The Royal Enfield Himalayan was a milestone for the brand as it not only broke away from the traditional RE format of classic motorcycles, but also ushered in a new era of affordable adventure tourers.
While the Himalayan is likeable in many ways unfortunately it was plagued by several issues. The updated, BSIV variant is said to be a lot more reliable. Recently, folks at ADV Pulse decided to put the Himalayan through its paces. Here are their observations –
With the 411cc, 24 horsepower motor that redlines at 6,500 RPM, the Himalayan is incapable of tearing itself apart. There were no mechanical issues with the motor in spite of rigorous tests.
Ride it more like a 125 two-stroke, to keep the momentum up and not letting the RPMs drop too low. The gaps in gears are very large. The gear spacing between first and second is big which will find difficulty while dealing with soft sands.
The bike’s low-revving motor cruises well without a lot of vibration. It wasn’t quite as smooth as a twin on the highway but it was probably the smoothest single : comfortable enough for longer journeys. Large bar-end weights do a pretty good job of keeping the vibration away from the rider.
The best part of this bike !!
It actually has a good amount of wheel travel (7.9 inches in front and 7.1 in the rear) for a bike this size. The Himalayan is a great bike for riding washboard dirt roads. The fork made the washboard almost non-existent. Also hitting embedded rocks at speed was surprising, since, as long as they weren’t too big, the suspension soaked them up like if they weren’t even there.
The rider position of the Himalayan is unlike any other off-road-oriented bike. The foot pegs, are surprisingly large and with the rubber insert removed pretty grippy. The bars are also good height riding, standing up, but they are pretty narrow, yet eventually you get used to the bars. In the seated position, the combination of a low seat, slightly forward pegs, and the narrow bars gives it sort of a chopper feel.
Mere issues experienced:
- The exhaust header and mid-pipe bolts started to back out
- Shifter and brake pedal bolts also started backing out
- The muffler would wiggle around a bit when off-roading
- Himalayan is a back-to-basics machine
- Pretty interesting is a digital compass on the dash
- The seat is one of the most comfortable they have come across
- The peg-to-seat distance is pretty short and can make taller riders’ knees sore.
- Pretty impressive warranty — 2 years, unlimited mileage.
The Himalayan has created a category of its own. A rugged, neo-retro, entry-level dual sport with real character and capability. It is a bike that many riders can enjoy but it’s an excellent bike for someone who wants to start riding dirt roads. Its low seat height, low center of gravity, and mellow power make it very non-intimidating and easy to ride. It also has enough road comfort to be a sweet commuter and to handle moderate-to-long stints on the pavement.
Image Gallery: Royal Enfield Himalayan
Source: ADV Pulse