1: It’s forgiving.
I am not very much into adventure riding but the subtlety of the bike was matched only by its surprising power delivery. It is steady throughout the low range, where you’d expect a guy to ride on an off-road track most of the time, and still, the bike flies away when pushed. It is neither slow nor too fast, but it is both in very specific conditions. Just the fact that I was able to perform some “ADV manoeuvres” on my first Himalayan ride off-road, speaks volume about the teaching capabilities of a fool-proof off-roader.
2: Brakes lack a good bite, but that’s good.
Often times on the dirt, I found myself grabbing onto the brake lever harder than usual. If the brakes were as sharp as the RTR 200, I’d have long fallen off the saddle. The tyres too, are long-lasting and durable, perfect for muddy and swampy grounds. It is not too treaded as a result I can get a decent amount of feedback from the front feel, which brings me to the next best thing about the bike and that is.
3: Suspension. They travel on both the ends isn’t exactly a lot but the somewhat stiffer suspension utilizes what’s given to it very wisely. On the pavement, I am easily able to brake hard while avoiding a nose dive and on the dirt, I barely got stuck in any muddy areas despite squeezing the life out of the front disc. The rear disc adjusts to the road surfaces recently, but a medium-sized pothole is sure to be noticed you and your pillion if you’re going at 35 km/h. For all the small bumps, it works perfectly.
It is kind of tricky to describe it. Let me illustrate you using an example, the immediate low down torque is steady, meaning it builds up somewhat slowly, thus allowing me to easily focus on the wrist and focus on the road ahead. But it also robs me of some of the low-end grunt, which makes it really hard to quickly turn the bike around by spinning the rear wheel. I suppose I am nitpicking this point because most of what is capable on this bike by a beginner rider, is because of this power delivery.
The tank is scooped in for easy gripping, but the handlebar could have been taller. The engine guard which comes pre-installed makes it very easy to pick up the bike, although an additional leg guard is recommended so you don’t trap your leg. Also, the mirrors are really prone to damage cause they stick out so far. The immovable windscreen is great and doesn’t come in front of my line of sight. The paint isn’t glossy or shiny, it feels like same as the one on my water bucket but that’s a good thing considering the number of times this bike will be dropped.
Himalayan uses an LS 410 counterbalanced motor which is quite smooth as compared to classic UCE. There are vibrations in the top end so it’s best to keep it the 110 to 120 km/h range. The bike offers an engaging off-road experience and a relaxed highway ride. It is a fun bike to ride because, in case of sports bikes, you usually need a proper racing track but in case of an ADV bike, all you need is no road at all, to have a really good time.
Review By: Yetnesh Dubey