How Royal Enfield Himalayan reached the South Pole
Chennai-based Royal Enfield is celebrating its 120th anniversary in style. On December 16, two Himalayan ADVs ridden by Dean Coxson and Santhosh Vijay Kumar reached the geographic South Pole, successfully completing the brand's '90° South-Quest For The Pole' journey. The two riders used Himalayans that were upgraded to sustain the biting cold and cover a total distance of 3,200km.
Why does it matter?
- Royal Enfield is no stranger to daunting expeditions to the most inhospitable and inaccessible locations.
- In the past, the brand has undertaken road trips to the Daulat Beg Oldi pass in the Karakoram range and the base camp of Mount Everest.
- This southern sojourn of the Himalayan ADV is a testimony to its ability to traverse the harshest off-road conditions.
What perils did the duo face?
The expedition started from Cape Town, South Africa on November 26. The team arrived in Novo, Antarctica to get acclimatized and check the equipment. While traveling to Ross Ice Shelf, the riders braved wind speed of 60km/h and temperatures between -30 to -25 degrees Celsius. Due to a blizzard, the duo began the ride from 87-degree South instead of the originally planned 86-degree.
The bikes have been modified to ride on snow
The two Royal Enfield Himalayans used for the journey were tested by an in-house team between September 2020 and July 2021 on the Longjokulll Glacier in Iceland. The vehicles have the ability to ride on ice and snow. They offer a tubeless wheel setup wrapped in studded tires that provide traction on hard ice and increase floatation on soft snow.
A snow track was used to lower emissions
The bikes sport a 13-tooth sprocket, electricals waterproofed using silicone grease, a larger foot for the side-stand, and a stronger alternator with rare earth magnets. However, the brand has removed the headlight cluster and center stand to reduce weight. On way to the South Pole, the motorcycles were ridden on a compacted snow track to reduce drag and lower emissions.
Pollution was kept to a minimum
The Royal Enfield team is currently on its way to the Union Glacier in the western part of Antarctica. Later, they will fly out to Punta Arenas in Chile. The company claims that barring wheel tracks, no footprints were left behind by the two riders. Also, all emissions including human waste will later be brought back for proper disposal.