Rough Cut Royal Enfield Classic 500

It was a hard ask—to build a custom Royal Enfield in 30 days. Nonetheless, eight Australian Royal Enfield dealers signed up for the competition. A couple of dealers even entered two bikes; some never made the deadline. The final result was chosen on Facebook to keep the customers involved. The prize, apart from a trophy and bragging rights, was a new Classic 350 Royal Enfield motorbike. The eventual winner was Royal Enfield Sydney with their very original Rough Cut Classic 500.

ANYTIME we do a build we get together and do a plan. We try to build with what we’ve got, to use the stuff in inventory. We decide which bike we are going to use and what do we think we want to do with it.

We saw a flat-track inspired, scrambler kind of thing, and decided to use a red and chromed Classic 500 for the competition. Conceptually, we were going to strip the paint off a chrome bike, scruff the chrome, and re-do some trick custom paint panels.

We only had 30 days to do the complete build so we slowed down the workshop schedule a little, and gathered up everything we thought we’d need—then on the day before we were ready to start tearing things apart, we sold the bike we were going to use. We don’t have a bike for the competition!

The closest thing we had that would fit all the parts we had assembled was a Blue Lagoon Classic 500. We stripped it down, shortened the rear fender, and set about stripping off the paint. We had every intention of doing a flat-black paint scheme with bare metal panels. However, once we got the parts to bare metal, the finish was so nice we decided at the last minute to send the parts to the painter for just a coat of clear. You can’t get away with that unless you’ve got really nice sheet metal and this Royal Enfield metal is just beautiful.

We took all the electrical components from the left-side box and re-located them into the right-hand glovebox.

The right-side filter box was removed and replaced by a ram-flow air filter system. It’s a very clean installation that bolts right into the empty frame section in front of the rear guard.

The handlebars were changed over from Classic to Bullet which have a more flat-track feel about them.

The Dunlop K180 tyres—you have to ride one to understand how much better they handle than the standard tyres—are a softer tread tyre so they’re not going to last as long on the street but they stick really well.

We re-located the horn, painted the engine black, installed LED lights and bar-end mirrors, the hooligan exhaust has an upsweep on it, and the list goes on.

We used Rough Cut in a lot of ways to figure out a streetable, usable, practicable kind of modification that we can do with customers’ bikes. Customers want big fat fenders full of tyres that handle well and look the part, and they want a more free-flowing exhaust that’s not too ridiculously loud. These bikes respond very well to the right air cleaner and exhaust modifications; they give a nice smooth, broad, even torque curve.

We didn’t actively try to sell Rough Cut because we were using it for promotion, doing a lot of marketing around it—but it was on the showroom floor just a few weeks before someone walked in and bought it.

photos by George Lang; words by Will Keith from Royal Enfield Sydney

Chad, the New Owner

I HAD A scooter before. My wife was actually embarrassed that I used to ride a scooter around so she said I needed to man-up a little and get a real man’s bike.

I had a bit of a break from the scooter when the kids were born, but now they are older, I was looking forward to getting back on a bike.

Initially I was looking at the Indians. I’m a designer so I’m pretty fussy when it comes to aesthetic things. I was looking into customising an Indian but the cost of the parts was getting really ridiculous.

I did a bit of research and came across the Royal Enfield, popped around here to Royal Enfield in Sydney and saw Rough Cut on a pedestal. When I was looking at customising the Indian, I had an image in my mind and it was basically what they had done to the Royal Enfield. I really liked the look and feel of it.

I asked them how much and when they told me, I said ‘Yes!’ and that was it. I’m very excited to own this bike.

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