(Photos courtesy of Royal Enfield)

The curtain has been peeled back on the first phase of Royal Enfield’s Build, Train, Race program and Jillian Deschenes, Melissa Paris, Andrea Lothrop and Lanakila MacNaughton should be proud of the custom trackers they created. Each of the women were given a Royal Enfield Mark III INT 650 Twin to build a flat track bike around, one they would eventually train with, then race. The Build, Train, Race program was set to make its debut March 28 in the second round of the American Flat Track season at the Atlanta Short Track with an exhibition race slated for Dixie Speedway, but the event got cancelled. The builders and their motorcycles, though, were more than ready to make their public debut.

The first builder, Jillian Deschenes, won the 2019 District 23 AMA Flat Track women’s championship in only her second year of racing and her creation reflects her racing roots. From its RaceTech Gold Valves suspension set-up to the Dunlop DT4’s and tidy tracker tail, Deschenes’ Royal Enfield flat tracker is legit. She relocated the fuel tank below the saddle, hid it behind big race plates, then mounted a racy faux tank in its place. An S&S Cycle 2-into-1 exhaust should provide a little extra drive out of corners while switches on the bars allow her to toggle through maps of the PowerTronic performance ECU. Royal Enfield had this to say about Jillian Deschenes’ #31.

“The motorcycle she built stays true to her flat track roots, with its silhouette and bodywork reminiscent of a motorcycle you'll find on racetracks around the country. Using a combination of off-the-shelf parts and custom pieces, Jillian created a race-ready interpretation of a flat track racer.”

Melissa Paris’ background as a professional racer also shone brightly on her Enfield tracker. The veteran rider, who’s resume includes being the first woman to qualify for a World Supersport event and racing the Daytona 200, put a heavy emphasis on suspension, outfitting her ride with a gold Ohlins fork and black Ohlins piggybacks. Her choice of high-performing Beringer brakes and Evol Technology adjustable trees are further evidence she’s a seasoned pro with high expectations from her Royal Enfield flat tracker. Like Deschenes, Paris’ 650 Twin is teamed to an S&S full system. Lightweight Excel rims round out a competitive #13 bike. Paris will undoubtedly be hard to beat when its time for the Race phase of Royal Enfield’s program to commence.

Andrea Lothrop, an artist and owner of a DIY garage in Toronto called Moto Revere, built a fun and funky tracker with plenty of personality. Royal Enfield stated, “She drew inspiration from the 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor and chose colors and styling clues from that era. She aptly named her motorcycle "Dopesmoker." Black Widow Custom Paint splashed on the groovy colors and graphics while Haversack Leather came through with the glittery upholstered seat. But her flat tracker isn’t all just fun and games. Her ProTaper Contour handlebar, Sun Rims, and sticky Dunlops mean she’s going to be ready to battle for the holeshot on #23 when the flag drops come race day.

The final Build, Train, Race participant, Portland-based photographer and Royal Enfield brand ambassador Lanakila MacNaughton, enlisted the services of Cognito Moto to help upgrade the front end with one of their custom clamps and a sportbike fork from a Yamaha R6. A Pro Taper bar will help her leverage that new front end into left hand turns as a fresh set of Maxxis tires fight for traction. Instead of a full system, MacNaughton opted for a set of S&S slip-ons paired to a Power Commander, everything dialed in properly courtesy of the crew at Bridge City Cycles. For the #88 flat tracker, Royal Enfield said the Women's Moto Exhibit creator wanted “a timeless, clean and classic looking flat track bike, utilizing the already great lines of the INT 650. With subtle touches and upgrades like swapping out the fork, better racing ergonomics and controls, Lana tied together a simple, yet effective flat tracker.”

With the build phase in the books, hopefully Deschenes, Paris, Lothrop and MacNaughton have had a chance to sneak in a little training with hopes that they will be able to bang bars in an exhibition race at the Laconia Short Track on June 13, which currently is the first scheduled race of the reformatted 2020 American Flat Track season.