A plethora of custom motorcycles could be seen at the 2018 Custom Show Emirates, which was held in Abu Dhabi. Out of all the bikes, it was Engina, based on an Indian Chief Vintage, which won many hearts and successfully scored the 2nd position in the V2 Custom Category.

Detlev Louis Motorrad-vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, which is the market leader in motorcycle clothing and accessories in Europe, was celebrating 80th anniversary this year. And to make it memorable, they took an Indian Chief Vintage and transformed it into this smoking-hot cafe racer Engina.

The 2018 Custom Show Emirates isn’t the first such show that Engina has won. In September last year, Engina had its grand premiere at Glemseck 101 and immediately blew away the competition. Stunt girl and model Mai-Lin Senf rode astride it in the “Clash of Legends” race. In Germany, it won the Custom Show in Dortmund and also won the Best Streetbike at the Berliner Motorrad Tage motorcycle show in Berlin. It also won the prestigious Ferro Dell Anno award at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Italy, in the Best Professional category. It secured the first prize at the Swiss Custom show in Zurich.


The epic Thunder Stroke 111 engine of the Indian Chief Vintage is a masterpiece not only when it comes to performance and refinement, but also when we talk about art. The engine has been designed in such a way that it gels with the rest of the (stock) motorcycle extremely well. Its stunning combination of the classic Indian look and state-of-the-art technology, and distinctive design with eye-catching pushrod tubes and cylinder head covers with angled fins reminds us of the engine of Indian Motorcycle back in the 1940s and 1950s. This bathed in chrome V-twin engine is definitely an integral part of the overall artistry. Louis has utilised this as an advantage while the development of the Engina was in process.

This beautiful custom-built Engina needed to have a more powerful engine to justify its proportions and stance. So Louis brought in the engine specialist Ulf Penner to exploit the full potential of the Thunder Stroke 111. More aggressive camshafts were placed, more direct airflow, upgraded cylinder heads and new engine mapping was done, and the result was an increase in power by almost 70%. To suit this bump in power, a new header from STParts with a Shark silencer was put.

Other changes that made Engina a possibility include a new UNO lightweight frame, a new upside-down front fork and Wilbers rear shock absorber, upgraded Brembo brakes, custom-made Kineo rims and new triple clamps from Alpha Racing with a matching Gilles stub handlebar.

For the usually visible part of the motorcycle, the headlight bezel, seat and tank, Louis called in the customising specialist Michael Naumann, who has won several awards for his custom creations. He with his work enhanced the minimalist design from Louis gearhead crew member Kay Blanke to perfection. Danny Schramm from Schrammwerk was responsible for the striking headdress paint job in red and white, taking on the colours of the Indian and Louis brands. The bike’s overall build was undertaken by Detlef Stüdemann and Martin Struckmann from the Louis gearhead crew.


Louis will be visiting a few more places during 2018 to showcase his Engina to the world. If you are interested in witnessing this masterpiece, you can catch a glimpse of it at the following places on the mentioned dates:

19 and 20 May- The Reunion, Monza, Italy
14 to 17 June- Wheels & Waves, Biarritz, France
23 and 24 June- Cafe Racer Festival, Paris, France
29 June to 1 July- Biker’s Classics, Spa, Belgium
31 August to 2 September- Glemseck 101, Leonberg, Germany

Photos credit- Volker Rost