Bandit9’s New Bikes Are the Holy Grail of Custom Motorcycling

Arthur and Merlin were handmade from a pair of Royal Enfields

December 21, 2018 9:00 am

“We have received a lot of hate mail from traditionalists who think we’re ruining motorcycling,” Daryl Villanueva, founder of Bandit9 motorcycles, recently told Robb Report. “But I don’t care.”

Did we skip over Christmas and head straight for April Fool’s? Did we get sucked into the Upside Down? We’ve been championing the bike gurus at Ho Chi Minh City’s Bandit9 for years, and after reading that quote, we finally understand how Vizzini feels.

And you will too once you take a look at Arthur and Merlin, two new mirrored motorcycles handmade by Bandit9 from starter bikes provided by Royal Enfield, who also commissioned them. Take note, bike builders: this is how you do a custom job. 

Bandit 9 Arthur Merlin (4 images)

While both bikes boast the company’s signature stainless steel construction, are priced at $19,800 (including door-to-door shipping) and will only be made in a run of nine editions each, they differ quite a bit in terms of use case and performance. Arthur is a consummate café racer, built on the Royal Enfield Continental GT, with a 535cc engine and top speed just above 93 MPH. Merlin is a more relaxed hardtail, built on a Bullet, with a 499cc engine and top speed of about 87 MPH.

“We’ve essentially made everything ourselves except the motor and the tires,” said Villaneuva in Robb Report. Sure, that’s impressive. But when it comes to bikes, seeing is believing. And thanks to the video below, it looks like Bandit9 is going to make believers out of those “traditionalists” yet:

At the time of writing, they’re down to five Arthurs and six Merlins, so head on over to Bandit9 posthaste if you want to get the full specs before you order one of these holy grails for yourself.

All images via Bandit9

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