Vigilante A Royal Enfield Cafe Racer From Jaipur



We’ve been keeping an eye on Rajputana Customs for a while now, and it looks like we’re not the only ones. The Jaipur City shop has a tidy business in private commissions, but Harley-Davidson also tapped them to build the world’s first custom Street 750. And now Royal Enfield has commissioned this very elegant Continental GT 650 café racer.
Rajputana’s bikes are invariably classy, well-balanced and beautifully finished, and they’ve stuck to that script with this GT, nicknamed ‘Vigilante.’

“When Royal Enfield commissioned us, it was a matter of great pride—and a sense of ‘acceptance at last’,” shop boss Vijay Singh tells us.
“This is the first time we’ve had a chance to build for an Indian manufacturer. And we were given the new GT 650, which hadn’t been released to the public at that point.”

“The fact that Royal Enfield had kept the 650 twins a secret for years was unbelievable—then to see and ride them for the first time was an absolute privilege.”
The stock Continental GT isn’t going to tear your arms out of their sockets when you twist the throttle, but it’s a perky, sweet-handling ride—the perfect bike for a clearing your head on a sunny Sunday morning.

With 80% of the maximum torque arriving before 2500 rpm, you don’t have to rev the 650 twin to the heavens to enjoy yourself. The experience is probably close to that enjoyed by British riders back in the 60s while dashing between motorway cafes.
Vijay and his crew decided to amp up the fun factor. “Given the frame and geometry of the stock bike we thought it apt to build a cafe racer. So we rebuilt the rear subframe and added a single-sided trellis swingarm.”

Rajputana have also reduced the trail up front to sharpen the handling a little, and machined the triples to accept Showa forks from a Ducati 848 EVO. “It’s to give the bike an aggressive stance, more agility and better front end feel,” says Vijay.
There’s a suspension upgrade at the back too, with an Öhlins TTX GP rear shock. Other track-friendly mods include 17-inch Marchesini rims and Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks.

The GT’s standard Bybre brakes are good—and made by a Brembo subsidiary—but Rajputana have switched them out for a full setup from Brembo’s mainstream line, including radial master cylinders.
The internals of the air-cooled engine are standard, but there are now K&N pod filters at the intake end. Plus a custom GP-style exhaust system with brass tips to help the motor breathe a little easier—and sound better.

There’s also a new fairing rolled from mild steel, and unusual asymmetric side panels that partly encase the engine. There’s a pop-up gas cap on the tank, a minimalist leather seat atop the new subframe, new LED lighting, and discreet brass details here and there.
Royal Enfield was happy with the result, and Vijay took the bike to the Buddh International Circuit in Uttar Pradesh—a past venue for the Formula One Indian Grand Prix.

“We were able to put the bike through its paces on a state of the art track,” Vijay says. “The slicks, coupled with a mid-range SBK suspension setup, were unbelievably planted—with tons of grip on offer when on the brakes, entering a corner, or barreling out on the gas.”
“It was insanely good fun. Being a partly ‘aesthetic’ build, it took some getting used to, but we managed to scrape the heat wrap off the exhaust when leaning her into the corners. It would be ridiculously good if we could get 650 owners to a track with decent slicks and let them rip!”

Sounds like this is the kind of custom you can just jump on and ride—which makes it our kinda bike. Simple, light and fun, and probably perfect for zooming around the ‘Pink City’ of India and into the beautiful hills of Rajasthan.
Rajputana Customs | Facebook | Instagram



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