The single-cylinder engine in Royal Enfield’s Bullet 500 is simple. The four-stroke, 499cc mill lists an 8.5:1 compression ratio, helping it produce 27 horsepower and 31.5 lb-ft of torque. Air-cooling provides a retro touch while the fuel injection delivers modern convenience. Mated to a five-speed gearbox, the powerplant’s plainness favors garage mechanics and custom builders.
One builder that enjoys the simplicity of the Bullet 500’s single is Kromworks’ Andika Pratama. The Indonesian custom shop made its name with ostentatious choppers and board trackers. When a U.K. customer presented Pratama with an engine plucked out of a 2017 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, he designed another rolling sculpture: the Icarus.
Gallery: Icarus: 2017 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
With the engine and transmission in place, Pratama fashioned a frame to match the powertrain’s simplicity. The master metalworker used 8mm iron plates to craft a single downtube design and it leverages that Royal Enfield single as a stressed member. Pratama fabricated the swingarm with the same material and method, but the in-set rear shock mount presents a novel design element.
Kromworks takes a different approach with the front end, opting for a traditional girder fork. Pratama’s craftsmanship stands out thanks to the polished pivot arms and a shock mounted tight to the headstock. In order to achieve the 28-cm drum braking system, the Kromworks top man machined a set of custom hubs from billet aluminum and laced them to 21-inch rims with stainless steel spokes. Of course, vintage tires tie the package together.
Despite the shop’s name, Pratama molds the Icarus’ bodywork out of stainless steel and adds a little elbow grease for an impeccable shine. A small peanut-shaped gas tank hides beneath the bodywork and the headlight and taillight illuminate the road from behind two grills. Kromworks returns to the Bullet 500 mill for the final touches, adding a custom exhaust and a machined velocity stack. Yes, the Royal Enfield single is a simple mill, but the Icarus proves that simplicity can still be beautiful.