Musket 998 On The Road Videos – the Big V-Twin Stretches its Legs

Musket 998 V-Twin first runs on the road

Musket 998 V-Twin first runs on the road

Aniket Vardhan took advantage of a 48 degree day to get his brand new Musket 998 outside for a few runs across the parking lot and then out on the road to begin breaking it in. The parking lot runs are muffler free so you get a real sense of what a beast he's built, it sounds really strong and accelerates with far more authority than any 500cc Bullet possibly can.

Royal Enfield owners around the world are chomping at the bit to get a chance to turn their own single cylinder 500s into a snarling 998cc Musket V-Twin, but there's still work to do making sure everything's right. Aniket is well aware of the anticipation as everyone waits for these engine kits to become available and I'm not sure if seeing these will make everyone feel better because it's working so well or make them feel worse because they don't have one yet.

Whichever the case, watch the videos and turn up the volume.

Videos below:

Comments

  1. B50 Jim says

    I tip my Bell to Aniket! I want one! You can see the joy he feels riding his own creation — and what fine bike it is! I want one! Sounds like nothing else; not quite a V-twin, not quite a parallel twin, it’s unique, and it simply looks “right”. I want one!

    Let’s hope Aniket can take it to the next level, that is, production. He’ll need some kind of factory backing but it seems possible with a fine, well, engineered build like the Musket. I want one!

    Did I say I want one?

  2. Domino says

    I agree with B50 Jim… every video I see of Aniket, conveys the joy he gets from his creation… oh, and I love everything about the bike…

  3. Medicated Steve says

    How much power is this beast estimated to be making? Time for a dyno pull! SOUNDS SO FREAKING SWEET!

  4. todd says

    Awesome!

    Aniket, do you think you could run the front frame tube to the top of the cylinder head and use the engine as a semi-stressed member instead of the curved tube? That might transmit more vibration (and possibly twist the cylinder studs…) but it would alleviate most people’s single complaint about your fantastic build!

    -todd

    • says

      This frame, and the previous Musket 700 frame, are adaptations of the standard frame which serve the purpose and provide a running platform for the engine. It’s part of Aniket’s vision of converting Royal Enfield motorcycles to V-Twins. And it provides a quite low-cost frame solution which uses the entire “donor” motorcycle along with the parts which are used from the single cylinder “donor” engine.

      However, there are many other custom frame solutions which an individual purchaser of this engine might entertain or consider. The sky is the limit.

      • todd says

        Correct. My thought was to only modify the standard downtube enough so that it mounts to the top of the cylinder head. I imagine there would be all sorts of stresses added to the cylinder that weren’t there before but much like a Vincent.

        -todd

        • says

          Hi Todd,
          I would look at other options besides bolting to the head. The head and barrel were never engineered for that purpose. The original frame is an open-cradle, and does use the engine as a stressed member, but it uses the crankcase for that purpose and not the heads.
          It may be possible to use a dual front downtube system on the front motor mount like the old Ducati bevel-twins had. I think that would work out fine.
          There may be other possibilities too, and plenty of custom options.

          I like the way that this engine gets people thinking about what they’d want to do with it. It’s a great dream machine!

        • Paulinator says

          I’ve read that the barrels, base flanges and studs of an opposed aircraft engine like the Lycoming O-360 will flex up to 80 thou of an inch. I wouldn’t have believed it until I saw high-speed video of a crash-test on some components we manufacture. A 1/2 inch thick (4 ft x 5 ft) stainless steel anchor plate rippled like water when viewed at 1200 frames per second (it was a stunning glimpse at an otherwise invisible world). Running the load-path thru the engine might screw up handling. :)

          p.s. I love the work u do, Aniket.

          • todd says

            Sure, everything moves under stress but how would that compare to a long, curved steel tube?

            I like the bike regardless of the tube. To me, the bike represents the sort of innovation in grass roots motorcycle design that is sadly missing today.

            -todd

    • rob ridgway says

      the post war vincent motor was designed from the start to have the upper frame member bolted to the tops of the cylinder heads structurally- i.e. the cylinder studs were designed to be load-bearing, the cylinders themselves were deeply spigoted into the crankcases, and the crankcases themselves were designed to take all the stress of being the main part of the frame. i dont think that the enfield cylinder or head or studs could take that kind of punishment, as they weren’t designed for it. if anyone knows differently, however, please show examples or numbers showing that it is possible, as i would really like to see an enfield v-twin done that way- i think it would be awesome!
      aniket’s bike is wonderful as-is, though, a great example of what someone with the knowledge and skills can do if he puts his mind to it- as well as a great revival of the classic brit-style v-twin like the pre-war vincents and broughs. i SO want one!!!

  5. Dano says

    It seems to like the higher RPM range, I like that. It appears to pull long and hard through, what I think is, the 4 – 5500 RPM area.
    At the very end of the riding video did I detect what sounded like a rev limiter kicking in?
    Tom is right, applications are limitless but the fun will be putting it into any donor frame, British, Japanese or American. Use you imagination on this one, build your own classic.

  6. Chuck D says

    Aniket, we’re running out of superlatives. And anyway, I think the curved tube looks good.
    Chuck.

  7. Scotduke says

    It looks and sounds fantastic. I expect there will be a lot of interest from Enfield fans as they’ve had to manage with big bore kits to get more performance from the basic Bullet. It sounds good with the end cans on but I expect a lot of people would want to run it without the mufflers if they could get away with it.

    I hope Aniket has tweaked that front brake though. The last time I rode an Enfield bullet, I found the stock front drum brake pretty insubstantial and yes, it had been properly set up. Maybe lacing a drum from a Suzuki GT750 or an Italian bike from the 70s for example would keep the style but give a bit more confidence!

  8. Steve says

    Fantastic Aniket. It looks and sounds so right and tugs at the heart of what motorcycling is all about. I want one.

  9. Fred says

    Aniket’s project looks and sounds spot on, very reminiscent of the way British iron sounded in their golden years. The low end torque appears impressive. He certainly has had a positive influence on anyone with dreams of “doing it their own way”. Hat’s off to you Aniket!

  10. Keyboard Kowboy says

    I’ve been following the Musket project for a long time. Aniket is one helluva do’er, hope you sell thousands of kits. Sounds awesome!

  11. says

    Amazing.
    I am one of the lucky few who have seen it in person and Aniket even let me take it for a spin in the parking lot.
    This thing is sweet as a whole but once you start to look at the small little details, it dawns on you. He has recreated what would have been/should have been in the 1950 if the original manufacturer had decided to create a twin based on the Bullet platform.

    I am honored to know this guy, we need few more like him to restart the passion driven specialized manufacturing in US. (Funny coming from a guy who grew up in India and now teaches design in US)

  12. B50 Jim says

    I hope Aniket has a good business manager. The kits would be great sellers but he’ll need to find a foundry and machine shop with the capacity to make the cases by the hundreds with top quality; also small manufacturers to make all the other related bits necessary for customers to convert their Bullets to Muskets, in sufficient quantities to keep costs reasonable. A marketing plan that includes press releases, advertising and post-purchase technical support will be needed. I want this venture to succeed so we all can build our own Muskets — and as important as the manufacturing aspect is, marketing is more important. Aniket needs to get the word out beyond the small group of enthusiasts who are following his story with such great interest. The general motorcycling public needs to know that a wonderful, vintage-English style V-twin is readily available at a price they can afford.

    Of course, if R-E is on board, it’s a done deal. I hope to see Muskets rolling down the road very soon!

    • Z_Money says

      Jim

      If RE gets on board this platform has the potential to stop HD dead in its tracks in the Indian market, maybe more. There were rumors of an interceptor type twin in the makings which was followed by rumors that project was shelved. RE will have to build an EFI based bike for obvious reasons but it can be done. I hope they are watching Aniket.

      Aniket: Way to go brother !

  13. says

    Once again gentlemen, *deepest gratitude* for all the encouragement.
    I certainly do think a lot about the business side of it, and so far my thoughts are to start small, keep it manageable, build a solid foundation and grow slowly but surely, with a close-knit community of builders/riders who use social media to communicate/contribute.
    As you know, my day job is a machinist (the shop where I work is focused on making military spare parts) and the boss is very open to the idea of the crankcases/other parts being made here when it’s ready for kick-off. There are some really good foundries in Ohio too, the one that poured my castings does great work and can handle the sort of numbers this will need.
    Now, about doing a Vincent style frame setup, that has been very much in my mind as an interesting project down the road, as the motor is just asking for it, being a simple, humble, affordable homage to that great classic. The obvious advantage is the really short wheelbase that allows, difficult to achieve with a traditional longitudinal V twin which is a long motor. Disadvantage is that engine top-end work needs the motor to be dropped. That curved downtube was an attempt to get it as short as possible, without doing the Vincent setup, which would have taken a lot more time to figure out and delayed the test riding. About flexing of the cylinders, I think with custom made thicker alloy steel studs with greater threaded length or perhaps even bolts fed in upwards from the cylinder mouths so that the heads were securely locked inside the casting, removing the weakness of being threaded into aluminum, things could be secure. Custom/new rocker covers with o-ring sealed holes which allow the studs/bolts to pass through. Another positive thing is that the two ‘V’ cylinders getting fastened to the frame ‘backbone’ member would effectively result in a triangle, making for an inherently rigid structure, which would help against distortion. I think it’s worth a shot, what say? Maybe with Fireball heads :-)

  14. Bear says

    Brilliant as always, Aniket!

    The double downtube sounds like the best solution, to me.

    Just as an aside, I think that usage of a pair of short, Conti Replicas (short, as in the length of the Pantah ones) would be a beautiful ‘fit’ for your bike. Just angle the headers up from below the pegs, and fit the mufflers following the line of the side panels. Maybe even the bevel drive Conti Replicas (Staintune) would not look out of place.

    You’d have a great, clean and classic look, and the spiral louvred cores, would give the bike a lovel sound, with minimal restriction.

    A fantastic effort. I really hope you can get kits to the market, or Enfield India comes along and signs you for “big bucks”, and a deserved high level engineering position.

  15. Richard W. says

    I think the down tube is all wrong, go down from the neck to something like a Vincent arrangement

    • Richard W. says

      sorry, MUCH praise for your work Aniket, there must be untold hours days and much sleepless nights designing in your head…. bravo.