The Royal Enfield Himalayan has quickly established a strong foothold in the premium Indian motorcycle market. While the initial lot did face many niggles, the updated, BSIV variant is said to be a lot more reliable. Also, the Himalayan is the only Indian adventure motorcycle at the moment, which means it has been rather quick to become a favourite of many tourers. Recently, some American journalists decided to put the Himalayan through its paces. Here are their observations.
One of the first observations they made was the rather mediocre power generated by the 411-cc engine. However, they were quick to add that the machine didn’t face any mechanical issues in spite of the many rigorous tests that were performed. They also noted that having a five-speed transmission leads to some problems while dealing with soft sands. This is because of a large difference in the gear ratios, especially the spacing between the first and the second cog. The testers felt that the second gear was a bit too tall for such conditions. A shorter second gear or additional 5 bhp would have made things a lot easier. Also, more off-road-oriented tyres than the stock Pirelli rubber would have also helped.
The testers also felt that the Himalayan lacks the punch to quickly climb up gnarly hills. The Himalayan lacks the brute force to deal with such conditions. However, the testers have appreciated the low vibrations and the great smoothness of the Himalayan. They have even said that it’s the smoothest single-cylinder adventure motorcycle they’ve ever ridden. On the expressway, it’s easy to cruise along at roughly 130 kmph. The testers have even said that the Himalayan is a pretty good bike to ride on loose sand and gravel. They also say that the suspension set up is a little soft but has a progressive feel.
They also felt that the riding position that the Himalayan offered was unlike any other off-road-oriented motorcycle. They found it easy to stand up on the foot pegs but felt that the handlebar, while having a good height, was a bit narrow. In the seated position, the narrow handlebar even gave a chopper bike-like feel. The journos have appreciated the two years, unlimited kms warranty. Except for a few bolts that became loose due to hard off-roading, the testers didn’t face any other issues. They say that the Himalayan is an excellent bike for someone who wants to start riding on dirt roads. The testers also feel that Royal Enfield offers a great bang-for-the-buck factor. They conclude by saying – “The fact that a four and a half grand ($4,499) bike can go almost anywhere a 120cc bike can, and some tighter, narrower trails a big bike can’t, is amazing.”
Source – advpulse