Himalayan: First Look of Royal Enfield’s Upcoming Adventure-Tourer

Published On Jan 25, 2016 By for Himalayan BS4 at Gaadi.com

Himalayan.jpg Forget all motorcycles in Royal Enfield’s lineup, the Himalayan is, by far, going to be the most important motorcycle in the company’s history. Scheduled to launch in India on 2nd February, one day before the Auto Expo starts (which RE is giving a pass this time), the Himalayan will be seen and observed with hawk-eyes for the minutest of detail. It will be scrutinized like no other RE has ever been, or probably no other Indian motorcycle has ever been. The Himalayan is the first adventure-tourer motorcycle by an Indian company which in itself is a thing to be proud of. But it’s much more than that, it is a genuine (if a bit desperate) effort for an image makeover by a company which has its roots buried deep into the past, churning out motorcycles for the laid-back rider. With the exception of the GT Continental (and to a small extent Thunderbird), all other motorcycles have incompetent chassis, suspension, tyres and brakes neither of which in individuality or as a package like to be pushed to the limit. The upcoming Himalayan is another attempt to change all this. This is Royal Enfield’s most ambitious project yet. What’s Known Himalayan has hardly been a secret and apparently, Royal Enfield has done little to keep it as such. Especially last week, the internet was flooded with “official” images and a promo video that got “leaked” showing the Himalayan being ridden off-road by our very own CS Santosh (the only Indian to participate in and complete the Dakar Rally).Himalayan.jpg While we have known what the Himalayan looks like for quite some time now, the latest set of images and video are a confirmation of sorts for the same. The Himalayan is an entirely new motorcycle from the ground-up eclipsing even the Continental GT as far as uniqueness is concerned. From every possible dimension, each and every nut and bolt is new (the only similar aspect being the round headlight). The Engine One of the videos revealed that the engine is, what RE calls, an LS400 engine which is said to produce 25BHP of maximum power. Although, more specifically, it could be the 410cc engine which has been the biggest speculation about it so far. That is not all, though. It is an all-new engine and the first from RE to have an Overhead Cam design. The engine is primarily air-cooled, but it’s further assisted by the oil-cooling system to enhance its overall performance. The video also revealed that since the engine is made close to today’s standards, the service intervals would be around 10,000kms and the spark plug would need changing only after 25,000kms. This is leaps and bounds better than what RE engines are capable of running between services so far. There’s no word on torque yet but it should be producing anywhere between 30-35NM of torque. Of course, everything will be clear in a week’s time on 2nd February.Himalayan.jpg The Chassis and Suspension The chassis and suspension are all new and developed with Harris Performance (same guys that designed and developed GT Continental’s chassis). The chassis is designed to strike a good compromise between high ground clearance (given the off-road intent) and low seat height (Indians aren’t really tall), and there are provisions to put luggage (in the form of panniers). For the first time in a Royal Enfield, the Himalayan will sport a mono-shock at the rear. Not just a conventional setup, it is likely a link-type mono-suspension from all the pictures and the videos we have seen. That will be quite remarkable. With seemingly dual-purpose tyres fitted on 21-inch front and 17-inch(or 18) rear spoked wheels, and the suspension setup for longer travel, the Himalayan is going to be the most off-road friendly motorcycle developed by an Indian manufacturer. There's a single disc each at the front and rear. According to RE officials, the idea is to create a motorcycle which is as comfortable going off-road as it is on the tarmac.Himalayan.jpg The Design and Equipment The Himalayan has a unique design. Being a dual-purpose motorcycle, it still manages to neither look like a typical off-roader nor a tourer, it’s somewhere in the middle. The fuel tank capacity is said to be 15 litres which is decent enough and should provide a good mileage in one full tank. It has an unsophisticated design and, to be frank, looks a bit crudely built at the moment. However, it is quite certain that the finished product (with typical factory paint and finish) would appear much better built. Overall styling is quite straight-forward. The front is simple with a round headlight and a small windshield, although, there’s no fairing. The motorcycle’s going to be fuel injected so there are various sensors and indicators on the display panel. What’s new is the inclusion of a Compass. The seating position is upright and like on an off-road/adventure motorcycle. Also, the headlight is a fixed unit and doesn’t move with the handlebar. The reason for that is two brackets on either side that connect to the fuel tank (at the sides) and to the headlight assembly. It is said it’s a provision to carry a petrol-can when travelling to remote places. There are split seats for the rider and pillion, but they are almost joined together (like on a Thunderbird). At the back, more provisions are made to make it into an effective tourer. There are arrangments to put panniers/hard/soft saddle bags to carry luggage. The tail light is an LED unit.Himalayan.jpg The Fate Changer for Royal Enfield The Himalayan could be RE’s big ticket for a totally new market and new customer base. It is true that for years RE Bullet has been used as a long distance motorcycle by many riders; however, it is also true that there are much more capable and reliable motorcycles that are better long distance motorcycles in every conceivable manner (For example, Honda CBR250R and now the Mahindra Mojo). And while RE is trying to attract the younger crowd and increase its market base with motorcycles like the Classic, GT Continental and the new Thunderbirds, they are still mostly driven by their loyal customer base who still believe in the core values of the Bullet and its raw and crude build. As mentioned, the Himalayan is going to be Royal Enfield’s most critical launch ever. An all-new engine with oil-cooling and for versatile performance on and off the road with the chassis and suspension to complement it, the Himalayan has to be a success. If it fails, RE will then forever be cast as a company that can only build basic, slow, outdated and standard looking motorcycles and we’re sure that RE wouldn’t want that. While there can be issues in a new product, we hope that Royal Enfield has done its homework and will present an overall reliable, durable and their most modern motorcycle yet. Good luck to them. Also Read: Updated – Royal Enfield Himalayan teased through official videos Also Read: Royal Enfield launches Rumbler 500 in Indonesia Also Read: Updated : Instrument cluster of production ready Royal Enfield Himalayan spied

My Comparison