The story of Royal Enfield and the nation of India is one of the most storied in all of motorcycle history. Now a company owned and operated out of Chennai, the original outfit was a sewing needle supplier, who shifted to motorcycle production 123 years ago in the UK. But when India gained independence, the Bullet model not only served the new country’s army, it became the motorcycle that moved a nation. And it is this spirit of utilitarian, go-anywhere transport that remains the heart and soul of the brand. So, for a guy looking to explore and take all of his best camera gear with him, a new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 just made perfect sense. But before he could begin his adventures, the Gold Coast’s Purpose Built Moto stepped in to add some extra flavour and a whole lot more touring practicality.

You don’t have to spend much time online to know that PBM is one of the most in-demand and prolific custom builders in the world right now. Headed up by Tom Gilroy and his super-talented team, there is a fair wait time before you can get a slot for a full custom build. But Matt, this bike’s owner, found a clever way to pass the time. He hopped online to the PBM web store and bought a bunch of sweet parts that he could fit himself. He was never after something crazy, this is the sort of build that Tom calls their “Quick Fix”, and is an excellent example of how making a small number of changes can drastically improve a bike’s looks, performance and practicality.

First Matt took his new mirrors, a PBM seven-inch flash point headlight, and front indicators, and fitted them up himself. Having improved the front-on look and lighting, his turn came for the RE to spend some time at PBM HQ. One of the main goals was to improve the bike’s ability to carry luggage, and without any of it bolted on, it’s hard to tell that this machine can seriously carry a load. That’s because all of that extra storage and the racks which make it possible, can be cleverly removed in five minutes. To prepare the RE for these changes, the subframe was shortened by 30mm and the factory hoop was retained.

“Understanding that Matt carries camera gear and other essentials on his rides, we fabricated a robust rack setup to accommodate the Royal Enfield’s add-on hard bags and an additional rack over the seat for extra storage,” Tom explains. “We used the pillion peg brackets for the lower mounts and crafted additional points under the frame for easy removal.” Now you have a bike that can go from a bar hopper to an adventure tourer in a mere matter of minutes. To improve the look and comfort, the guys then modified the factory seat to a flatter, brat style, before Jammo at Timeless Auto Trim worked his magic to finish it in quality black leather.

“The main modification we were responsible for was the custom wheel setup. With black powder-coated hubs laced to aluminium Excel rims, and wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, the Interceptor was ready for the road and the dirt, an important aspect for any adventure rider,” Tom smiles. Not only does the setup work well out on the roads, it gives the RE one hell of an aggressive look. But to ensure off-road performance isn’t compromised, the tyre width is kept a little more sensible than some of the past PBM conversions, measuring 120 at the front and a healthy 170 for the rear.

To give that tyre a little more power to put down onto the road, the guys have given the sensational parallel-twin a minor performance upgrade. To unleash a few extra ponies and drastically improve the sound, the RE is fitted up with a super neat set of Torpedo style mufflers. “We installed the performance air filter upgrade kit by DNA Air Filters, these modifications ensure the Interceptor 650 can breathe and get a bit more air across the head giving the Interceptor a bump in performance.” The DNA kit slots into the factory box, with a new cover and provides for a super neat upgrade hidden behind the side cover.

Speaking of those covers, like the rest of the tins, Matt had his own painter lay down the colour and he’s done a hell of a job. The burnt orange serves as the main look, with black graphics to fill the knee dents and a super slick recreation of an old Royal Enfield logo. But the front mud guard didn’t come back in time before the photo shoot, so don’t fear nor start hammering that keyboard, Tom will have it fitted up as soon as it’s done. But with a set of gaiters fitted to protect the forks and some sweet Pro Taper bars on custom risers, that front end is already looking mighty good.

At the rear of the bike things are kept simple, having done such a good job at neatening up the tail, Tom didn’t want to go throwing back on the horrendous factory number plate bracket. Thankfully, PBM makes a very nice tail tidy kit, which works with one of their 3-in-1 dome LED rear light setups, and with a tiny plate light, it makes for a slick finish. With some shake down runs completed, the bike performs flawlessly and the sound will definitely turn some heads. Now all that’s left is for Matt to decide whether he’s going to the pub for a pint, or spending five minutes to load up the gear and head off on an epic quest to wherever the roads may take him. Purpose Built and on a budget, it’s a bloody nice way to see the world.

[ Purpose Built Moto ]