Two Royal Enfield Himalayans have successfully made it to the southernmost point of the planet Earth; and the team is now heading back from the western part of Antarctica, from where they will fly out to South America.
Royal Enfield has reported that Santhosh Vijay Kumar and Dean Coxson, riding two modified Himalayans, have made it to the 90° South on December 16, 2021. The 15-day long expedition started when the team flew in from Cape Town to Novo in Antarctica for four days of acclimatisation. Around the same time, the team loaded up the required supplies, double-checked the equipment, and fine-tuned their respective motorcycles.
Over the next nine days, the team headed towards the Ross Ice shelf. While covering the 3,200km long journey, the team faced extreme climatic conditions, such as the temperature below -30 degrees and harsh winds, blowing at 60km/h.
Due to an unexpected blizzard, the starting point of the expedition was moved from 86° South to 87° South; however, the team covered the 400km and made it to the southernmost point on the 16th December 2021.
The motorcycles that were used for the expedition were largely in the factory form; however, a few modifications were made to them. The changes included a reinforced handlebar, knuckle guards, and a close final-drive ratio to plough through the snow. The motorcycles also featured knobby tyres (with snow chains), which are more suitable for riding in the snow. Also, the spoke wire wheel and tyre arrangement were tubeless, which helped the riders reduce the pressure while riding through the snow and allowed for easy maintenance.
The team also disconnected the engine oil-cooling system, as they were sure that the power plant will not overheat in the sub-zero temperatures. The motorcycle also featured a more powerful alternator.
Royal Enfield’s team rode the motorcycles on compacted snow tracks, which reduced the motorcycle drag and limited the emissions to an absolute minimum. Royal Enfield’s team has made sure that no footprint is left behind. This is in line with the brand’s initiative, ‘Leave Every Place Better’, following which the team made sure that all waste, including human waste, was brought back for appropriate disposal.
Currently, the team is heading towards Union Glacier, the western part of Antarctica, from where they will fly out to Punta Arenas, Chile.