For 120 years, Royal Enfield has maintained the legacy of building simple, authentic, motorcycles that are engaging and fun to ride. Riding through time and tough terrain since 1901, Royal Enfield has emerged victorious in excursions that test the endurance of man and machine. To commemorate 120 years of the pure motorcycling culture, Royal Enfield will take on yet another ambitious attempt — a first-of-its-kind motorcycle expedition that will attempt to reach the geographic South Pole.
Th expedition, dubbed 90° SOUTH – Quest for the Pole, serves as a tribute to the brand’s commitment to pure motorcycling, and to the courage and fortitude of explorers who have made history on two wheels. In this ambitious attempt to push the boundaries of motorcycling possibilities, two Royal Enfield riders will undertake a 39-day trek across Antarctica on a 478-mile ride from the Ross Ice Shelf via the Leverette Glacier on expedition-ready Royal Enfield Himalayans. The journey is to commence on November 26, 2021, beginning in Cape Town, South Africa. 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 to the Amundsen-Scott Pole station.
“Over the last 120 years, we have created and nurtured a thriving culture of riding and exploration around the world,” said Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd. “This pursuit of exploration has been a quintessential part of our DNA, and 90° South – Quest for the Pole is another chapter in our series of extraordinary, epic motorcycling rides. In the past, rides like Himalayan Odyssey have paved the way for motorcycling adventure in the Himalayas and an epic expedition like this to the South Pole will once again inspire people to become adventurers.”
To be conducted in close partnership with Arctic Trucks, 90° South – Quest for the Pole will be attempted on two, purpose-built Royal Enfield Himalayans. Arctic Trucks, a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, are renowned for their expertise in the field and have covered over 200,000 miles on the Antarctic Plateau.
For this expedition, two Himalayans have been modified in-house, with functional upgrades to be able to navigate the extreme Antarctic conditions. The Himalayan was tested for this arduous journey at the Langjokull glacier in Iceland, with an intent to mirror the conditions in Antarctica.
Minimal changes have been made to the 2016 Himalayan motorcycles to make them ready for the terrain and weather conditions in Antarctica. For greater torque at the rear wheel, the countershaft sprocket has been changed from a 15- to a 13-tooth unit. A tubeless wheel setup with studded tires will allow the tires 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, enabling the Himayalans to produce more current and enable the team to run heated gear off the battery.
The motorcycles will be ridden on a compacted snow track from the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole, to reduce motorcycle drag and limit emissions to an absolute minimum. Royal Enfield is consciously ensuring no footprint is left behind by the expedition team except wheel tracks that will quickly be lost to snow drift. In line with our #LeaveEveryPlaceBetter initiative, the team will ensure all waste is brought back for appropriate disposal.