HYDERABAD: It’s a given that bikers love their rides. But many want their bike to be unique, to stand out in some way, and that’s when they go for customisations, where some aspect of the bike is tweaked or modified. And, while Hyderabad does not have too many options for the same, a few outlets have managed to push the envelope and keep coming up with eye-catching customisations.
Former IT professionals Saikat Basu and Mrutyunjaya Dash had always desired to utilise their backgrounds in fine arts on bikes. “We started out with wanting to make some changes to our own Royal Enfield bikes. But we did not find anyone who does that in Hyderabad,” says Saikat.
The duo made humble beginnings by carrying out paint jobs on their own, as well as on their friends’ bikes. As word of their work spread and more bikers approached them, they rented a bigger workshop. Around 2016, both of them quit the comfort of their IT jobs and dedicated all their time to Eimor Customs. Eimor is an acronym that stands for East India Motorcycle Revolution, the ‘East’ part in the name arising from both the founders being natives of Eastern part of the country.
Speaking about the initial days of Eimor, Saikat says, “Sometimes we had no orders for months at a stretch, but we were still working on something or the other.” Eimor now has a 15-member team, including three partners (Pathik Nimbalkar being the third one), and receives orders from all over the country. They have two workshops, one only for painting, equipped with industry-standard and state-of-the-art facilities.
Explaining why customisation finds so many takers, Saikat said, “During our school days, people aspired to just own a Royal Enfield. Now, it’s much more common to own one and so there’s a lot of scope for customisation.” The firm understands the customer’s requirements and makes changes tailored to the customer. Paint jobs are still their forte, which becomes apparent from the pictures of work on their website.
The firm is currently working on a special request. The youngest of four siblings, an Army officer deployed in Kashmir, was killed on duty in 2011. His three siblings want a bike in their deceased brother’s memory, which also captures his life.
From tweaking cycles at 7 to making bikes beautiful
Reza Hussain was modifying cycles using his father’s tools at the age of seven itself. From there, it was a natural progression to his passion for modifying motorcycles. However, it took him a whopping 13 years to convince his family to make this his profession.
The founder of RH Customs in Amberpet, Reza, 40, recalls that the urge to customise bikes arose as he ‘wanted his bike to be very different, and stand out even if it was parked with 100 other bikes.’ Until 2013, while working in the IT industry, he would modify bikes either for himself or his friends.
“I gave five years of my life to jobs in marketing, sales etc. But I did not want to keep going to work and sulk every day,” he says. As soon as his family relented, Reza started RH Customs in 2013. He says, “I don’t blame them (family). Old school folks believe you should either be an engineer or a doctor. For them, this was a ‘mechanic job’.”
Reza not only became Hyderabad’s first representative at the India Bike Week — a competition for modified bikes — he also won it twice in 2014 and 2015. The next year, to allow others a chance to win, he was declared the undisputed champion and made a jury member.
Most of Reza’s customers are clear on what they want. Those who give him a free hand are the ones that excite him. “I incorporate the personality and preferences of the rider in the design,” he says. The firm caters to people from myriad professions, including filmstars, racing enthusiasts and Army personnel.
A current project that excites Reza is to modify a bike based on Bumblebee, a popular character from the Transformers movie series. “Across the world, nobody has done something like this for a bike. But the project is on hold because both the bike owner and the parts we need are stuck in the US due to the pandemic. This is something that gives me sleepless nights. It won’t happen soon, but we are trying to slowly courier every part,” he says.
— Tushar Kaushik