Vulcan God of Fire

A cool, custom built cruiser based on the RD350
Story Mihir Gadre

Shirish Kakatikar, a young lad from Belgaum and a jeweler by profession, has a passion for big cruiser bikes. He has always dreamt of owning a big cruising machine. His dream seemed to be materializing when he approached AMC (Amit Moto Co) run by Amit Sawant, a mechanic who specializes in modifying bikes. At AMC, Amit and his team started working on a Yamaha RD350.

Selecting the RD as the donor bike was definitely the right choice as the 32bhp, two-stroke engine had more than enough power to propel a heavy cruiser. Moreover, the sonorous exhaust note of the twin cylinders would make sure that the finished product would grab attention on the road with ease. The Vulcan, as Shirish calls his customized bike, is full of exquisitely detailed, eye catching features. It features a custom made tank with twin lids like the Indian Chief, a chrome plated instrument panel and a flame paint job, which is a common sight on most custom bikes.

A lot of modifications had to be made in order to fit a wide Bridgestone 190/17R tyre at the rear. A rim that could house this wide tyre was sourced from the Tata Sumo and was altered by taking off the center portion and making a provision for the hub and spokes. A special swingarm that was wide enough to house the wheel along with a custom made wide fender had to be fabricated. Even the chassis had to be widened at the rear to house the huge rear fender. The paint job on both the fenders and the tank is another center of attraction. The flame job on the bike is the reason it is named after the Roman God of Fire, Vulcan. The chrome plated engine, the rims, the forks, the footrest assembly, the rear shocks and the wide handlebar make the bike more attractive.

The Vulcan features a host of other modifications as well. The clutch operation system is changed from a normal cable system to a hydraulic one, using the hydraulic pump of a Honda bought from a junkyard, which was found to be working fine on the RD. The same bike’s front disc’s hydraulic pump was picked up to do duty here. The ignition system has been changed from the normal point setting type to an electronic ignition using separate coils for each cylinder. The front and rear discs are taken from the Honda Unicorn, the front caliper is of a Pulsar and the rear caliper is of some sports bike, bought from a junkyard.

The twin exhaust pipes are merged into a single pipe, firing out sound notes somewhat similar to a Harley. But using the exhaust of a four-stroke motorcycle on a two-stroke engine doesn’t make it a technically sound proposition. The front footrests, the brakes and the gearshift paddle have been sourced from the Yamaha Enticer. The stock front forks have been raised by two inches. The rear suspension is taken from the Bajaj Eliminator. The front tyre is a Dunlop with a 120mm wide section. The head lamp and the speedometer are taken from the Bajaj Eliminator. The Vulcan, like all custom motorcycles, offers the ultimate poser value and guarantees exclusivity that can’t be had with any mass produced bike.

RD350 engine with electronic ignition

Rear disc from the Unicorn

RD350 engine with electronic ignition'

Bike India Team – who has written posts on Bike India.

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