediction by Cyril..

  7. 7 Flying Piston Jun 25th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Cyril you couldn’t be more spot on. My shop in Thailand is already being hit up once a week at least (compared to about 3 times in the previous 6 years of operation) by new and old Indian builders that are looking to satisfy a demand that is growing and getting more and more diverse all the time. Expect India to start making a name for itself. It seems Zero Engineering has been doing quite well in the states and they have also just inked a deal to start production in Thailand for Thailand but with an FTA in place we are expecting a flow of Indian Harleys to start coming here with the Zero’s flowing the other direction.

  8. 8 sasha Jun 25th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    delicious looking ride.

  9. 9 GuitarSlinger Jun 25th, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Well I’ll play Devils Advocate with this bike .

    IMO its over decorated / over done / over the top : looking like the Dark Knight’s Xmas Tree gone bad being more bad boy Bollywood than Custom M/C

    As to Cyril’s predictions . I certainly hope not ! At least not until they learn to tone it down a bit and exercise a little more taste/restraint . The Japanese stuff was a revelation . The Euro stuff … sublime . This style though is wretched excess at its finest . Come to think of it …. I’m shocked the Tuttles didn’t come up with this first 😉

  10. 10 Oldude Jun 25th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Nice lines but the decorations are a little rococo for me.!

  11. 11 Rodent Jun 25th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    The beginning of the end for the American Custom Motorcycle business.

  12. 12 bigitch Jun 25th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    guitarclinger i agree

  13. 13 tejasandre Jun 25th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    need daylight pics.

  14. 14 MADRider Jun 25th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Let’s hope all the custom builders don’t farm out custom bikes to India instead of building it the USA.

  15. 15 Robert Filla - Thunder Press Jun 26th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    RODENT – the continuing voice of optimism . Love you my friend, hope all is well…

  16. 16 Iron Horse Jun 26th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    The engravings a little over-the-top, but it’s got nice lines otherwise. I like it!

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Cyril Huze