The ride of the new RE Himalayan was not pre planned and neither was it scheduled as a proper ride but since our Correspondent Geet Singh Bindra got himself a chance to ride the new dark horse of the iconic Royal Enfield, he didn’t miss the opportunity to enlighten all our avid readers. Here is what probably is the World’s first and exclusive first ride impression of the upcoming Royal Enfield Himalayan. I am a hardcore fan of Royal Enfield Bullet and have been riding the Bullet since really long, several journeys I could recon which I did on my Bull. The durability of my bike was never an issue for me as like any other biker I am a DIY kind of person but while riding on my Bullet to the most difficult terrains of the country I always used to wish about something sturdier and more oriented from the Royal Enfield. When first heard about the “Himalayan” I was equally excited and apprehensive at the same time. I consider myself lucky enough to ride the production ready bike and sharing my impression about the new adventure tourer before it is actually launched.
Design & Features
The new Himalayan looks like a proper enduro and the very first glimpse of it will give you a feel of it. There is actually a base version of the bike which does not possess any fitment on the bike as you must have seen on the pictures floating on the net. It is this base version which is capable of getting those fitments as add-ons. The Himalayan gets automatically exciting the moment you get those additional Panniers, Jerry cans, Black exhaust canister with silver heat shields, Crash guard and matte black finish Handlebar. The additional Panniers have capacity of 35 Kgs each, whereas those Jerry cans to carry the extra fuel have the capacity of 5 Liters each. One can get these add-ons by paying extra charges.
The ergonomics of the Himalayan is absolutely suitable for the long hauls, the upright seating and the straight handlebar gives you the command and control over the bike. Although, the ride was too short to tell you about the ride quality of the Himalayan in detail, but overall it was a comfortable and plush ride. The suspension was a little stiff but again that must be more useful for the rough terrain, adjustable suspension damping would have been a great feature.
Feature like inclusion of Bash Plate is worth mentioning, it works perfectly with the tapered exhaust pipe and high raised mudguards. The Himalayan has good ground clearance which I bet would be a great help along with the above mentioned features when taking the bike to the off roads. Engine & Performance
The engine of the new Himalayan can be considered as the current generation mill which to my surprise is very refined and when compared to other UCE engines of Royal Enfield this new engine has negligible vibrations. In fact while riding the bike I did not feel any undue vibrations and I pulled the bike to 120 Kmph effortlessly. It is probably the inclusion of OHC setup on the engine which is responsible for the smooth performance. The torque is now more linear and distributed evenly to all rev range, when compared to the 500cc UCE engine of RE Thunderbird or Classic 500, the low capacity engine of Himalayan feels more refined and powerful. The gears are also smooth and you can feel the work done by the Royal Enfield engineers on this forefront as well.
Overall it’s a new bike, when I am saying this, I mean it. The new Himalayan is a different experience altogether, it is NOT at all a typical Royal Enfield bike. Those who are hardcore fans of the DUG DUG feel of a “Bullet” will not relate themselves with the new Himalayan. But for them there is UCE engine still available (however, you will find many who even don’t like UCE and still vouch for the old CI engine of Royal Enfield). There were few shortcomings also, like the headlight could have been designed (placed) more aesthetically and the switchgear/indicators could have been more up-market. This particularly comes more in perspective of the top class meter console featured on the bike.
All n all the pricing of the Himalayan is going to be the decisive factor, if priced in the bracket of Rs 1.60- 1.75 Lacs it is going to be a successful product especially among the touring enthusiasts. Any way, the time is not too far and that we will see pretty soon.
What do you think about the new Royal Enfield Himalayan? Shoot your comments in the comment section below.
Test Ride By: Geet Singh Bindra
Words By: Farhan Kashif