It’s here! This is the Royal Enfield Himalayan and it not only looks promising, it looks like it’s a notch above anything else that has come out of the Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturers factories. The Himalayan is nothing short of a proper adventure motorcycle and the best part is that it’s been tailor made for Indian riders. So it’s got 220mm of ground clearance, 200mm of front wheel travel and 180mm on the rear wheel, but it still gets a modest 800mm seat height – great news for 5-and-a-half footers like myself!
This is no regular ‘new’ Royal Enfield though – this is the first all-new motorcycle developed ground-up by the company ever since Eicher took over ownership all those years back. It is also the first Royal Enfield to sport a monoshock rear suspension and it gets an all-new engine as well. The Himalayan is powered by what looks like a proper modern bike engine – the LS410. The 411cc overhead cam, single pot makes around 25PS of power at 6500rpm and 32Nm of torque. The torque spread though, is what makes the LS410 so interesting. You see, LS stands for Long Stroke and that can only mean loads of low-end grunt with a strong enough mid-range – perfect for riding long distances with the least stress possible.
The Himalayan sports some really well-sorted ergonomics too and the 21-inch front to 17-inch rear tyre combination making for easy going no matter what terrain you’re riding in. Braking is courtesy some massive disc brakes – 300mm on the front and 240mm at the rear. With its 15 litre fuel tank and a generally fuel efficient engine, the Himalayan will also sport quite the touring range between fuel stops. Service intervals have been improved upon too with 10,000km before you need to visit the service centre. There are tons of practical options for accessories too and those aluminium panniers are just so drool-worthy!
Mated to the LS410 engine is a 5-speed gearbox and there’s no fuel injection – the Himalayan is carburetted. Gone is the kick-starter too. The Royal Enfield Himalayan seems like it is the company’s journey to a whole new dimension. It’s the epitome of engineering for Royal Enfield with the LS410 engine and the half-duplex split cradle frame. It is also where Royal Enfield takes Indian touring to a whole new level with our first home-grown adventure motorcycle. We can’t wait till it launches by mid-March and we’re hoping that price tag stays around the Rs 1.9-lakh mark.