Young guns are building custom choppers. Are we getting ready for future biker build-offs?
Words: Adhish Alawani
Photography: Sawan Sekhar Hembram
Custom choppers are gaining popularity in the country. With a growing consumer base, we have newer and younger talent showing their skills at building custom choppers in the market. The latest chopper customizer we come across is from Gujarat. Calling themselves the Trojen Horse Customs (THC), Pandit brothers Dhruv and Nipun are involved in building custom choppers.
Dhruv has always been a motorcycle fanatic. His passion for modifying bikes and an education in Commercial Art tempted him into the business of building custom choppers. Having met the brothers at the Auto Expo and witnessed their obsession for modifying motorcycles, we decided to get hold of one of their machines in Mumbai and see for ourselves what the Pandit brothers were up to.
Achilles, the first of the THC bikes to have hit the road, carries the basic ideals followed by the builders of the chopper – innovation and uniqueness. Built on the Thunderbird frame, the bike’s side profile shows a mixed blend of flowing curves and flat panels. The tank’s top outline flows smoothly and gels into the seat nicely. The curve continues to dip beyond the centre of the seat and then rises up further beyond the seat in the form of steel tubes. Though it’s a smoothly curving shape that we see from the side profile, it actually turns out to have a sharp edge if seen from any other angle. The flat, slanting side walls of the tank give it the feel of a stingray. The twin tank comes as a part of THC’s innovative thinking. Separated by the backbone tube, the two tanks supply fuel through two different fuel pipes that converge into one and are then connected to the carb. A bigger 19-inch front wheel and a smaller 17-inch rear wheel shod with fat 190mm rubber give the bike a typical American chopper look. However, with the rake angle unchanged and the handlebar pulled back, the bike’s geometry doesn’t turn out to be very appealing. The front forks are straight from the Thunderbird while the rear one is the monoshock from the Honda Unicorn. Custom detailing is seen everywhere on the motorcycle, right from the flamed mirror rods to the forked footpegs to the LED tail lamp strips. Highway bars have also been incorporated for long cruising journeys. The Bajaj Avenger’s front disc has been used on the Achilles as a rear brake.
|The THC Achilles comes with a twin tank that supplies fuel through two individual fuel pipes||The engine and transmission come from an old Bullet|
The THC Achilles is the Pandit brothers’ first attempt in the market. There has been an investment of thought, art and skill in the product. However, there is a lot of scope for improvement at the same time. The fit and finish needs to be worked upon. Better engines and transmissions would help them make better bikes. Some elements like the two headlights sandwiching the registration plate, the handlebar design and the front alloy wheel don’t suit my taste. Nonetheless, the end consumer has an option of customizing the bike according to his own choice. THC is working on a couple of more bikes which could probably include new stuff like a single sided swingarm, airbrush art paint jobs, an alternative to the chain drive, etc. We are waiting!
Nipun, who took time out on a Saturday morning for the shoot, handles the marketing for THC in Mumbai currently. He plans to expand sales by tapping the markets in Goa, Pune and Delhi in the future