His first kits were made using moulds hand-hewn from foam using carving knives and scalpels. But such has been the demand that the first moulds simply wore out. His second set of moulds were made using CAD design and 3D modelling, after first having had a 690 laser scanned top to bottom. Accuracy is down to ±0.1mm - it’s a proper 21st century operation. RRP exports worldwide and while America, Australia and Europe have been traditional markets, they’re seeing increasing demand from emerging markets such as South America, Asia and Russia.
The KTM 690 does, though, sit at the super-enthusiasts end of the adventure market. For their next project RRP were attracted to a more everyman ideal. Morgan had witnessed the keen take-up of the Honda CB500X by American adventure riders. Stock, its off-road capability is limited, but given a keen price point and the real-world specifications it was identifiably a good launch point for a project.
“We liked the idea of a smaller, lighter adventure bike, but with full-size capability,” explains Mitichinson. “With the demographic of riders getting older there’s a probable trend toward smaller adventure bikes. Even if you’re used to riding a 1200 there’ll come the day when you still want to ride but you don’t really want a 300-kilo 150hp machine - you’ll have more fun on a bike two-thirds the weight and half the power. And for half the price!” And so began the creation of the CB500X Adventure.
The project started with the wheels. As standard, the CB500X is equipped with cast 17in wheels - no good for real adventure - but finding alternatives proved almost impossible.
“You’re stuck with a 17in rear” says Mitchinson, “because the 500X has a gearbox driven speedo, and while there were 17in spoked wheels available they didn't come with the cush drive that the Honda has - so that meant we had to develop our own. We tried a 21in front but it was too high, fouling the radiator, so we settled on a 19in as a good compromise.”