Slick Frisco-Style Royal Enfield Chopper

“We dedicate this build to all the bikes we wish we’d bought, we wish we’d built, and dreamed about in our misspent youth,” said Will Keith at Revelry Motorcycles.

WE HAVE been building scramblers and customs that are pretty true to the British style for some years. This time around, instead of building a bike that was very rideable and saleable, we decided to build something people would vote for. 

We did our normal thing — we had a design meeting (the other dealers give us grief about our design meetings) where we go in the showroom, lock the doors, open one of our favourite beverages, wander around and look at all the bikes, and talk about what we can do with each one using what parts we have in the store.

While we had previously shied away from using Harley-Davidson parts, this time our design bike quickly morphed into a 1969 Frisco style chopper with a Sportster tank.

Originally, we thought we’d do a rigid frame but that proved to be more difficult in terms of getting our hands on the stuff we needed, so we ended up using shorter shocks to lower the seat height to 130 mm. We actually dropped the bike to the point that the swing-arm just clears the frame — we reckon that’s about as low as you can get and still have any suspension travel — and Ikon built us a very nice set of shocks to suit. You can’t believe how well it handles. Lowering it down like that changes the geometry and it handles surprising well. It’s a great fun bike to ride.

The front-end is stock except for the trials top triple-tree which replaces that whole headlight housing that comes on the standard front-end. It changes the bike’s personality completely. And nobody makes a headlight mount like that any more so we had to make one to fit the Bates headlight to the lower triple-tree.

We wanted to use a set of ‘twisted’ Z-bars but the ones we had didn’t clear the Sportster tank.

The slash-cut muffler with the 10-degree upsweep is something we sell in the shop; it has a nice note to it.

If you’re going to build a Frisco-style chopper, your only real choice is a metal-flake paint job. We decided to paint it ourselves in the interests of time which added another layer of long nights. We had a choice of colours, but Santina (my partner) said she wanted orange and green. The intent was to do a green bike with orange panels, or visa versa, but when you’re doing two side panels and a top panel, getting all those symmetrical can be challenging, and as we were pulling the tape on and off five or six times, Santina said what about just drawing a line off-centre and putting the colours on opposite sides. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions that came out really well.

If you’d like info on building your own Royal Enfield custom bike, contact Will Keith at Revelry Motorcycles, 336 Parramatta Road, Burwood, NSW 2134; 02-9715-7354.

words by Will Keith; photos by George

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