Here’s another one to add to the ever expanding list of ‘things we never expected to see’: Royal Enfield has signed up a factory stunt rider. Lee Bowers is a bit of a legend in the stunt world. There’s not much he can’t do on a bike, either on Hollywood film sets or at high-end stunt shows. But we normally see him on a high-performance Japanese sportsbike (he was formerly sponsored by Kawasaki), not a 47bhp air-cooled retro twin…
The Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT 650 twins are great for what they are, thanks mostly to the chassis set-up, developed in the UK by Harris Performance engineers and ex-BSB test riders. But they needed a bit of a fettle to make them into proper stunt tools for Lee. He’s got two of the 650 twins – one is set up for wheelies and stoppies, and the other is a drift bike with a long swingarm.
The freestyle/wheelie bike has had a massive list of upgrades, from bespoke strengthened Öhlins USD forks and Brembo Stylema brake calipers to the Dymag-forged race wheels and Öhlins TTX rear shock. The frame itself is a gorgeous, handmade Harris Performance design in T45 tube with monoshock linkage and an underbraced swingarm. Of course, like every proper stunt bike, it also has a flash rear brake set-up: dual Brembo Stylema calipers on the rear disc with thumb and foot brake. A Harris exhaust, modified seat unit with footrest, strengthened fuel tank and extensive crash cage rounds off the full factory stunt bike upgrades.
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The drift bike is less fancy, with a 200mm longer swingarm, Harris rear brake set-up, Nitron twin shocks, S&S race pipe and 180-section Maxxis rear tyre. Both bikes stick with the standard 650 twin motor – 47bhp, with the right gearing, is plenty for stunt show use. Finally, Bower also has a little 411cc single-cylinder Himalayan stunt tool, festooned with a flamethrower, smoke machine, and industrial pyrotechnic installation. It’s called the Himalayan Fire Bike – and adds even more spectacle to his stunt show.
Lee’s really enthusiastic about the new project: “I know it’s possible to stunt ride any high performance bike with some dedication and practice; however, to break new ground with such an iconic brand as Royal Enfield, traditionally associated with smaller capacity retro classics and singles, is incredibly exciting. “I feel honoured to get the opportunity to work closely alongside Harris Performance and Royal Enfield. It’s a great journey we’re starting together and I know we can build something incredibly special!”
Watch out for the Bowers/Royal Enfield stunt show at bike events this season.