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.
This expedition will be an ambitious attempt to go where no motorcycle has gone before. To begin from Cape Town, South Africa, on 26 November 2021, the expedition will witness two Royal Enfield riders – Santhosh Vijay Kumar, Lead – Rides & Community, Royal Enfield, and Dean Coxson, Senior Engineer- Product Development, Royal Enfield- attempting to reach the geographic South Pole, from the Ross Ice Shelf, via the Leverett Glacier, to the Amundsen-Scott Pole station.
The expedition will be attempted on two purpose-built Royal Enfield Himalayans. They 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 has been changed from a 15-teeth to a 13-teeth unit. There is 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 team has introduced a stronger alternator using rare earth magnets, so as to enable the motorcycle to produce more current and enable the team to run heated gear off the battery.
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. Phase 1 of testing was held in September 2020 while phase 2 of testing concluded in July 2021.