RE-Imagined: Attending Royal Enfield MotoVerse 2023

Royal Enfield Motoverse 2023: Himalayan price, India launch, Shotgun 650 special edition.

Arguably, Royal Enfield’s biggest success in recent years hasn’t been the excellent motorcycles that it has been relentlessly rolling out, but in how these bikes have attracted new customers who would have previously never associated with the brand. With some brands, your interaction and involvement largely end on the day of purchase. With Royal Enfield though, that’s where it all begins. Right from the atmosphere in its showrooms to the rides and events that it organises around them, the company has paid a lot of attention to what it means to own and ride a Royal Enfield, and there’s no place this is more evident than at its annual Rider Mania festival. Or at least that’s what it used to be called. This time around, the company is calling it Motoverse.

With it being held in November, temperatures are comfortable and the ride down is pleasant as well.

The name may be different, but the essence is very much still the same: a celebration of all things Royal Enfield. At its heart, of course, are the motorcycles. This year saw the general public getting their very first chance to check out the extremely impressive new Himalayan in the metal. But they also got a chance to lay their eyes on something entirely new. The long-awaited Shotgun 650 was shown officially for the very first time, as a sort of factory custom limited edition called the Motoverse Edition. In recent times, we’ve seen Royal Enfield extend special privileges to those present at its annual festival, and this year, that benefit was being able to book a chance to buy one of the 25 units of this Shotgun 650 Motoverse Edition, which features a rather special hand-painted livery, including touches like a very neat colour gradient along the fuel tank.

As usual, the food is fantastic in Goa.

It wasn’t just the bikes made by RE itself that were the stars of the show. The Motoville section featured 23 rather tasteful custom motorcycles built by workshops all over the country, including the radical Auto Engine Himalayan 822, built around a parallel-twin created by joining two 411cc Himalayan motors together. As important as the bikes were, Motoverse was also about the people associated with the brand, and all the stories and knowledge they had to share. With years of Dakar experience under his belt, CS Santosh is a wealth of such experiences, and having joined the Royal Enfield fold last year, he was present at Motoverse to speak to all who wished to listen. Other noteworthy speakers at the festival included fellow Indian Dakar competitor Ashish Raorane, and veteran racer and Isle of Man competitor Aspi Bhathena.

Whether it’s knowledge, stories or entertainment you’re after, people of all ages will find something of interest at Motoverse.

But beyond just looking and listening, Motoverse also provided an opportunity to get involved in the action, with amateur racing taking place on various dirt tracks at the festival. Sharpening your flat-track skills was another way to spend your day, with the famous Royal Enfield Slide School also in session at the festival. The end of each day offered an opportunity to socialise and unwind, with a number of big-name artists performing at the main stage. Belting out the tunes were the likes of Benny Dayal, Parikrama, Seedhe Maut and Hanumankind.

A cosy, intimate setting at the ‘MotoReel’ section.

The diversity and volume of things going on at Motoverse really make it a community event – you can take along your partner, your non-biking friends, perhaps even your children, and they will all be able to find something that’s up their alley on the festival grounds. It’s inclusive, too – you’re just as welcome even if you ride a rival brand’s motorcycle. Which is why it attracted close to 15,000 participants from all over the country this year. With Royal Enfield having shown its first electric concept, the Him-e, at EICMA this year, it’s a brave new world on the horizon, and Motoverse might not always be the raucous carnival that it is today. So if you haven’t made the pilgrimage yet, it’s definitely something that should be on your radar while it’s still taking place in all its glory.

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