Past several custom-bike features for us have been one of the Royal Enfield 650 twins - either an off-roader or a cafe racer or just an enhanced paint job. But the original favourites of custom-bike builders - the 350s and the 500s - retain their original charm and the latest one comes from Jay D Patel of J&D Custom who holds more faith in traditional handcrafting than computer-aided machining. The result is this raw and beautiful Electra 350 which J&D have simply called 'Handmade' everything apart from the engine and wheels was built from scratch, J D tells Bikeexif.
Jay's first-ever customisation job was when he restored his father's Land Rover Defender and then got international recognition for his Baroda Bobber custom-build which was based on a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350.
This is Jay’s first full-frame build, and he’s used 304 seamless stainless steel tubing. “I did some research and made a frame jig to perfectly align the frame,” he recalls. “But as I was used to working without professional tools, I ended up only using the jig for joining the neck to the front rail.”
Jay wanted to build a springer fork set-up for the Handmade Electra 350 and this would be his first time building one. He got it quite right the very first time and says that it is the most beautiful part of the build. The fuel tank was split into two portions to easily hide electrical items and the battery. The left side holds the six-litre fuel cell and the right side houses the electricals.
The handlebar is neat looking thanks to an internal throttle assembly and inverted clutch cable setup. “But since I was using an internal throttle, it wasn’t possible to use an inverted lever for the front brake setup,” says Jay. “And hydraulic brakes can’t work that way. So I decided to link both the front and rear brake operations using a single foot pedal.”
The 19-inch wheels and the exhaust are some of the very few original fitments. For the paint job, well, Jay has bravely opted for doing away with it completely. “For me, it shows the craftsmanship of the builder. There are no layers of filler or anything, and you can see all the joints, welds, bends and lines.”