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Modified Royal Enfield Himalayans ride across Antarctica to reach the South Pole in 15 days

We are extremely proud to have been organisers of Royal Enfield’s successful 2021 attempt to ride two “Himalayan” single cylinder 410cc adventure motorcycles to the South Pole, inter alia celebrating the 120th anniversary of the founding of this wonderful marque in considerable style.

The team, with the assistance of our Polar logistics partners, rode in to the Pole on 16th December 2021 after an arduous journey that included severe blizzards and deep cold. We offer our hearty congratulations to Royal Enfield and the two riders with whom we have worked tirelessly for the last two years to turn a fantastic idea into reality.

Antarctica

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The Explorations Company, where no two journeys have ever been the same

After organising a huge preparation programme, including testing on European glaciers, we shipped the bikes from the UK to South Africa and onward to Antarctica. The team, including filmmakers and two highly experienced guides, travelled to Cape Town where they spent time in isolation before flying under strict bio-protocols from Cape Town to Novolavarevskaya Station in Antarctica.

Here they spent four days acclimatising, loading supplies and checking the equipment and motorcycles. From Novo the team then set off in two vehicles to cover an overland distance of more than 3000 km, braving extreme climatic conditions and temperatures. Their aim was to reach the far side of Antarctica at the edge of Ross Ice Shelf, in the extreme south of Antarctica, before starting the ride to the Pole.

Nearing the top of the Leverett Glacier, not far from Ross, an unexpected and severe storm forced the team to alter course with the result that they started riding back towards the South Pole from a point at 87 degrees South. Despite adverse conditions and physical difficulty, the expedition team completed the quest on December 16, 2021, creating a moment of history.

For this expedition, the two Himalayan motorcycles were suitably modified in-house by Royal Enfield, although they were deliberately left as near “stock” as possible. The motorcycles were ridden on a pre-existing compacted supply track, reducing drag (and therefore emissions) to a minimum. During the entire expedition it was ensured that nothing was left behind in Antarctica except wheel tracks which will have quickly been lost to snow drift.

It has been a great pleasure and an honour for the Explorations Company to create and oversee this successful expedition, especially for such a venerated and long-established brand as Royal Enfield.  

 

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Explore with The Explorations Company

By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017

Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...

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