Shop the Merlin Heritage motorcycle gear collection

Malle hardens up a pair of Enfield Interceptor 650s

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
If you’re a fan of classic motorcycle luggage, you probably know the English company Malle. Set up by designers Robert Nightingale and Jonny Cazzola, the London outfit sells tough but stylish travel gear for riders, and classy accoutrements for weekday use.

Robert and Jonny also have a knack for running quirky moto events such as the Malle Mille. Their latest endeavor is next month’s ‘Great Malle Rally,’ and they’ve built two very stylish Royal Enfield Interceptor 650s as support vehicles.

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
Royal Enfield signed on the line when Robert and Jonny pitched the idea of rally spec support bikes to them.

The goal was to create two machines to carry engineers supporting 100 ‘very inappropriate’ custom and classic motorcycles on the 1,250-mile (2,000 km), five-day rally—running across the wildest landscapes of mainland Britain.

Hardknott Pass in the Lake District, part of the 2019 Great Malle Rally route
“We wanted to create very specific tools for a very specific job,” says Robert. “The Interceptor 650 twin was perfect for the heart of the build: lightweight, fun, easy to modify and with a beautiful engine at its core.”

Robert and Jonny borrowed a stock Interceptor for a field test in Portugal earlier this year. “After thrashing the bike over a thousand miles in three days, with 200 of those miles off road, we had a pretty good grasp of what it could do,” says Robert. “And also what modifications it needed for the rally.”

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
When it was time to build the bikes, Malle worked with the Industrial Design team at Royal Enfield in the UK. On monthly trips north to Leicestershire, Robert and Jonny shared their ideas and sketches.

They started stripping the bikes down, and convinced friends and collaborators to loan them a few parts. “Our friends over at British Customs were on board immediately.”

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
“Although they typically make parts for custom Triumphs, they set up a jig and made two sets of custom exhausts that just slipped right on to the 650 Twin,” says Robert.

“We also used British Customs’ heavy-duty Grabber foot pegs and Mule Tracker handlebars, and Biltwell grips.”

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
The bikes might look good, but usability was critical too. They needed to carry rally tools, assorted kit and supplies. So Malle adapted each Interceptor to carry a pair of their Moto Panniers, stuffed with 20 kilos of tools on each side—one side with metric, one side imperial.

All of Malle’s luggage is made from British waxed canvas—made by the oldest waxed canvas mill in the UK, established in 1776. One bike has the standard matt black, but the lead engineer’s bike is sporting the new Red 10oz material for greater visibility.

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
The large duffel at the back holds a checkpoint kit, plus spare fuel tanks, cables, consumables like zip ties and duck tape, and the personal effects of the engineers. Each set of tools is packed into dry bags inside the panniers, keeping everything waterproof and airtight.

For a support vehicle, lighting and safety are crucial. In the Malle tank pack, you’ll find five USB charging parts for phones, GPS and torches, as well as a first-aid kit, water and food.

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
PIAA were the lighting partner of choice and supplied Malle with extra large twin front lights, dual oversize fog-lights and large taillights. The side/rear lights can be rotated to act as spotlights for the engineer.

Most of The Great Malle Rally runs along tiny, single-track B roads. But there are also loose gravel mountain tracks, and small rivers often burst their banks and spread deep mud across many of the lanes.

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
So Malle lifted the bikes by a few inches with modified upside down WP forks and extended rear shocks, and installed tough Heidenau K60 dual sport tires.

The new forks meant new yokes, so Royal Enfield’s sister company Harris Performance fabricated a pair—and added a couple of heavy-duty aluminum bash guards too. Malle beefed up the protection still further with more engine guards that also house additional fog-lights.

Applecross Pass in Scotland, part of the 2019 Great Malle Rally route
The tanks and oil boxes have been hand-painted with contoured relief maps of favorite roads in the Rally: the Applecross Pass (Bealach na Bà, above) in Scotland, and the Hardknott Pass from the Lake District in England.

“The Royal Enfield team went to town on the paint jobs, with several post-2 a.m. nights in the spray booth to get them perfect,” says Robert.

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally
The Interceptor 650s are now ready to tackle the Great Malle Rally, and if the event sounds like your kinda fun, a handful of packages are still available. And no, this isn’t just an event for scramblers and ADV bikes: it’s open to all classics, café racers and choppers too.

That might sound like a recipe for disaster, but there’s little need to worry. If anything goes wrong, the ‘Rally Royale’ Interceptors will be there in a jiffy.

Malle London | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Mihail Jershov

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 support vehicles for the Great Malle Rally

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
2K Shares
READ NEXT