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Old 14th March 2016, 21:44   #1
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Default The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-himalayan_mar16.jpg

With wify & kid away in Kerala, I am left out in Chennai to live the bachelor days again for about a week. Thought hard on how to spend this weekend and as usual decided to let it take its own course. What more to ask, it started with a bang; the company’s annual bash on Friday. Woke up late on Saturday, not knowing what to do, booked for noon show for “The Revenant”. Since I had skipped breakfast was lot hungry but with no plan on where to eat started off on my little Scooty for the movie. And suddenly my dumb brain suggested the mess in Saligramam were nice homely food is served. Took a detour and reached “AVK Homely food center” where I had rice and the special Seer fish fry that he is famous for. With the bloated stomach watched the movie which was rather not that great as I had expected. Little disappointed I headed back home and yet again my brain sprung a surprise by prompting me to check-out the newly launched “Himalayan” from Royal Enfield and this made my day.

The hardcore “BULL-et” fans & riders, you may stop reading here. What’s left to read is about a BIKE… a bike that’s a milestone for Royal Enfield… a bike that’s changing the Indian biking scene… a bike that’s built for purpose and which lives up to it… and of all, a bike that has stolen my ADVENTUROUS heart.

(Sorry moderators for the extra dots. They are put to create the feel as I introduce the bike. Remove them if you think its unnecessary)

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-royalenfieldthehimalayanmotorcycletestingvideos5.jpg

Yes, it’s the “HIMALAYAN”. The all new bike from Royal Enfield (RE), the world’s oldest motorcycling company in continuous production for 115 years now. What other motorcycle company could name their bike based on the Himalayas than the one that has been riding the Himalayas for decades now? This bike is purpose-built for adventure touring but it beautifully packs all that is needed for that common man’s daily commute as well. Built for purpose!!! Yes, the company has changed its philosophy a bit with the introduction of the “Himalayan”. They always called their bikes “Made like a gun” but they haven’t called the “Himalayan” so. That might be because it has many plastic parts than any other Royal Enfield has. It doesn’t look as imposing as the existing REs and it definitely does not have the characteristic ‘thump’ of the “Bullet”. The many RE “Bullet” fans might not even consider the “Himalayan” as their bikes younger sibling. And that’s why I said, those of you to stop reading this post at its start. However I feel, the bike still carries the DNA of the RE in the form of the sheer riding experience. I’ll even say, of all the bikes from their stable, the “Himalayan” seems more reliable and promising, though only time will say if my words are true.

I could only do a very short test drive in city conditions and below are my first impressions. There are exhaustive reviews available in the net and hence I would not be dwelling into the technical details and try to limit it to my own observations and experience.

What I like:
  • Well refined engine with very little vibration felt compared to other REs
  • Excellent handling and suspension setup. Soft and low seats add to the comfort.
  • Mono shocks seems to have helped in improving the handling too.
  • Serves all purpose. As RE says, it is purpose-built for all roads and no roads.
  • Braking felt much better in the “Himalayan” compared to the other REs
  • 10,000 Km oil change is a big welcome especially for a touring bike
  • Pricing is spot on at around Rs. 1.8 lakhs OTR especially when the target audience are the ones upgrading from the 150/200 CC segment.
  • The exhaust note is definitely not going to enthuse the “Bullet” enthusiasts. However, I felt it was sweet and gave that subtle ‘thump’ ocassionally. It makes the bike feel more young and peppy than the matured siblings.

What I don't like:
  • The engine could have been a little more powerful. 24HP might not be sufficient for long drives.
  • The switches for the lights and the fuel on/off are still of poor quality. Badly needs improvement.
  • Gear shift is still not as smooth as it should be. Clutch is heavy too.
  • ABS not offered
  • The tyres are not tubless tyres. Punctures can be a painful experience.
  • A 12V charging port would have been an awesome feature that would help charging mobiles / GPS devices.
  • The Digital compass was a bit confusing.
  • REs service has not been great and there are enough threads dedicated to service complaints.

So, what has the “HIMALAYAN” got?

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-image29.jpg

RE has thrown everything into the “Himalayan” to make it built for purpose. The new chasis, the long stroke LS410 engine which is 411cc has got very good low end torque (32nm) and a just decent 24 horses, the dual purpose tyres from Ceat, the long front suspension, mono shocks at the rear, 220MM of ground clearance, low seat height of 800mm, the mount for panniers and the retro – rugged look. In addition, it comes with a instrument cluster which has a speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, digital gear indicator, two trip meters, average speed display, side-stand indicator, clock, temperature gauge and a digital compass as well. Even the oil change is required every 10000 Kms.

Engine Performance:

Let me shout out loud. THE VIBRATIONS ARE NOT FELT ON THE HANDLE BAR EVEN AT HIGH REVS. Yes… the vibrations that the REs are infamous for were hardly felt in the “Himalayan”. That’s a BIG IMPROVEMENT, isn’t it? I was really annoyed by the vibrations that numbed my palms when I rode the Classic 500 a few weeks back. However, this is not felt in the “Himalayan”.
The engine seemed to be relatively well refined and it did accelerate quickly compared to other RE engines. The low end torque is really good and will help the city and the off-road rides equally. However, I could feel a bit of heat from the engine through the jeans that I was wearing. But that’s expected from engines like these.

Handling and ride:

The ride wasn’t plush but it's still very good and the front suspensions did their jobs well. Also, may be due to the wider rear tyres and the mono shocks I felt that the bike was well planted and handled better than anyother RE. I could maneuver the bike easily in traffic. One thing to note here is the seats; from the pics they seem hard but in reality they are really soft and I think they should help in long rides.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-image31.jpg

Brakes, Gears & Clutch:

The bike has got single disk brakes at the front and the rear and they are confidence inspiring. ABS is not in the offering at the moment but I hope RE reconsiders this. Atleast an optional variant with ABS can be considered if not standard.

It has got the sporty gear lever but the gear shifts were not smooth. Though the other reviews have been saying it is much better, in the bike I rode, it was pathetic. And as always in REs, finding neutral is not easy.

The clutch is heavy and needs bit of strength to work on. It will be a pain while riding in the city under heavy traffic conditions.

Fit and finish & Electricals:

The “Himalayan” is again a winner here and the fit and finish are better than its siblings especially the Classic, Electra and the Bullet. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement. The welding could have been a tad better.
Almost every review about a RE complains about the quality of the switches and customers have faced a million issues with them. I am just wondering what’s wrong with RE. Are you not listening RE? Those pathetic switches for the fuel on/off, lights & indicators still make their way into the “Himalayan”. SHAME ON YOU RE. Such poor quality switches with rough edges on such an expensive bike??? That said, the wiring seems to be more neatly dealt with. I could still see a couple of exposed wiring but overall there seemed like some improvement has gone in here.

Looks & Other observations:

It’s subjective but I really loved the rugged look of the “Himalayan”. The design boasts of its character. It looks slim from the front but once you settle into the seat you will know it’s size. The wide handle bar looks good and was good to hold too.

The 15 liter fuel tank is narrow at the place it meets the seat and does not rub against your knees / thighs. The matte black finish looks cool on the rugged bike, again adds to the character. Didn’t get to see the white colour bike, the only other option available. However, at the showroom there were not many who were after the Himalayan, clearly indicating that the general population would like to go with the other good looking siblings that will make them feel premium. Its only the adventurous at heart who will love this little beast.

The other important change is that the bike comes with electric start ONLY. Kick starter is not available. For the popularity REs have in regard to not starting or simply going dead on certain days, not sure how this is gonna work.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-image26.jpg


RE has done an excellent job here. At Rs.1,76,000 (on the road, Chennai) they have priced the bike spot on and with so much to offer I think this bike is a steal.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-royalenfieldhimalayanbike1.jpg

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-royalenfieldhimalayanbike4-1.jpg

Picture courtesy: Royal Enfield Official website

For more info: http://royalenfield.com/motorcycles/himalayan/

Last edited by GTO : 21st March 2016 at 13:45. Reason: Moving your post to a new thread
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Old 16th March 2016, 23:22   #2
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My five minutes impression on the bike.

Visited Ishna Wheels at Goregaon West to check out the Himalayan. Submitted my license for a photocopy and waited for my turn. When the bike arrived, I was happy to see the quality of the bike. I've never seen such finish on any other Enfield.

Took a seat on the bike and for my height of 5'7", both my feet were flat on the ground. Don't know how taller riders would feel about this.

Sitting there, the windscreen didn't seem of very good quality, but decent enough to get through and bearing the company logo. The instrument cluster is bang in your vision, so if you need to make a reading it is not going to be an issue.

Turned the key, pressed engine start and there was no exhaust sound. I had expected the sound I heard in the videos. Yet, I believe these bikes should be silent. There was absolutely no vibrations I felt. However, there was something very very distinct I heard. Something that is so evident and present in previous models. The engine clatter. This was the most irritating of all.

The engine "paint" however has a good touch so you don't have to worry of the buffing like on the other models.

The handlebar is light.

The showroom guy sat behind me thinking that I may get caught by the cops and questioned for the temp registration.

Bike feels longer in traffic,.is very nimble to move around.
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Old 17th March 2016, 10:12   #3
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

I had a shortish test ride on the Himalayan in Mumbai yesterday. Here is my off hand review.

Looks and Components: The bike has immense presence. Especially in Matt White. Looks like a spin off on the Triumph Tiger. Has substantial height/length and is a tall bike to sit on. Riders below 5.7 please look elsewhere even if you get on to the riding perch you will end up looking like a kid on a full sized bike. The side stand is useful and the main stand increases the parked height. The component quality is spot on, no ugly weld marks, no uneven panels or joints. If one hides the RE logo, it will be hard to call it a bike from their factory. Even the old RE logo on the engine is replaced by a bigger "R". Maybe its their way of saying this is not any old bullet. First time a mono shock for the rear wheel on any enfield and the 21 inch/17 inch wheel combination makes the stance very offroadish. The instrumentation cluster is comprehensive with a electric compass, gear indicator, all idiot lights, a cool orange/blue backlight and two trip meters and a fuel guage. The seats are high density foam, and RE has ditched the old silly leather with the associated bum pain characteristic. Headlight is a simple round unit carrying standard 55/60 bulb and a led parking light. Beam spread and throw are great and axuillary lights may not be needed for a while. Tyres are knobbly grip on/offroad tyres which are great on the road and dirt. Suspension is pliant with immense play even when seated.

Ride and Handling: My test track involved a combination of asphalt, a couple of bolted speed breakers, off-road dirt, piled up gravel, ditches and undulations. The bike rode over all kinds of changing terrain without complaints and I as the rider and my pillion didn't even notice terrain change at speeds excess of 60kmph, says a lot about the bike and its suspension, seems like a true two wheeled SUV. High speed manners are stable with the bike showing an indicated 110kmph in 4th gear when the road ended. The bike throws out a lot of heat, unlike a RE and the OAT guage increased from 29 degrees to 45 degrees when I finished my ride. Its easy to drift the bike by a small application of rear brakes, it supports late trail braking very well, with slight fishtailing and should be extreme fun in the dirt. Brakes by themselves are powerful. Engine sounds like a souped up Pulsar, so RE fans.. this is "NOT" a thumper.

Conclusion: Please go test ride this bike. It is a supreme effort by RE and shows how long they have come and how hard they have tried to change to reach where they have reached. If this is where they have reached, I am super excited on their future offering especially the rumored 700cc twin.
I would gladly buy this bike because it is a cheap (relatively) way of entering the offroad/adventure space, with solid components, not many breakable bits and can be used to tour long distance in immense comfort at 120kmph.

Last edited by GTO : 21st March 2016 at 13:46. Reason: Spacing :)
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:42   #4
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Arrow Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

Quite a few friends have been instrumental in my interest in this bike. Aakash for never telling me even the right spelling, I admire your dedication to work. Fellow riders like Deelip Menezes, my entire REHO2014 Crowd.

A lot of my review on the Himalayan came from a few rides spaced over the past 6 months, and finally the real McCoy yesterday. The one along the LBS - concrete paver blocks, traffic and the dash-to-the-signal riding, and then a sprint up and down the Eastern Express Highway, I knew what I was hunting for.

So here are the first points that struck me:

1. Very very nice suspension.

2. Very nice brakes for an Indian bike.

3. It's a very very big Impulse.

4. It's a very very lead filled 390.

5. It's got fantastic low seat height - 800mm, so if you can sit astride a Duke 200/390 or a Ninja 650 - then the bike can seat you.

6. It's got breathing trouble two up after 110.

7. Resonance- the engine thrashes around 5000rpm and I did not push it higher.

8. The CG/Balance is over compensated from the earliest videos -the bike will wheelie very easy, especially two up.

9. Rear seat space and comfort is AMPLE, the seat wallows the pillion to sit without tummy/back rubbing and the seat angle is just right that the pillion does not slide forward under braking, unlike the stock Tiger rear seat.

10. At 1.75l they have basically brought in a fantastic budget tourer. No doubts.

11. The rider pegs are sturdy for me to climb on but they are a tad off to the rear. Anyone taller than me will have a lean forward stance / and head down position, so they will have to crane the neck/chin upwards to ride when in stand up mode - that really sucks according to me. This is ok once in a while to combat a stretch of bad road, but to do stand-up over off-road terrain for over 4/5 minutes I am guessing this is not it.

The bike was a very planted bike on straights and held firm, with its weight telling you that it was not going to be easy to slide out or feel wishy-washy while zig-zagging thru traffic at speeds higher than surrounding vehicles.

I strongly suspect on bends, it would 'wallow' like the Fat Boy, if you ran into undulations because the suspension is soft in its present set up. This is something I would need to keep in mind, find a poor turn – ah the kind of downhill from IIT towards LBS - the most poorly laid concrete in Mumbai. To fine tune this to the rider+pillion weight, the rear shock adjustability would be an essential within reach item like the Ninja 650.

I could not see if the rear mono-shock was adjustable. Even if it is, it's in a difficult place to adjust, I think.

So from Mumbai to Goa I would take any route - NH4 or via 17 and cut across anywhere Gaganbawda, Amba ghat, or Amboli without too much thought to give you a reference. On the capability of the bike to handle bad-poor roads.

So I thought about this:
The sweet spot is a shade under 5000 rpm.
The sweet spot for two-up is 100-105.

The Bullet does 60km/hr run time. The HD and Tiger would do 75-80km/hr
This one will do 70-75.
Reason: it's got decent grunt in the 2500-4000 band to hustle and then the suspension to maintain it over anything the road puts up.

Not comparing the Bullet as a machine but as an Indian tourer benchmark, this bike is atleast 20km faster.

No, there is no rattle but that its also a brand new bike. But the resonance is at 5000. Resonance, Typical of all engines, I guess, will come somewhere and interrupt a party in this bike its at 5k.

I could not push it past that band - the bike was comfortable.
So, the missing 6th and a few decimal places down to 0.95 on the gear ratio you think would help?

I would have thought a closer ratio gear box and very low 6th would have aided the fuel economy numbers. So in that case its like a Ninja 650 - 5 gears and then the 5th can be strung out from 45-50 to 140, which I think is the top this bike would do.

So Sam Samant asked me - is this good?

Here is my response to that from him and many others.
It’s a tad under powered. It has neither the crispness of the KTM390 nor the grunt of RE500. What it has a comfort that both bikes cannot give you. The bike has a tendency to lift the front, so that will tell you, the acceleration does not throw the pillion back (like a RD350 would) but it would feel the lift, hence am given to think that the torque biased nature of the engine would be the way to categorise the engine.

You can almost shut off the engine and brain and keep it at 85-95 and tootle along all day on the highway, immaterial of road condition.

So where would I take it?

Mumbai to Lonar Crater. Good road to Aurangabad, then bad road to the crater.
Jodhpur to Pokhran.
NH17 from Panvel to Sawantadi.
What it is not is a high speed tourer like a Tiger or Verys 650. I think for the hordes who want to get to Udaipur from Mumbai in 10 hours - this is the bike.

Budget, economy.
My understanding - Adventure category bikes are meant to be with a good amount of power and enough to haul 2 atop, and about 30kg+ of luggage. They should do highways with style and bad to poor roads with aplomb. The Himalayan manages that at a budget that really does not allow you to complain much, given that its nearest competitor is non-existent. The low compression engine and the lack of EFI, I think deprived about 8-10bhp off this engine and that’s like a crime. The Versys 650 is just thrice its cost, or more and hence kind of out of the race anyway.

Off road.
I wonder how the foot pegs cost them the points in this category. The initial video of CSSantosh crouching and so rightfully picked by the eagle eyes of Amit - this cannot be a ‘good’ off-roader, as the strain to crouch and then look up is just plain wrong. The pegs are too far off behind, and the causes the rider to lean forward. You need not own a Tiger, all you need to do is get astride one, punch it into gear and stand up and ride, and you will understand what I mean.

I am happy with the road manners and the ability to soak up the bad roads that our engineers build without the slightest of self-motivation or self-respect. The bike will teach my son how to harness the power and how to ride a motorcycle better than any other bike in the market today. In the absence of a bigger or better powered Impulse this Bike is just right.

Sorry about the foot pegs, their placement really annoyed me.

Last edited by GTO : 21st March 2016 at 13:49. Reason: Moving to new thread :)
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Old 17th March 2016, 14:11   #5
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

Disclaimer: The below opinions are mine and mine alone. I would also like to place on record that am not prejudiced and opinionated against RE.

So after waiting for like eternity for the Himalayan to get launched, I went to the RE showroom at Indira Nagar today. I could see that there was a lot of buzz around the bike and a whole lot of folks ( mostly middle aged wanting to get their first bike) enquiring and test riding the bike.

I too got the prices for the bike and the accessories. One thing I would like to mention over here is, while the sales advisors were very courteous, they are still unaware about the whole set of accessories. Also the set of aluminum panniers at 35K felt a little overpriced. Anyways moving on, as my chance came, I hopped on the bike and rode about 3/4Kms thru the by-lanes of Indiranagar. And my take is:

  1. I'm 165 Cms and even for me the both feet touch the ground.
  2. Seat is comfortable.
  3. Turning radius is good
  4. Bike feels light
  5. Pricing of the bike is awesome
  6. Looks are purpose built and I love it
  1. The engine clatter is way too high
  2. Power - less said the better
  3. way too many false neutrals while shifting
  4. brakes not effective at all and don't inspire confidence
So as a current Duke390 rider, will I buy it? Answer is an unequivocal NO. Not with this powerplant. I'm very disappointed with the power to say the least.

So until RE puts a more powerful heart into the bike, Himalayan is not coming into my stable!
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Old 17th March 2016, 16:04   #6
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

I got a chance to test ride the new Big Kid from RE and I must say I loved it to the core. I even got to take it off road and the bike gulps down the pot holes and stones and dust and what not. The bike looks unconventional. Thanks to the Kings Auto Riders's salesman, I was allowed to ride the bike alone and they even lead me to an empty plot which could help me experience the off road capabilities of The Himalayan.

Things I liked about the bike:
1. Suspension does it job brilliantly.
2. Tyre stick to what ever your are riding the bike on, tarmac or sand.
3. The bike looks huge because of the headlight being mounted quite high, the longer front suspension at work.
4. Seats are super comfy.
5. The power should be more than enough for daily commute and occasional off-roading or touring. Those coming from a duke 390 or such bikes, please do not even consider this bike if you are looking for power.
6. Seating position is spot on. I being 6'1 would have preferred a slightly increased saddle height but sadly RE can't keep everyone happy.
7. Handle is wide and comfortable, you don't need to bend over.
8. No vibrations or very less vibrations when compared to other RE products.
9. On-road Price in Pune 1,72,000/-.
10. Overall quality of the bike is acceptable.
11. Gear shift is not butter smooth but reasonably smooth.

Things I did not like about the bike:
1. Engine is not refined, you got to be an RE fan to like that kind of sound coming from an engine.
2. You need to pull the throttle wide open to feel the surge in power.
3. The front Tyre is way too skinny for my liking.
4. The brakes are not very confidence inspiring.
5. I also felt like the bike was pulling towards one side.

Few other pointers:
1. No words from RE on when the first lot will be delivered.
2. The price list for accessories is not out yet and should arrive by the next week.

I might end up owning this machine but and a BIG BUT at that, I will give RE few months to iron out all the initial issues and niggles with the bike.

I am 6'1 and this is how the bike looks with me:
The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-img_20160317_145153685.jpg

The colors:
The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-img_20160317_145228829_hdr.jpg
The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-img_20160317_145255518.jpg

The off-roading track:
The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-img_20160317_145553470.jpg

Last edited by Engine_Roars : 17th March 2016 at 16:06.
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Old 18th March 2016, 11:50   #7
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

Managed to get a quick test ride today and here are a few first impressions (This is based on a very short test ride and about 7 years of experience with Royal Enfields):

Looks and finish:

Not intimidating. The bike is tall, but the seating position is low. However, shorter riders should take a nice and long test ride, to check if their feet reach the ground easily. This won't be as low slung as a Classic. It looks well put together and the finish is acceptable. The bash plate is included as standard as is the windshield. The latter's angle is supposed to be adjustable via 4 Allen key adjustable mounts, but I'm not sure exactly how. Windshield feels a bit tacky and the monoshock was quite audibly squeaking, but other than that nothing that was particularly a turn off.

Ergonomics and posture:

It feels very familiar. Footpegs are set a little rearward, but not like a sports bike. It's basically meant to tuck you into the tank contours. That actually became a problem for me. I'm 6.5 ft tall and prefer my Thunderbird's 'leg stretched out' position. This one locks you in place like you'd expect from a bike of its category and that also makes mounting tank bags a bit tricky because of the tank side guards/jerry can mounts. The switchgear feels no different compared to existing models. Mirrors need to be set a few inches outward. With riding gear, I'm not sure about the rearward visibility at least for those of us with broad shoulders.

Instrument cluster has a good amount of info and falls in your line of vision easily. The cluster lights are pretty bright and visibility is good even in the day time.

Engine, gearbox and ride:

Engine is definitely more refined and vibrations through the tank, footpegs and handlebars were minimal. Feels somewhat similar to the CBR 250R. Counter-balancer seems to have done the job, but I heard that faint tappet sound when revved a little hard. Engine note is obviously muffled, but not much more than a stock pipe UCE. Throttle response is good and the engine is quite rev happy. Gearshifts are quite smooth, but getting it into neutral is a headache (this usually gets resolved after a few thousand kms).


Brakes are ok and have linear bite i.e. it isn't sharp, probably to prevent front lock up on surfaces like gravel. The rear brake has no feedback. Locking it up is easy and you may not even realize it.


2-3 months

Would I buy it?

I'm not so sure. I don’t get to dirt trails too often and primarily have highway cruising needs. The Thunderbird is more comfortable and ride quality (at least on regular roads) seems more or less on par. In terms of pricing, the Tbird 500 is about Rs. 2.06 lakh on-road while this is around 1.90 lakh. For highway centric usage, I still feel the Thunderbird is better. Not to mention, with the EFI it feels more eager off the mark.

If someone is planning to buy this, I'd say wait for a few months. Let RE's service centres get familiar with the bike first. They're rarely good with the bike's they've been selling for years as it is.

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Last edited by Tushar : 18th March 2016 at 12:01. Reason: Images added
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Old 18th March 2016, 13:11   #8
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

Hi All,

Was able to do my test ride albeit a short one at that. Few of my observations

The bike has a very comfortable posture for slow speed riding. The roll-on speeds are really good considering the tall gearing this bike has. When compared to the TB500, this bike can really pull you from speeds as low as 20Kmph in second gear to a comfortable 60 without losing much time. The ton mark came in fairly quickly in the 3rd gear. The engine is very stable when you lug the bike in low speeds at high gears. There is not much of shudder or vibrations. However the engine seems to have a clatter which needs to be evaluated further. Considering that the test ride bike I rode had done 200 kms...there would have been nearly 100 starts by all sorts of people.

The throttle response is fairly acceptable. The crispness of FI is lost but not a matter of grave concern. But in the hands of an expert tuner am sure Himalayan can be made more responsive and pack in a punch strongly in the mid-range section where it will spend majority of its life. 4000 Revs in the final gear should be seeing it do an easy 90-110 Kays from my assumptions.

Brakes are decent and I found them to be progressively sharp.
Suspension is the best amongst the current line up in RE. The front fork is a definite upgrade when compared to my TB500. Even though TB500 does have a good healthy travel, half of it sinks due to its own weight unlike the Himalayan.

Flick-ability of the bike is very high and with its tall seating posture, you will get a good view of where you are heading to.

If only RE could have eked out 35 BHP at 6000 RPM with this engine, then am sure it would have been quite a capable tourer with a consistent 130s.
End of the day, performance is very much better than TB500 and with a better chassis I would say its a very effective package.

Thanks to HSR, Lalbagh Road for the test ride facility.

Another aspect, need to check the bike on how well it would handle with all the perks. Panniers fully loaded, Petrol Tanks loaded. Sometime later if I decide to book the bike and shell out 40K for all those accessories.

Wonder why accessories are still not being premiered.

Last edited by ku69rd : 18th March 2016 at 13:15.
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Old 18th March 2016, 13:16   #9
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

I test rode the Himalayan late last evening. This is the first among the various RE offerings that have interested me enough to take a test ride and actually perhaps want to own and ride to Leh and other such wonderlands.

The Himalayan looks purposeful and well built, I could overlook the rather ungainly headlight and front end while ignoring my friend's comment likening the Himalayan to the Russian Ural from the previous century. This friend has a hand me down '58 Bullet that he rode (and crashed!) extensively while we were in college. He now lives in bike heaven (Califormia) and has owned a couple of Hondas, Ducatis and a Super Duke among others. I was sorta hoping to get some enthusiasm from him given his Bullet roots you see. I digress.

The Himalayan looks tall while on the centre stand and it does take extra effort to swing a leg over it to avoid fouling with the seat even with the bike off it's stand. Probably because the leg swinging over has to clear the rather high albeit comfortable looking pillion seat. I'm about 5' 11".

I had to walk the bike out of it's narrow lot in a shed at the rear of the showroom where it had been put away for the night and it was surprisingly easy to manoeuvre out of the tight confines. No sign of the bulk at all. I even leaned it over while standing alongside much to the chagrin of the accompanying salesperson but there was no discomfort at all. I dare say this bike is easier to wheel around than my much lighter Impulse.

The ride was short, perhaps for a couple of kilometres in rather heavy traffic. The manager somehow trusted me enough to let me ride away alone without even checking my credentials - perhaps because I had my kids along and was oozing enough enthusiasm and was able to display my comfort with wheeling the bike from the parking lot to the showroom entrance while we waited for the keys to arrive? I was promised a longer ride another day and was told I could even come in every alternate day and ride the bike if I wanted.

The already warmed up engine started with half a crank and settled into a smooth, albeit slow idle reminiscent of other Enfields. It pulled away smoothly and rather lazily. No drama, the torque-induced eagerness I expected (and hoped for) was missing. The gears slotted in and shifted smoothly, but there was an unwillingness to shift to neutral from first. The engine was too hot for my liking and heated up my loafer-clad feet enough to have them simmering until I (thankfully) took my shoes and socks off an hour later. I'd just put it down to the engine being new though.

The layout forces the rider to sit upright with arms sort of stretched out to hold the wide handlebar. Nice. The seats are plush with a soft-feel velvety fabric that I much like. The seats remind me of the gel pad on my mouse pad, soft and somewhat mushy in a comfortable sense.

What immediately became apparent soon after pulling away is the engine clatter. I didn't wear a helmet for the test ride to get a better feel and this made the clatter sound loud, continuous and invasive.

This engine lacks refinement, the refinement I believe is necessary and absolutely expected from any new bike today. Within a hundred metres, the persistent clatter invaded my senses and would not go away despite my trying various rpm/gear combinations. I spent the rest of the rather short ride trying to make the clatter go away. I'm told this exists in all Himalayans by the showroom staff.

I cannot call myself a Bullet/RE fan and have therefore not really ridden these bikes too much. With a pushrod configuration in all other engines, I'm not sure if this clatter is new in the OHC LS 410 engine. I haven't spent enough time to try and understand the source of the clatter - whether it is from the valves or lower down in the heart. Is this an RE feature?

I can live with the weight, the lazy performance and the somewhat awkward yet masculine looks but the clatter really does it in and is an absolute deal-breaker for me. I was all set to come back during daylight today and take the promised longer test ride, but I'm not sure I want to any longer.

This is something RE ***must*** address. Now, before deliveries begin. I'll wait until that happens and put my wanderlust back into hibernation mode while I wait.

I tell myself, what's the big deal about waiting another year or so when you have been waiting for a couple of decades already? Oh, I'd love to see RE squeeze at least another 5 bhp from the engine while they're at it.
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Old 19th March 2016, 21:38   #10
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

Today i went for a third consecutive TD on the bike and here are the updated numbers

1- 40@6000
2- 65@6000
3.- 85@6000
4- 105@6000
5- 120-125@6000>

The TD bike has done about 260Km and the vibrations are horrendous at 4250-5000- and somewhere in that range-

The engine clatter- is clearly audible when under load- and its almost feels like you are going to be very very sad, everytime someone points out that in your bike or asks you questions- like that one CBSE maths paper- 'Beta how much you got in that?

The delivery starts in 2 months and I am going to defer my delivery to the end of the Mumbai monsoons.
I am really doubting the class and cadre of riders that RE employed- I think visibly riders wearing sandals, no gloves, no jackets and riding on highways- this crap was going to happen.

The rear-placed foot peg and then calling it a off roader/adventure whatever- the poor quality finish on the casted pieces evident all over the bike- especially the triple tree area upfront-

Suspension and Brakes are what will carry this bike. I am suspecting an initial order of 5-8000 on this this bike and then?

The correspondents ride was besotted by bad weather and no one got to punch it over 50kmph- snow, rain etc- so right now my data is pretty much without a comparison from anyone in press. Better riders may get better top end numbers or eagle eyed riders may see the speedo better- but the clatter is all but evident to everyone but the deaf- and if a review does not mention it, you should discount the review.

It is tragic that the company that so called invested in hundreds of crores in this project did not invest in good manpower to ride and get feedback_ buy every ADV in the Indian market and strip them down to see what makes them tick. Getting qood quality moulds costs marginally more than poor quality moulds... badly finished welds- accepted from vendors smacks of arrogance- in either making the specs poor, or accepting substandard finishes from vendors. All one needs to do is see the leak from the top of the engine case, where the filler cap sits to wonder how a bike thats run 262km in 3 days is looking like a 3 year old. Shabby 3 year old.

Last edited by GTO : 21st March 2016 at 13:47. Reason: Spacing :)
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Old 20th March 2016, 18:16   #11
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

The Doctor has spoken!

As most of you might know, I am talking about BHPian ebonho. He test rode the bike and shared his views with me via WhatsApp.

He mentioned that the test ride was:
  1. 20 kms apptox.
  2. Over 4 kms of stony muddy gravel hillside
  3. City traffic
  4. Concreting one side closed construction
  5. And nice flowing undulating road

What he also mentioned to me was that the bike was taken out of the showroom not by using a ramp, but by using the stairs!

The following are his words:

A lot of what little power the engine makes, is robbed by the silencer. Other than that, its a lovely bike. Jump it. Thrash it. Go down and up dividers and stairs. Launch airborne off high platform speed bumps. Hit ruts and stony hard packed mud and gravel at silly approach angles and speeds. Drift the rear deliciously sideways with full control, and dramatic eye pulling sounds. Stand up control and reach is near perfect, though still not just right for my height. But that's quibbling. It's better than anything else out there. And you don't feel like you're over the front wheel about to be launched face first. Love the toothed rear brake pedal. Gear lever could have been larger and curved out better to fall easier to foot while standing. Gearbox is OK - a few missed upshifts that's all. But that's more due to not yet getting its sweet spot than anything. The engine does not sound thrashy at all. All who complain of the same have never owned or lived with a Bullet or any Royal Enfield.

The seating could have been taller, much taller, and not the current scoop out concave style. The tank at 15.5 is a waste for a bike like this. There is enough sideways space for at least 18 if not the ideal 20 liters. The silly small tacho was totally missed till 10 kms into the ride, a waste actually. Horn was not working. The rear tyre is nice and rounded profile. Nice option for our KTMs, better than Vertigo Sport.

This bike is crying out for a retune. 5 BHP is easy. Though 35 would've been sweet. As of now my LB 500 was faster - way faster, my STD 500 way punchier. The later gears run out of steam quickly, or reach silly revved out rpms without too much else happening below. First two three gears are more functional and taller. I barely got road as was concentrating more on thrashing obstacles and silly small boy stuff. But barely was able to wring her out to 100+, maybe 110. The throttle gets pinned too early. Like a short throw - though not really a quick throttle.

Brakes are NICE!! I like them, a lot. Nice suspension. No rattles anywhere. Windscreen etc are firm. The suspension just takes everything, no stress. Huge confidence booster to a Duke 390 rider who is always careful about his rims.

Easy and nimble to ride in city, ambles along. Dense traffic is no problem. No clutch fanning. Clutch much better than the 390 as well as the LB 500. STD 500 is of course softer as is to be expected with a 4 speed box and fewer plates. No heating.

Perfectly sorted bike, which will be sadly found out on the open roads. Amazing chassis and suspension and tyres. It's a ideal mountain ADV bike, made for dummies.

The right bike, on a way too anaemic engine.


Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 20th March 2016 at 18:28.
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Old 20th March 2016, 18:41   #12
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

Since just about every armchair expert seems to have crawled out of the woodwork to give his first ride impressions on the new Himalayan, why should I miss out on the party? Here are my thoughts based on two rides of the Himalayan - one was a short ride on Saturday that consisted of gears 1 - 3 (which really highlighted the strengths of the bike) and the other was a much longer one that I took with a couple of fellow TBHPians today.

Power delivery : Linear and very likeable. The bike pulls well even with a pillion in gears 1 - 4. People can moan and groan about the on paper numbers, but in the real world for city commuting in Indian conditions you really dont need more power than this. It will be interesting to see how it performs out on the open highways though.

Engine refinement : I could only take it to 80 kmph in 4th gear but I was very impressed by the engine refinement through the rev range when compared to other REs. I kept a ear out for "clatter" noise from the engine but I didnt hear it. Maybe my ears arent as sensitive as that of others.

Flickability : One of its strengths for sure. You can cut through traffic very easily with this bike. Is this the first point and squirt bike from RE?

Braking : Good and probably tailored for off roading where you dont need super sharp front brakes. In comparison, the brakes on the Continental GT are definitely sharper.

Exhaust : Those that believe that RE bikes are supposed to herald their arrival loudly and proudly through their exhaust note are going to be left sorely disappointed by the sound of the Himalayan. On the plus side, for long distance riding it isnt going to be tiring at all. During the first test ride, I couldnt stop noticing the putt putt putt sound each time I took my hand off the throttle. It wasnt something that I noticed / paid attention to on day 2.

Ergonomics : Very easy to get used to. I didnt try standing and riding but a fellow bhpian did and he said it was easy.

Gearbox : On the move, shifting through the gearbox was easy. There is one major issue though - the gearbox does not shift from 1st to neutral when the bike is at a standstill without blipping the throttle. I gave up trying this because I wanted my A* SMX2 to last me for a few more years.

Instrumentation cluster : It is a little 'busy' but it is well designed.

Windscreen : It was flapping away to glory on my first test ride and I gave the dealership guys feedback on the same. I guess they tightened it after that.

So outside of all the marketing spiel which RE has done a phenomenal job with, the Himalayan comes across as a very good Adventure Commuter (a phrase I borrowed from fellow forum member Sojogator). Its an all round machine that I believe will do well for the following reasons
- Makes a great second bike for those who own big bikes. Have a 600+ cc machine but the thought of dropping it on off roading adventures scares you (financially and physically in that probable order)? Look no further.
- Its a fresh alterative that will appeal to the new generation of first time Royal Enfield owners that stick to the Classics / Thunderbirds.
- Minus the hype, bouquets and brickbats, this will come across as an easy to ride, fun motorcycle at what most people find is a reasonable price point.

And I think the market agrees because the waiting period has just gone up from 2 months (what I was told yesterday) to 4 months (what I was told today).

Ive often said that the Continental GT is the most non Royal Enfield bike that they have built. The Himalayan can now comfortably take that crown, espousing all the values that havent necessarily been synonymous with Royal Enfield.
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Old 20th March 2016, 18:45   #13
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

Short Test Ride Report:

I have experience with just 2 bikes (The R15 and The Z800) in the last decade that I have been riding.
Both are Japanese. Absolutely refined. No frills. Superb performance throughout. Highly responsive chassis. Have clocked around 65K kms in total.

REs have never attracted me and neither have I dared to ride them for more than a few hundred meters thanks to the bone jarring vibrations which puts me off big time. The brand name and the 'thump' are of no relevance to me.
Himalayan had attracted me a bit from the day I heard it was a new engine but I was more than sceptical about it till the reviews suggested that vibes are almost absent and then it made my mind up to give her a try.

I was joined by a couple of bhpians, @neil.jericho and @IronH4WK (Took the pictures) but refrained from gettin his hands dirty

The Location:
Technik motors at Indiranagar on the 20th March, a boring drowsy summer day !

The Showroom Experience:
As per RE standards. Confusions and chaos is the norm, this time it was regarding what was promised yesterday and what was not being done today. Complete nonchalance to what the customer has to say. Poor ! Still needs a lot of work here.

The Arrangement:
We were going to take a spin with a (nice) guy from the showroom as pillion around the place. Maybe around 1-1.5kms. I requested and stretched this by another 1km maybe.

The Himalayan

Third Person Look: This is the first RE that I have loved looking at from the day of launch and meeting her in flesh was no different. This was the black one ! Poise. Clean lines and design cues. Minimal panels. Subtle branding. Proportionate. Understated. Wheels and tyres complete the look very well.

False Alarm:
While she was standing on her side stand, the main stand ( which is an additional accessory), was almost touching the chain. We were wondering how could this have been when the (nice) guys showed us it wasn't the case once you are sitting on it and the bike is upright. The mono-shock takes care of it.

First Person Look:
Comfy and sure-footed as soon as you sit on her with very well cushioned seats. Personally, I thought that the seats are too plush and might cause trouble during 500kms+ rides but we cannot say for sure unless we actually do so.

The ergonomic is perfectly relaxed. Pegs feel like they are made well. The front view is that of a complex console and a wind shield that couldn't stop moving.

The speedo and the gear indicator is easy to read. Rest of it needs focus, which is bad. The tachometer is illegible (As @black12rr correctly called it is the size of a lemon). The switches in the console are hard to get with gloves. The hazard toggle switch should have been in the handlebar. You would have to stop to switch it on safely.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-12473695_10154075794504529_8851483641864508639_o.jpg

Show Time:

The clutch is light enough but that is relative since I am used to a very heavy clutch comparatively. The gear slots into 1 easy. Started with a single push with great confidence. Let go and the oodles of torque low down makes for a super easy launch. Great for newbies.

But, try shifting to neutral from 1st or 2nd after you have stopped and you will miss your movie. It just does not want to go to N. Blip the throttle and keep trying and you will hit it sometime.

Crank her up and surprise surprise ! Your hands are not subjected to any kind of vibrations. The engine note is very different from the bed-ridden-human killers that we usually associate with REs. This is has a slight thump and pretty quite.

On the move, it felt terrific in the traffic. Good enough grunt for city overtakes. The engine can be revved till around 5K rpm without stressing it out and allowing vibes to penetrate through her! Anything above 5K will result in vibrating hands and an engine noise that is asking for mercy. But, she is new and not even past its run in so things might be better.

I could do upto 80kmph without much fuss. There is commendable acceleration only till the 3rd cog but. 4th and 5th hardly pulled. I think doing a ton all day would be nearly impossible on her. And 2nd and 3rd is where one would be all day during city commutes. 5th can pull from 50kmph without any felling of lugging. No heat to speak of while idling at lights either but then I was fully geared and cannot speak for Bermuda Maestros!

So it is kind of quick but it is also perfectly coupled with very capable brakes. The bite comes in late which is good for off road I think. The stopping is progressive, quick and without much drama. The rear brakes work well. I did not try to fish tail as I had the pillion and he might have got nervous but I think it wouldn't be difficult.

The handle bar turns ! You can almost use it scratch your belly when its fully turned which also makes taking U turns a breeze. Flicking the bike around is confidence inspiring too. The chassis seems to be well sorted out.

She feels light during movement as well while she is standing with her poise. The horn is terrific. First time I used it, I was wondering which car around me was honking till I realised that it was me. A component I would love to have on my Roadbuster!

There were some broken stretches which were taken care of extremely well. The rider's spine will be safe however bad the road might get.

I requested for a little ride in front of the showroom without the pillion to test its 'climbing' abilities. It went through broken pavement like nothing. Then I climbed a bit of steep broken pavement and still no unexpected behaviour. Then I climbed the pavement in front of the showroom from the road along the highest part (6 inches or a bit more maybe ?) and to my surprise it climbed that with absolutely no fuss too. This scrapped the bash plate which worked perfectly and scarred the pavement. The bash plate is well designed and made as @neil.jericho pointed out. it stretches quite a bit of distance underneath as well. Standing is easy and natural. Bit of tank grips would be helpful.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-12440611_10154075794404529_3436616625218703366_o.jpg


One word, Adventure Commuter ! Ok, two it is !

The top end is just not refined or suitable for decent highway speeds. Other than that, it is a pretty neat package. It inspires great confidence into the rider. A newbie will be overjoyed with her. Our pathetic road conditions along with the Himalayan's incredible ability to just shrug them away while keeping the rider at complete comfort and carrying just enough punch for all the city needs makes it 'The Great India Commuter', for me.

Oh! And did I say, the 'Himalayan' logo is the aesthetically best I have ever seen on a bike in India, reeks of creativity and simplicity !

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-12440823_10154075794329529_7001925728379440719_o.jpg

Let us hope that 'I' is the only thing that falls off a Himalayan in the near future !

Last edited by Zappo : 21st March 2016 at 14:53.
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Old 20th March 2016, 23:27   #14
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched!

A short first ride observation from a complete novice. I am sure a lot of people such as me would be taking test rides nowadays.

Showroom: Manzil Motors, Sohna Road, Gurgaon
I have been to this place a couple of times. Nobody attends to any customer here. So did not expect it this time either. Spoke to a gentleman who had just taken a ride and returned. He owns a classic 350. He was probably a German and said Himalayan is worth more than its price. He intended to exchange his 350 for the Himalayan. The first question I asked him what didn't you like - power? He said not at all its sufficient for a country like India.
Me and my brother had to wait for half an hour for the ride. A couple of local guys did not want to finish their test ride and each one of them took the Himalayan for a spin (point to note is that only one test ride form was submitted. We don't follow rules which is sad). Anyways.

Looks, seating & ergonomics:
I loved the white colour. It looked beautiful. Somehow I felt the tank could have been a little bigger. This was one of the best saddles I have ever sat in. I am 5'7" and everything fell in place comfortably. I felt really connected while sitting on the Himalayan.

The ride:
With one push of the button the engine came to life. The note was quite nice. Especially post opening the throttle and then relaxing the engine gave some kind of burst sounds! The whole bike inspired confidence in me to push it within whatever constraints I had.

The positives for me include:
1. Extremely comfortable to ride. I felt one with the bike.
2. Did not feel a single bump on the road. Somehow this is something I am not sure if I tested it right.
3. The first gear pulls comfortably. The clutch was nice.
4. The 2nd gear and 3rd gear would be mostly for city riding. I could go up to the 4th only. It has low end torque to make those swift manoeuvres during traffic or to pull from a standstill. I loved this part. This was the highlight of my ride. Extremely flickable!
5. Very steady bike. I tried to 'misuse' it a little and took angled turns. It behaves very well, always stuck to the tarmac and boosts confidence in the rider.

The negatives for me include:
1. I could not find the neutral most of the times from 1st and 2nd. Perhaps I am out of touch with riding
2. The brakes could be more grippy. I felt they acted a little slowly. Also I really hoped they had launched with an ABS option
3. Sometimes I felt an odd knocking sound maybe I was not used to right gear shifts. Other posts say its an engine clatter. But I think the engine makes its usual noise. If this knock is the clatter then I would live with it.

I am not actually on the lookout for a bike but I had followed the Himalayan's development (even the RE CGT) and really wanted to feel the product. I think this will be a winner in the market from a pure finance point of view. Also this would be a wonderful first bike for novices like me.
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Old 21st March 2016, 13:48   #15
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Mod Note: All Himalayan Test-Ride posts moved into a new thread . Will greatly help those considering this motorcycle.

Thanks to all for sharing!
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