In May, 2022, Royal Enfield Australia and New Zealand announced the People’s Choice winner in its 2022 Busted Knuckles Build-Off competition. Out of all five competitors in this year’s challenge, the Royale Motorcycles GT 650 Production Racer took home the glory after receiving the most votes from the public. 

Drawing inspiration from the Royal Enfield 650 production racing series in India, Royale opted to take a more approachable route to crafting this build. Some customs feature a lot of bespoke, handmade parts, which is of course cool to see—but not necessarily something that most people could go out and attempt to do themselves. That’s one reason Royale took a more approachable route, bolting on and in some cases modifying existing parts to achieve their desired end result. 

Above all, Royale wanted to turn its 650 GT into a functional race bike. Thus, weight reduction and geometry were top concerns. Out went the stock swingarm, and in came an aluminum unit sourced from a Honda CBR400. Weight reduction is important, but unsprung weight is a particular concern—so a lighter Kawasaki Ninja 400 rear wheel was also swapped into place.  

Up front, Royale went for a Triumph Daytona 675 front end swap, including Nissin brakes and a 120 front tire width. Both front and rear wheels are 17-inches now, which works well for the kind of handling they wanted. The exhaust system is a custom-made unit, capped off with a special hydroformed can at the end made by HP Corse. Rearsets and suspension adjustability were also a must, because this isn’t only meant to be a show bike, by any stretch. 

In working on this build, Royale praised the accessibility of the steel chassis for customization purposes. Since it’s not an aluminum chassis, no special tools are required to perform modifications—meaning you don’t have to be a specialist shop in order to do what you want to improve your bike yourself. New Zealand is a place renowned for its DIY culture, so that seems like a particularly encouraging thing to hear from Royale. 

The 2022 BKBO custom competition brought together Enfield dealers from all across Australia and New Zealand, and featured entries from Revelry Cycles in Sydney, New South Wales; Fast Fuel Motorcycles in Albury, New South Wales; SurfSide Motorcycle Garage in Brookvale, New South Wales; Royale Motorcycles in Hamilton, New Zealand; and MotoMAX in Perth, Western Australia. You can see the entire BKBO series on the Royal Enfield Australia and New Zealand YouTube channel. 

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