Bike Name: Royal Tracker
Model: 2014 Royal Enfield Continental GT
Builder: Sean Skinner of Motorelic
Owner: Cafe Racer XXX
Words from Café Racer XXX
As an ambassador for Royal Enfield, I was given the opportunity to ride a stock 2014 Continental GT over the period of one year. As with any motorcycle, each bike carries a soul and uniqueness to it. The GT isn’t made to reach race speeds. But, it is a bike that carries a rich history and a fiercely loyal following. I can’t count the number of gruff bikers, young people of every style and ethnicity that ran across parking and intersections to connect with that bike. I could just ride around town and make a lot of people smile.
“…it was proposed that we do a community build with the online participation of Café Racer XXX followers.”
Truthfully, I enjoyed my time on long winding country roads. As I spent more time with the bike and as with any stock bike, I started thinking about streamlining the look of the bike, upgrading some aspects, and just creating a unique look. At that time, Sean Skinner of Motorelic has just released his gorgeous red, white and blue Ascot online and I knew I needed to work with him. I spoke to Royal Enfield marketing about the idea and it was proposed that we do a community build with the online participation of Café Racer XXX followers. As far as I know, this was never done before with a Royal Enfield so once we got Sean on board, we decided on the build aspects. Over the course of 4 months, the audience voted on three key aspects: style, color and pipe positioning. It was awesome to get input and excitement from the audience and to create something that they were so much a part of. The winning results were a tracker style bike, white primary color and high pipe positioning. From there, Sean worked countless hours over the next couple months with minimal input to make this machine come to life.
During the build process, Sean and I communicated back and forth over progress and some design aspects. In terms of the color, I really appreciated his idea of adding British racing green to the white paint as a tip of the hat to the roots of the brand. Personally, I opted for the winged logo since it reminded me of aviation and I love to take flying lessons when possible. But, it was also in my mind a tie to the brand history when the “Flying Flea” was dropped by parachute during WW2. From a geek perspective, I opted for the digital Kozo gauge versus an analog tach/speedometer and a push button starter. We also worked with K-tech for a more streamlined and black suspension and I do believe we ended up having the first Continental GT using the Bullit suspension here in the States. Last, I really appreciate the work and time and craft that Sean put into the body work and exhaust to making everything flow, fit and work together. I think people will be really impressed when they see this machine in person and hear that thing rip! I truly wish we could give everyone the opportunity to take her for a spin. Look out for the Royal Tracker at various events in the US.
Words from Sean
This particular build started its life as a 2014 Royal Enfield Continental GT EFI-535. I was given the opportunity to create my version of what the motorcycle community voted on. They voted for a Tracker style build that would be painted white and have a high mounted exhaust. Seems easy enough…
“I thought it would be cool to bring a little English racing heritage back to the build by adding some British Racing Green to the scheme!”
As with all custom builds, you want to take the donor bike apart, down to the just the frame and engine. Then you can see the lines you have to work with. The Harris Performance designed frame is well built and easy to work with. To start, I dove into fabricating the tracker style headlight/number plate. Stuffed into the center is a ridiculously bright Hella running light. It finished off the front very well. I chose to use an Yamaha XT225 gas tank. It had the MX style look I wanted and it is made of steel so it could be modified. To get the tank to fit, required frame modification where the tank rubber mounts attach and the underside of the tank needed to be notched to wrap around the frame. I really wanted to use an MX style gas cap but they require a very special thread size. I asked my friend, Ryan Dzurilla who happens to be a great machinist, if he could make one from stainless. He did and it worked perfectly! Once the tank was where I needed it I moved on to the all aluminum tail section. Getting the shape of this was fun. I wanted to bring the angular design of the tank all the way through the bike. Next up was the seat. I shaped up some aluminum sheet for the pan and glued down the foam. Shaping re-bonded foam is a messy job but its exciting to see the shape of the seat transform into what you see in your head. Once I was happy with the shaped I shipped it off to Counterbalance Cycles in RI. Wes did an amazing job with the distressed leather. We decided on a block sewing pattern which later would prove to work very well with the Oury grips I found. Once all of the body work was shaped and I was happy with it, I handed it off to the very capable hands of Craig Rutler AKA Homeward Bound Motorcycles for the beautiful white paint job. We couldn’t just paint the whole bike white. So I thought it would be cool to bring a little English racing heritage back to the build by adding some British Racing Green to the scheme!
Since the body work was off being completed I shifted my focus to the rest of the build. The tires I chose are the Pirelli MT90. Just aggressive enough to give it a great dirt tracker look but still ride and handle well on the street. The wheels and brakes are stock and both perform and look the part. Protaper handlebars were a must. They have the perfect low and strong look needed for this build. It was necessary to modify and drill out the upper triple to accept them, but totally worth it. I needed the bike to sit a bit lower so with the help of K-tech Suspension I got the stance I was looking for. I lowered the front 2in with K-tech internals and the sweet looking K-tech Bullit shocks on the back. With a tracker style build you cant have rear set foot pegs, it just wouldnt look right. So I made up some adapter plates to move the foot pegs into a more mid-style dirt bike position. Having the bike looking like a proper tracker, it was time for disassembly. The bike is taken apart, down to the frame. The frame is then fully welded and smoothed were unused tabs and brackets once were. Then its off to powder coat. That’s taken care of by Daniel Brooks at Appalachian Paint and Powder.
“I cranked the 535 engine over and it barked like a good little tracker should.”
Now that I have it all back and looking sexy, I got to work with final assembly (my favorite part) Every nut and bolt is cleaned, polished or replaced with new. The engine was given a splash of bronze wrinkle powder coat on the side cases and covers. Then slipped into the freshly coated frame. We decided to use an Amal carb conversion on this build due to the fact that I would be building a custom exhaust and using a foam filter. None of which the EFI would like. With the help of Hitchcock Cycles’ carb kit, it when on great. Once the bike was fully together with body work, I got to work on the full stainless exhaust. All of the stainless pieces were from Cone Engineering. I wanted to build the entire system from scratch and they offered all the parts to do so. I couldnt wait to hear it! I finally got the system fully welded and installed. I cranked the 535 engine over and it barked like a good little tracker should. I was please with how it snaked through the frame and how it sounded. Quiet at idle and like beast revved up! The 1st test ride was great. The carb performed flawlessly and the bike handled very well. The exhaust note makes you want to turn off the pavement and get dirty! I am very excited to have been asked to build this for Royal Enfield/CaferRacerxxx and I hope you enjoy it.