Author Topic: Royal Enfield will ride to the South Pole  (Read 562 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

axman88

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,191
  • Karma: 1
  • Vintage Motorcycle Fan
on: October 15, 2021, 07:20:34 pm
Two Royal Enfield execs will ride to the South Pole on specially equipped RE Himalayans.

https://www.roadracingworld.com/news/royal-enfield-leading-motorcycle-expedition-to-south-pole/

Beginning in Cape Town, South Africa, the article doesn't detail the first leg of the journey, which presumably will not be done in the saddle.

I wouldn't want to try this in the winter. 


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,285
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #1 on: October 16, 2021, 02:53:46 am
Thanks for the post. A 39 day trek of 478 miles is about 12 miles a day. That either implies a lot of "lift & drag" time or the Sno-Cat support vehicle only makes about 2 MPH. 39 days is a LONG time to be wrestling a trailbike. At least there won't be any bears to steer clear of!  :o

" Two Royal Enfield riders will undertake a 39-day trek across Antarctica on a 478-mile (770 km) 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. "

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.




A trifecta of Bullets: a Red Deluxe 500, a Green Standard 500, and a Black ES 350.


Richard230

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,727
  • Karma: 0
Reply #2 on: October 16, 2021, 01:57:00 pm
It is going to require a lot of supplies (and fuel) to keep that number of people and their support staff alive for 39 days to the South Pole and during the return trip. So that means that RE will need to have a very large Sno-Cat to carry all of that stuff unless they are going to have the supplies air-dropped regularly along the way. They are definitely going to have more of an environmental impact along their route than it would seem from their press release. Sno-Cats, and potentially aircraft, are not quite as light on the environment as are a few BS6 motorcycles.   ::)
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM Duke 390, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


Karl Childers

  • Ghost in the machine.
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 417
  • Karma: 1
Reply #3 on: October 16, 2021, 02:15:14 pm
I have read accounts of snowmobile journeys and attempted try's to go to the North Pole, They were arduous journeys at best for a vehicle better suited to the task. Unless the Enfield's are equipped with snow conversions, track on the back, ski on the front and lots of support vehicles as mentioned I don't give them much hope. For early explorers trips to the pole were a risk of life and limb. In this day and age it really is only a publicity stunt. Regardless I wish them luck, if any brand motorcycle makes it to the South Pole it would be cool if it were an Enfield.

https://www.timbersled.com/en-us/snow-bikes/

« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 02:18:53 pm by Karl Childers »


Bilgemaster

  • Just some guy
  • Global Moderator
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,903
  • Karma: 0
  • 2005 Bullet 500ES in "Mean Green" Military Trim
Reply #4 on: October 16, 2021, 03:59:12 pm
Enfield's PR major domo setting off from South Africa to the South Pole on a Himalayan? Could this be some sort of punishment for not having had a fresh Himalayan warmed up and waiting for Itchy Boots at the Jo'burg airport for her African travels? Thoughts of what amounted to the erstwhile poster gal for Royal Enfield now knocking around Africa on a Honda must have given Sid Lal, the media-savvy Big Boss, an ulcer. "Let's make Santosh go count frozen penguin droppings for dropping the ball on that" might have seemed a suitable penance. The poor British dude is perhaps just along to make sure the tally's proper. Maybe he tried to renegotiate his salary.


"Man, I shoulda got her a fruit basket too..."

Or maybe it's actually a rescue mission to finally bring back "Forced Induction", the southernmost owner on our Members Map at https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php?action=googlemap...
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 04:27:42 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India. Yet it squeaks by here in Virginia.

 


axman88

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,191
  • Karma: 1
  • Vintage Motorcycle Fan
Reply #5 on: October 16, 2021, 06:25:02 pm
The article says that RE will team with Arctic Trucks for this trek.  https://arctictrucks.com/vehicles-landing-page/

These are apparently commercial trucks that are converted for better performance in cold and snow.

With a converted Mercedes Sprinter   http://arctictrucks.com/mercedes-model-range/ ,
   or an Iveco Daily   http://arctictrucks.com/iveco-model-range/
as a support vehicle, .....

I would think that one could make this south pole journey as comfortably as most folks these days make the ride to Sturgis.  https://motorcycle-touring.s3.amazonaws.com/hosted_blog_images/blog-eaglerider-motorcycle-trailers_02.jpg


Richard230

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,727
  • Karma: 0
Reply #6 on: October 16, 2021, 11:36:33 pm
BTW. the first motorcycle to ride on Antarctica was a woman on a 1999 (I think) BMW Funduro. She shipped herself and her bike to the continent and then received special permission to drop it off the ship and ride it around for a few minutes before she had to return to the ship. I think that happened a little over 20 years ago. Frankly, I am very surprised that RE was able to get approval for that expedition from the powers that control activities on Antarctica. Access and activities on the continent are heavily restricted and my understanding is that they have to have a scientific purpose.  ???
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM Duke 390, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


axman88

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,191
  • Karma: 1
  • Vintage Motorcycle Fan
Reply #7 on: December 14, 2021, 07:08:29 pm
A short video of an interview with Dean Coxson, Senior Engineer – Product Development, Royal Enfield about the ride:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA4QpBrAtMg&t=43s


Carl Fenn

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 143
  • Karma: 0
Reply #8 on: January 02, 2022, 02:00:59 pm
Probably little point only from the point of view of sales, try as l might l can’t see any people doing that trip.


axman88

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,191
  • Karma: 1
  • Vintage Motorcycle Fan
Reply #9 on: January 03, 2022, 04:36:15 pm
This adventure was successfully completed on 12/16/21, after 15 days of riding.

Although it's obvious that the bikes are riding in ruts of other vehicles, RE photos seem to have been quite careful to exclusively show the bikes alone in the landscape.  With some poking, I was able to find this image attached to an article on the subject, which may, or may not be one of the support vehicles contracted from Arctic Trucks.  https://www.motownindia.com/images/Features-and-Travel/90-South--Royal-Enfields-Quest-for-Pole-position-Motown-India-Bureau-2-517.jpg  Two of these wide track, fat tire vehicles could account for the four ruts seen in most of the pictures.

I also found this statement in the comments on one of the articles:   
They left from the Ross ice shelf and took the track of the south pole traverse vehicles from McMurdo Station. The traverse vehicles are tracked tractors that are dragging sleds of fuel bladders for the pole station. It is an annual event from McMurdo to the pole. Saves having to fly fuel to the pole. (Yes, I am currently at McMurdo Station.)
This suggests that even the support vehicles were not trail blazing.

I still find it impressive that, with no more than very modest modifications, a Himalayan is capable of managing in this environment:
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.

Special front wheel skis were also made for the bikes, which can be seen in this video:  https://youtu.be/I96q3TSl0tQ?t=77  , but I don't know if these were used during the trek.

It seems that folks desiring to ride in Antarctica are not as uncommon as we might think.
     https://www.madornomad.com/motorcycle-to-antarctica/
     https://www.adventurebikerider.com/article/destination-antarctica/
     Shinji Kazama rode to the south pole on a Yamaha DR200, back in 1992    https://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/90s/kazama.html

I wouldn't be surprised to see guided moto tours to the south pole.   They will already take you as far as Anarctica:  https://www.ayresadventures.com/ushuaia-and-antarctica/