29th October 2021

Quest for the pole: A celebration of 120 years of motorcycling

With continuous production since 1901 at its Redditch factory, Royal Enfield has remained the preserver of the legacy of building simple, pared-down, authentic classic motorcycles that are engaging and fun to ride.  

Over the years Royal Enfield has encouraged the pursuit of exploration and conducted many rides across the globe ranging from riding on the highest motorable pass in the world, to reaching the Base Camp of Mount Everest in Tibet, from riding over the most inaccessible mountain pass at Daulat Beg Oldi, Karakoram, to riding across the desert at Kutch under picturesque night skies. 

To commemorate 120 years of building pure motorcycling culture, Royal Enfield will mark 2021 with a courageous attempt to push the boundaries of motorcycling even more. The company will undertake a motorcycling expedition on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, to attempt to reach the geographic South Pole, from the Ross Ice Shelf via the Leverett Glacier. 90° SOUTH - Quest for the Pole is conceptualized as a tribute to the brand’s commitment to pure motorcycling, and to the courage and resilience of innumerable riders and explorers who have made history with their motorcycling journeys. 

Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd commented, 120 years is a long legacy for the brand, and we are very happy to have made it count. Over these years, we have created and nurtured a thriving culture of riding and exploration around the world. This pursuit of exploration has been a quintessential part of our DNA, and 90° South is another chapter in our series of extraordinary, epic motorcycling rides” 

Conceptualized as a tribute to 120 years of pure motorcycling, and as an ode to all Enfielders who’ve dared to explore beyond the ordinary, 90° South will be an ambitious attempt to go where no motorcycle has gone before. To begin from Cape Town, South Africa, on 26 November 2021, 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, from the Ross Ice Shelf, via the Leverett Glacier, to the Amundsen-Scott Pole station. 

Wishing the expedition great success, B Govindarajan, Executive Director, Royal Enfield said, It has been an unbroken legacy of 120 years, of fuelling and pushing the boundaries of human exploration, and being an ally to many explorers. It is their journeys and adventures that have inspired us to attempt this first of its kind motorcycle expedition. This bold and ambitious attempt to ride to the very end of the earth summarizes the resilience of the human spirit, and we hope to complete it successfully as an ode to all Royal Enfield riders and their own inspiring expeditions.” 

The expedition will be conducted in close partnership with Artic Trucks and attempted on two purpose built Royal Enfield Himalayans. Arctic Trucks, a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, are renowned for their deep expertise in the field. The two Himalayan’s have been modified in-house, with functional upgrades to be able to navigate the snow, ice and extreme Antarctica conditions.  

While the Himalayan is an extremely versatile bike, it has undertaken arduous and treacherous testing at the e Langjokull glacier in Iceland, with an intention to mirror the conditions in Antarctica. Phase 1 of testing was held in September 2020 while phase 2 of testing concluded in July 2021. To ensure the Himalayans are ready for the terrain and weather conditions they required some minimal changes. For greater torque at the rear wheel, the main drive sprocket was been changed from a 15-teeth to a 13 teeth unit. In addition to this the bike have a tubeless wheel setup with studded tyres that allow the tyres to run at very low pressures, increases floatation on soft snow and provide 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. 

You can show your support here: https://www.royalenfield.com/in/en/90south/ and watch the expedition file below: