Mumbai’s Vardenchi Motorcycles has made a name for itself by giving Royal Enfields some really radical makeovers. Their latest such modification is this, the Dragster, which is based on the Classic 500. But don’t try searching for too many similarities, because save for the frame (although it too is modified), brakes and engine, there is little the finished product shares with its donor bike.
Massive in the flesh and larger than even some Harleys, this custom bike comes finished in a sinister black and white colour scheme. It’s very un-chopper-like, but it works. There’s no chrome here either. All the bits that would typically be polished to a mirror finish are powder-coated black on the Dragster, and to good effect.
Then there are the individual bits that just add so much character to this bike. Take, for instance, the CNC-milled 21-inch front wheel or the nicely raked front forks. The round headlight looks proper chopper, though the rivets encircling it are unique as are the the handlebar end-weights that house LED turn indicators.
In keeping with the ‘sporty chopper’ ethos, the Dragster features a digital readout in place of a traditional analogue speedometer and there’s a fuel readout too, which is just as well, because the fuel tank is deceptively small. However, it does have enough curves to give your average supermodel a complex.
Take a closer look and you’ll notice the absence of rear springs, and that’s because the Dragster uses a monoshock borrowed from a Honda Unicorn; with a modified swingarm, of course. Other nice bits include the side-mounted number plate and turning indicators that also function as brake lights. But more than anything else, it is the fat 300-section rear tyre, capped by that smart fender that grabs your attention.
Large and imposing as it is, the Dragster also costs serious money. You’ll need around Rs 6 lakh (including the cost of the donor bike) for a similar modification. To know more about this oversized motorcycle and how it rides, grab your copy of the September 2012 issue of Autocar India.