Royal Enfield Himalayan
2nd February 2016
Adventure bike | 411cc | RE | Single | Luggage
◄PREVIOUS STORY NEXT STORY►
The much-hyped Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure bike has been finally launched in India by RE's CEO Siddhartha Lal. The event has given the press its first real opportunity to study the motorcycle up close and assess its virtues, and vices.
Remote impressions naturally have only limited validity. Nevertheless, the Himalayan appears to reinforce the feeling that if Royal Enfield was in the film industry, it would make B movies. That said, there's often an inherent charm in products that almost make it to the A-list, but fail by the smallest margins, and this bike comes dangerously close to moving the Chennai firm up into the premier league.
The engine is a 411cc, SOHC, air-cooled, wet-sump single. The bore is 78mm. The stroke is 86mm. That will give the bike a more traditional, long stroke, torquey feel. From what little we've heard of the engine noise, it certainly sounds that way—and it sounds pretty good. The compression ratio is 9.5:1. And Royal Enfield reckon there's 24.5bhp (18.02 KW) @ 6500 rpm, with a maximum torque of 23lbs-ft (32Nm) @ 4000 - 4500rpm.
There's no fuel-injection. Not yet, anyway. Therefore this carburetted adventure bike won't pass EU emissions tests, so it won't be available for a while in the UK. The clutch is wet-multiplate. The gears number five. Starting is electric. The colours are Snow or Granite.
The front brake is a single a two-piston floating caliper with a 300mm disc. The rear brake is a 240mm disc with a single piston caliper. The front wheel is 21-inches with a 90/90 tyre. At the rear is a 17-incher with a 120/90. The tyres are dual purpose.
The front fork is 41mm with 7.8-inches (200mm) of travel. The rear monoshock offers 7-inches (180mm) of travel. The seat height is 31.4 (800mm) inches. Ground clearance is 8.6-inches (220mm). The frame was designed by Harris Performance which Royal Enfield bought in May 2015 (check the link above for more on this acquisition).
As standard, mounting points for hard aluminium luggage and jerry cans are provided. But the luggage boxes are extra. Ditto crash bars.
The styling, we feel, looks a little dated and uncertain. But that's when viewed in the wider motorcycling context. When view from Royal Enfield's perspective, it's clearly a huge leap forward.
And who's going to buy it if it does come to the UK? Well, if Royal Enfield keep the price low, we can see a small but steady market for the bike; guys and girls who want a little off-road adventure, but don't want to go to Himalayan extremes. Whereas more hardcore adventurers are probably likely to sideline this in favour of more established marques and models. Like the Bullet, it's probably going to remain a left-field motorcycles rather than a more mainstream mount.
As for pricing, we haven't yet seen any details. But remember that it's an India-only bike for now. The European market, if it ever happens, could be some way off.
◄PREVIOUS STORY NEXT STORY►