Rahul and Birju Sinroja have come a long way in a very short time. We first met the ambitious duo three years ago when they exhibited an understated BMW R80 at our London show. Clearly the brothers have been doing something right as they’ve moved to a voluminous 2,000 sq ft facility a stone’s throw from Triumph’s HQ in Hinckley, Leicestershire. No surprise then that brands and manufacturers have come knocking, first Royal Enfield, and more recently BMW and Dutch watchmaker TW Steel.
TW Steel have been working with up and coming custom builders for a few years now with a brief of subtly incorporating their limited edition timepieces into show stopping motorcycles. And you don’t need me to tell you that the guys delivered.
Initially six months had been earmarked for the project but as is nearly always the case there were delays with getting hold of a donor. BMW Motorrad UK have done such a good job of flogging the R nineT that earmarking one to be chopped up wasn’t so simple. With 10 weeks before a hard deadline of Bike Shed London 2018 on May’s last bank holiday weekend work commenced in earnest. Rahul and Birju said goodbye to their friends and family and locked themselves away in the workshop. As you can see, Sinroja isn’t a one bench operation, they’ve a stream of customers to placate.
The intricate fork covers and headlight surround, the fuel tank and surfboard fin shaped tail are the work of master craftsman Chris Walton, drafted in to ensure 100% accuracy to the original sketches. Over 150 hours were poured into the aluminium work and three fuel tanks were made before the Sinroja’s exacting standards were met. The vessel’s shape would dictate the rest of the bodywork’s flow so time spent seeking perfection seemed an obvious choice. The Son Of Time watch produced in collaboration with the bike provided inspiration for the filler cap, a scaled-up crown with the TW Steel logo was machined by Fastec Racing.
The fork shrouds do not affect steering lock and are unimposing from the side view, but from the front create an illusion of fairing, narrowing the boxer engine’s bulky silhouette. Mounted with just four bolts on the fork legs allows the headlight surround to hover over the lamp and dashboard. A traditional café style seat hump wasn’t ever going to fit the bill and this upside-down fin suggests speed even when mounted on a paddock stand. Industry go-to painters 8 Ball were entrusted with the striking yet relatively understated colour scheme. But as is the case with half the bikes at our show, the lacquer was still drying while the TW Steel crew setup their stand.
Under all that beauty is the acclaimed R nineT power plant which needs neither introduction here or messing with internally, but the same can’t be said for it’s electrical system. The CAN bus technology that’s crept over from the car industry is fiendishly complicated for custom builders who want to chop and hide as much of the practical ugliness as possible. BMW Motorrad UK assisted Richard from Motorcycle Wiring Specialists to ensure the motor would still run properly once all the EU regulatory sensors and restrictors were removed. Sadiq Kahn and polar bears look away now, anything that wasn’t essential to the bike actually performing was binned. Motgadget switchgear was fitted in place of bulbous OEM parts and the dash is dominated by a custom made GPS gauge from Speedhut.
DNA pod filters take the place of the now redundant airbox and a stainless exhaust system was shaped and fabricated in-house. A simple pair of silencers are baffled just-so, providing the bassy soundtrack without being raucous. The freer breathing engine should add extra urgency to an already exhilarating ride but performance is at the heart of TW Steel’s ethos so a few unobtrusive upgrades were required to enable a tick in the go faster box. Lightweight Kineo wheels with colour coded spoke nipples look the nuts, especially on shaft driven bikes like the Beemer. The Dutch manufacturer included four black nipples to represent TW’s logo – nice touch. Continental slicks are of course for show but, Moksha will be running the sprint races at Glemseck in a few weeks where the Sinroja’s will need all the grip they can get.
An agressive stance and sharper rake was achieved thanks to British suspension specialists Nitron. Rahul’s calculations suggested lengthening the rear shock by 27mm would yield the perfect result. With the bike off its paddock stand during the show load-in the stance certainly looked purposeful…..perhaps they’ll lend us the keys one day to try out the handling….
Brembo performance master cylinders offer added power to the existing braking system. The calipers though were stripped and ceramic coated black by local-ish firm Flying Tiger. Even the front ABS ring has been laser engraved, click on the gallery photos above to read the inscription. Finally a few finishing touches from Rizoma were added. Clipons and rearsets cement the racier riding position and the engine was treated to colour matched rocker and timing covers.
And the name, Moksha? It’s an ancient Vedic word for freedom and liberty.
The Sinroja’s had obviously thrown their all into this build, their exhaustion noticeable on Friday at the show. But as soon as the TW Steel stand was complete and their hard work on display for all to admire the tiredness gave way to elation and satisfaction – the response from the visitors was genuinely overwhelming. Hear about the project in their own words in this video.
Images by Autohouse London