Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Musket 998 V-twin does Royal Enfield one better two ways

Aniket Vardhan's Musket 998 is not just beautiful looking.
"Aniket's Musket 998 is a study in persistent pursuit of a goal," Paul Crowe writes in The Kneeslider,  commenting on the remarkable progress of a home built (but professional looking) Royal Enfield V-twin.

In 2009 I called Aniket Vardhan "The Man Who Built His Own V-Twin Enfield." The Columbus, Ohio industrial design teacher  (originally from New Delhi) was seen on YouTube almost dancing with joy as his combination of two 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet motors roared to life.

He built a beautiful looking stretched Royal Enfield motorcycle — the Musket — around that motor.

Then Aniket  revealed that he intended to improve on it with a 1,000cc V-twin in a better Musket. What a pleasant day dream you'd have assumed, expecting that time and tides would surely interfere to prevent it.

Persistent pursuit of a goal, indeed! The Musket 998 exists and is inspiring more dreams as enthusiasts hanker to own it.

Many hurdles no doubt remain. But how can you count out anyone so determined?

Most reaction to Crowe's article focuses on the difficulty of gracefully curving the V-twin exhausts to each side of the motorcycle. This problem will no doubt find a solution.

The surprise I spotted is that the Royal Enfield four-speed gearbox, originally designed to shift on the right, was provided to the Musket 998 shifting on the left (as required in the U.S. and accomplished by the factory with a flimsy and trouble prone exterior linkage).

Aniket converted his transmission to shift on the right with a robust looking exterior linkage. If that linkage is as good as it looks, those of us stuck with the factory right-to-left bodge can't help but wonder if Aniket could sell us his patented God's Own No Slop replacement.

Nevermind the motor; how much for the shift linkage?
It could shift on the right, as on the Musket 998, or perhaps Aniket could market a version that would accomplish what the factory could not, and seamlessly shift on the left.

Oh well. I can dream.


  1. I'd love to see what that thing put out with a pair of big heads on it! Dave, you have to get some video from Aniket, I wanna hear that exhaust!

  2. Anonymous1/24/2013

    Check Kneeslider or Aniket's own site for video.

    1. Here is the link to the YouTube video of it starting up; no mufflers yet:
      Musket 998


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