Today’s adventure bike market is a little like the superbike market in the 80s; to quote Fall Out Boy, “It ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race.” ADV bikes are pushing north of 150 hp and 500 lbs, with eye-watering levels of tech packed in. If that doesn’t butter your toast, perhaps the Royal Enfield Himalayan is the answer.
Royal Enfield designed the Himalayan to be simple and affordable, with an air-cooled 411 cc single, and little more than ABS on the tech side. So it’s basically the antithesis of the modern-day dual sport. And it’s ripe for customization too—as Thrive Motorcycle has just proved with this rally-inspired rendition of the Himalayan.
So Thrive saw it as an opportunity for market research, by getting feedback from Den’s young audience on what sort of products they should develop. The relationship stuck, and eventually Den was in the Jakarta workshop to talk about a custom bike of his own.
“After getting solid permission from his wife,” says Putra, “he sat down with us to discuss modifying one of his motorcycles—without any cutting of the main frame. He wanted his new 2019 Royal Enfield Himalayan to be able to go back to original condition in the future, without huge effort.”
Thrive figured that a Dakar-inspired build would play nicely with the Himalayan’s inherent lines. The guys are adept metal-shapers—but this time they decided to 3D print molds to shape fiberglass parts that could bolt on easily.
“We wanted to learn how fast we could go, and how much production time we could reduce by trying this kind of approach,” says Putra. “And it might be useful for any other Himalayan owners who want to apply this kind of approach.”
“Den immediately agreed with the idea of duplication, so parts could be made multiple times for those who need an enhanced appearance with minimal effort. It’s one of his dreams to be able to contribute ideas, to develop local products that can go overseas.”
The new bodywork is fiendishly simple, but has a big impact. Up front is a pair of side fairings, designed to tie the Himalayan’s fuel tank and windscreen together. Out back is a one-piece unit that incorporates side panels, a seat pan and a rear fender.
There are practical considerations everywhere—like a 3D-printed seat release mechanism, and mounting points to attach a Kriega dry bag.
Thrive also designed and 3D-printed new headlight mounts, and added a pair of PIAA spots. There’s also a hidden cover at the rear, to keep debris out of the under-seat area, and a custom-made aluminum license plate bracket.
The crew also threw a bunch of their own T/H/R/V catalog parts at the build. The LED turn signals, handlebars, foot pegs and stainless steel exhaust muffler are all proprietary. “The only things we had to buy from the store were a pair of Pirelli Scorpion MT60 tires, the fog lights, and an Öhlins RE907 rear shock,” says Putra.
Thrive knocked the Royal Enfield’s paint out the park too, with a livery inspired by a very special Group B rally car. “37 years ago,” says Putra, “Porsche made a special car for the Rothmans Rally Team to compete the 1984 season—a 911SC RS driven by ProDrive chairman David Richards. It caught our eye.”
Thrive splashed Rothmans blue graphics onto the bike, flanked by gold and red pin stripes. Then they finished bits like the rims, top yoke and handlebar risers in gold, giving the bike a proper throwback rally vibe.
Dubbed ‘Gemini,’ it’s a fantastic rework that plays to the Himalayan’s strengths. And since Thrive have effectively blueprinted the design, it leaves room for more interesting twists on this theme.