Built by Cristian Sosa of Sosa Metalworks, the Royal Enfield Kamala is inspired by vintage board track racing motorcycles
Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield introduced the ‘Custom Program’ back in 2016 as a platform for builders and custom garages, to showcase their expertise at creating one-off ‘RE’ products. Over the decades, Royal Enfield models have remained a favourite among motorcycle customisation communities in India as well as abroad. As the company states, its products are a “perfect canvas for customisation and self-expression” thanks to their “simple yet evocative design language”.
Of course, not all Royal Enfield builds (especially the ones based on single-cylinder UCE models) are done tastefully. Several examples from our country simply fail to achieve an ideal balance between form and function in a bid to look like something they are not (usually, it would be a discount Harley). However, Royal Enfield’s range-topping 650 Twins rarely go wrong in the hands of motorcycle builders.
Royal Enfield has officially unveiled the latest creation under ‘Custom Program’. Dubbed the ‘Kamala’, the motorcycle is based on the Continental GT 650 cafe racer and was already showcased in February at The One Moto Show held in Portland, Oregon, USA. It was built by Cristian Sosa of Sosa Metalworks, a Las Vegas-based custom metal fabricator (mostly focused on cars and motorcycles) established in 2012.
The Royal Enfield Kamala takes inspiration from vintage ‘board track’ racer. This genre of motorsport was quite popular in the USA back in the early 1900s. The competition was held on oval or circular tracks surfaced by wooden planks and boards — hence the name, ‘board track racing’. Excessive track maintenance costs and predictable results (not much overtaking) eventually led to its demise.
With lean dimensions and large, yet narrow wheels (like fatter bicycle wheels), the Kamala gives a tasteful tribute to the forgotten sport. Cristian Sosa and his team hand-fabricated its body using steel, aluminium and brass. The trio gives the Kamala a unique glow as each material reflects light differently. The 650 Twin motor sits below a beautifully-swept narrow fuel tank and inside a custom ‘Chromoly steel’ rigid frame.
A non-motorcycle person could argue that the Royal Enfield Kamala is not “useable” or “practical”. This might be true on paper but doesn’t deny the fact that it is a true work of art.
Both the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 offer an excellent platform for customisations. Either middleweight (arguably the best for the price) looks good in stock avatar as well. Their 648cc air/oil-cooled SOHC parallel-twin motor churns out 47bhp @ 7,100rpm and 52Nm @ 5,200rpm.