royal enfield x bandit9 merlin motorcycle custom-built as a timepiece

royal enfield x bandit9 merlin motorcycle custom-built as a timepiece

if transforming a ‘continental GT’ into a sci-fi custom motorcycle called ‘arthur’ was not enough, royal enfield has once again challenged bandit9 to custom build another of its classics and, boy, did they deliver. fittingly called ‘merlin’, the ho chi minh city,-based builder has converted a ‘bullet’ into a timeless hardtail in just three months.

all images courtesy of bandit9



to start with, bandit9 cut out the frame of the ‘bullet’, scrapped the sub-frame and extended the neck to create a core body with low, long and light proportions. the new frame, which is mounted on 21-inch wheels, ensure no details exceeds its triangular shape. as such,  the tank’s silhouette follows the spine, a long exhaust mimics the curve of the base structure, and front and rear fenders are flush with the wheels.



as always with bandit9, the design is even more inspiring in the handcrafted details. the saddle was influenced by the balance springs seen in exhibition backs of high-end timepieces, whilst an independent suspension helps reduce the shock of a hardtail. the speedometer is housed within a polished aluminum cap with a bronze metal finish. the dial itself is made from stainless steel and points to engraved roman numerals. custom parts continue with the tipped footpegs, levers, bronze brackets, flush gas cap, new kickstarter, toggle switches, push buttons, and the handlebar.



the royal enfield x bandit9 ‘merlin’ motorcycle successfully refines complicated machinery into a simple yet stunning form. much like a timepiece, the design will be treasured and handed down between generations. and, as its limited to just nine pieces, this might be the only way to get your hands on one.







project info:


original manufacturer: royal enfield

original model: bullet

custom maker: bandit9

custom model: merlin



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