As we all know, motorcycles are rad. Know what else is rad? Firefighters. Firefighters, fire apparatus (firetrucks to the uninitiated), fire-fighting equipment, Dalmations—all extremely rad. Now, what would happen if you combined the two? Well, you'd get something unfathomably rad like these Royal Enfield Himalayan-based fire rescue bikes!
Over in India, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation fire department has ordered a set of three heavily-modified Himalayans built as fast-response fire apparatus. According to PCMC's chief fire officer Kiran Gawade, the bikes will serve two primary purposes—getting into tight spots like alleys and crowded slums where larger apparatus can't go, and traffic/crowd control at larger fires.
“PCMC has large- and medium-sized four-wheelers in the fire department, but no two-wheelers," Gawade said. "It is difficult to extinguish the fire in the narrow alleys and slums areas and the lives of the fire brigade team are also at stake while rescuing those trapped in the blaze. Therefore, we need firefighting motorbikes, as they have abroad.”
Each bike is painted fire-engine red with yellow markings and kitted out with various firefighting equipment. Two 20-liter (5-ish gallon) tanks for water or other fire suppressants are mounted in place of the stock panniers. A 100-foot pipe (hose) on a rear-mounted reel is fed by a high-pressure pump and equipped with a pressure washer-style nozzle. There's no mention of it, but I would guess that the bikes also have some medical and life-saving equipment aboard, too. Even with all that equipment, the bikes still carry two firefighters (or, you know, one firefighter and one Dalmation).
The Himalayan is a pretty solid choice for a firefighting rig. It's sturdy, lightweight, and agile, perfect for the tight confines that a fire apparatus has to work in. It's also built to carry heavy luggage and adventuring supplies, so the weight of all the firefighting equipment shouldn't hobble it too much.
We need more firefighting bikes over here in The Colonies. A Ural-based unit with a sidecar-mounted water cannon would be pretty choice, I reckon. What bikes would you like to see turned into fire apparatus?
Photos courtesy of RushLane