Royal Enfield is the world’s oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production since 1901. For 120 years, Royal Enfield has remained the preserver of the legacy of building simple, authentic classic motorcycles that are engaging and fun to ride. Riding through time and tough terrain, the company has emerged victorious in rides that have tested the endurance of man and machine, while remaining relevant and desirable through the ages. Now, to commemorate 120 years of building the pure motorcycling culture, Royal Enfield will mark 2021 with an ambitious attempt to push the boundaries of motorcycling possibilities.
The company will undertake a motorcycling expedition on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, to attempt to reach the geographic South Pole, from the Ross Ice Shelf via the Leverett Glacier. 90-degree South – Quest for the Pole is conceptualized as a tribute to the brand’s commitment to pure motorcycling, and to the courage and resilience of innumerable riders and explorers who have made history with their motorcycling journeys. The 90-degree South will be an ambitious attempt of Royal Enfield to go where no motorcycle has ever gone before.
This unique expedition will begin from Cape Town, South Africa, on 26 November 2021, and will attempt to reach the geographic South Pole, from the Ross Ice Shelf, via the Leverett Glacier, to the Amundsen-Scott Pole station. Two Royal Enfield riders, namely Santhosh Vijay Kumar, Lead – Rides & Community, Royal Enfield, and Dean Coxson, Senior Engineer- Product Development, Royal Enfield, will take part in this 39-day expedition traversing Antarctica on a 770 km ride from Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole. It will be conducted in close partnership with Arctic Trucks and on two purpose-built Royal Enfield Himalayans.
For this expedition, two Royal Enfield Himalayans have been modified in-house, with functional upgrades to be able to navigate snow and ice to ably function under extreme conditions in Antarctica. For greater torque at the rear wheel, the main drive sprocket of the Himalayan has been changed from a 15-teeth unit to a 13-teeth unit. Also, the motorcycle gets a tubeless wheel setup with studded tyres that allows the tyres to run at very low pressures, and to increase floatation on soft snow, while also providing adequate traction on hard ice. The Himalayan was tested for this arduous and treacherous journey at the Langjokull glacier in Iceland, with an intention to mirror the conditions in Antarctica.
Speaking about the milestone year for Royal Enfield and the expedition attempt, Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd, said, “120 years is a long legacy for the brand, and we are very happy to have made it count. Over these years, we have created and nurtured a thriving culture of riding and exploration around the world. This pursuit of exploration has been a quintessential part of our DNA, and 90° South is another chapter in our series of extraordinary, epic motorcycling rides. In the past, rides like Himalayan Odyssey have paved the way for motorcycling adventure in the Himalayas and an epic expedition like this to the South Pole will further inspire people to become adventurers again. A test of endurance and perseverance for man and machine, this expedition is the first of its kind attempt to traverse the 770km long route to the South Pole on a motorcycle.”