“We have received a lot of hate mail from traditionalists who think we’re ruining motorcycling,” says Daryl Villanueva of the Vietnam-based Bandit9 custom motorcycle shop. Villanueva continues, “But I don’t care. We’re creating two-wheeled artistic pieces that lean toward the future. That’s why our motorcycles have a sci-fi feel to them—I want us to get out of the present.” Their newest custom, Arthur, which was commissioned by Royal Enfield, definitely does just that.
Arthur is actually one of a set of two; it’s companion piece if appropriately named “Merlin.” For both bikes, Villanueva used hand worked stainless steel. Arthur is more of a café racer and uses the Royal Enfield Continental GT as a base, but it’s basically a new bike. “We’ve essentially made everything ourselves except the motor and the tires,” explains Villanueva. That work included a custom tank, frame, cowl, headlight, forks, handlebars, and exhaust. They did keep the 535cc engine, which has a top speed of just over 93 miles per hour and an output of 29.1 horsepower with 32.5 lb-ft of torque.
The bikes—both Arthur and Merlin—will be limited to a run of nine for each and will be priced at $19,800, including shipping.