The legendary brand makes history riding the first motorcycles to the geographic South Pole
As we first reported back in October, Royal Enfield set out to achieve what no other motorcycle brand in history has done- ride a pair of motorcycles to the South Pole. On December 16, they did just that. Two Royal Enfield Himalayans were ridden to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, the geographic South Pole. Riders Santosh Vijay Kumar and Dean Coxson of RE set out on November 26 from Novo, Antarctica after spending a few days there acclimating to the harsh, inhospitable conditions of the frozen continent, then transported their modified Himalayans 1988 miles to the Ross Ice Shelf where their attempt would officially begin.
Image from training and preparation on the Longjokull Glacier in Iceland. Photo by Royal Enfield.
The Royal Enfield Himalayans had to undergo rigorous testing in the months leading up to the attempt, which was conducted on the Longjokull Glacier in Iceland. Each bike received numerous modifications to enable the bikes to withstand the extreme conditions of the Antarctica expedition, such as studded tubeless winter tires designed to roll with low pressure across snow and ice, a smaller front chain sprocket and electronics that could function in -40 degrees, to name a few. Kumar and Coxson underwent intense training to prepare for the feat as well, utilizing military style severe cold conditioning to ready themselves for the expedition.
Man and machine put through the rigors during training on the Longjokull Glacier in Iceland. Photo by Royal Enfield.
Due to severe weather conditions, mostly notably an unexpected massive blizzard, the “90 South” team altered course somewhat, leaving from 87 degrees south rather than 86 degrees south on the ice shelf. Coxson and Kumar then made the grueling 250 mile trek across the continent accompanied by a chase truck in 15 days, braving -22 to -13 F temps and winds of 35-40 mph, reaching the South Pole station on December 16, 2021.
The only photo so far from the expedition- a low-res, pixelated shot taken on a satellite phone. Photo by Royal Enfield.
So far, all we’ve seen of the expedition is this single, low-res pixelated sat phone photo of the riders, a chase truck driver, and one of the bikes at the actual pole, ironically planted for photo ops. As we get more info and photos, we’ll pass them along. The team is now transporting themselves and their bikes in large support trucks across the continent to Union Glacier, where they’ll begin the long journey home to recount their odyssey to the world in greater detail, we’re certain.
Himalayan in training. Photo by Royal Enfield.
So congrats to Santosh Vijay Kumar, Dean Coxson, their expedition support team, and Royal Enfield for this huge accomplishment. You have made history.
*For more on the 90 South expedition, click here:
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Not many untamed routes still available
This one must have been epic
Can’t wait to read more
We look forward to learning more as well. From what little we know, there were some dangerous snags and situations that forced route changes, etc., but they made it. Some incredible stories to come, I’m sure.
Some routes are not even touched. And still places are to explore.