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Old 18th May 2016, 14:56   #1
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Default Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

If I remember right, it all started with one of the threads here, ‘Himalayan now launched’, sometime during last year. I was curious about the bike and started following the progress regularly.

Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report-wp_20160429_12_01_20_pro.jpg

My first look of the bike, on its way for Registration. For those who wonder what 'Varaiaadu' is: It is the Tamil Name of Nigiri Tahr, a well known and endangered mountain goat of the western ghats. There is also a Himalayan Tahr.

Reason to buy:

The main reason is the topmost item in my wish list, a ride to the Himalayan mountains, especially to the Leh region. Back in 1991, I had done a bike ride from Delhi to Valley of Flowers (Govind Ghat) and up to Badrinath and in my trusted RD350 along with a Bullet and an Yezdi. One of my friends from that tirp and I have been always talking about a ride to Leh, on and off.

My Continental GT is extremely good and I have clocked about 11K Kms in the last 18 months, mostly on the highways and I find it to be excellent on the good roads and mountains with good roads. But the relatively harder and not so long travel of the suspension was playing on my mind all the time and the question ‘Can I do the Ladak trip with this bike’ was bugging me.

Initially I was very keen on Versys 650, even though KLR650 would have been ideal. But after a lot of thinking I ruled it out for the following reasons. 1) I don’t do beyond 90 KMPH on the highways therefore Vesys will be an overkill for me. 2) I didn’t want to invest so much of money.3) My son is just 20 and I didn’t want a powerful bike at home until he is in his mid-20s. 4) I would use an RE more regularly than a more expensive bike and I don’t have to worry about minor damages that much.

Therefore I started to follow the development of Himalayan regularly. The reasons that made me gravitate towards Himalayan are:
1) The involvement of top brass in the development of the bike and the seemingly good testing they have done
2) The more I read about the various reports of auto journalists praising the suspension and ride quality the more I was convinced that it will be the right bike for me to do the Leh trip.
3)My ownership of AVL Thunderbird from 2003 Jan and the Continental GT from 2014 August. Especially the GTs ownership had given me enough assurance about REs capabilities. But for one failed fuel tube connection I haven’t had any issue till date.

I knew that Himalayan is relatively under powered and also read that the brakes are not good and wouldn’t be in the same league as GT. But I decided to live with it. And when I sell the GT it wouldn't have depreciated much, since I got a second hand bike and a substantial part of the Himalayan funding would be reimbursed by the sale of GT whenever it happens.

Booking:

On March 16th my friend in Valasaravakkam, Chennai made my booking along with his at Velavan motors. I could have done the booking at the REs OMR outlet, but until 11 am on 16th they did not respond to my queries. I had requested them to let me know when the display bike arrives and there was no response and that is the reason my friend made the booking at Velavan by about 10 am.

Delivery:
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Taking Delivery along with my friend's bike.

The delivery was promised within 2 months and on 28th April we were asked to pay the full amount and delivery was promised within two working days after getting the full payment, which we did that same day.
Cost:
The show room cost is: INR 158,138/-
The Registrations cost: INR 13,262/-
The Insurance cost: INR 3,964/- (I did it through a known agent of HDFC ERGO and not through the dealer)
Miscellaneous: INR 325/-
Total: INR 175,689

Warranty:
The bike comes with a 2 year or 20,000Km warranty, whichever is earlier... I think that is good.

The next day, 29th morning they took my signature on the registration papers and later in the afternoon the registration was confirmed and I told them I could reach the outlet by 6.30pm. Within 30 minutes of reaching there the rest of the paper work was completed and the bike was handed over. I would rate the overall sales experience as very good. The sales guys at Velavan were very good and cooperative. Since I was well informed about the bike it made their job that much easier. One of the technicians explained to us the basics of the bike, like swith gear, gear shift, fuse box location, running in period(though they told us to maintain less than 60KMPH for the first 2,000Km)

The bike had 71Km on the odo when I took delivery. After tanking up at the nearby Shell and rode to my home at Thiruvanmiyur. Before that the only ride I had done was on 18th when I took it on a test ride from the OMR outlet up to Madhya Kailash and back. I was a bit tentative to begin with since traffic was heavy until I reached Manapakkam. I also had to keep within the 60Kmph limit and couldn’t open up the throttle beyond 3000rpm. Which meant I couldn’t test for acceleration. By the time I reached home after a 17 Km ride, I had the following in mind and my benchmark was my Continental GT

First Ride Impressions:

• Seats are too soft for my liking
• I felt odd because of the upright seating. Might take a while to get used to
• The horn is terribly weak
• The low beam was pointing heavenwards, but seems to have a good spread
• Instrument console is cluttered, more because of the letterings. Who needs mile markings in India? They should remove them. As soon as the ignition is on the console lights up and stays lit. The trip meters give the average speed also which is handy.
• The switch gear is the same as in my GT. So comfortable from the first ride.
• First to second gear shifing was really difficult. Rest of the gear shifts had no issue
• The acceleration seems to be much less than GT. Can live with it for now
• The brakes really need a lot of effort and the bite is too gradual.
• Engine is very noisy when accelerating
• As easy to flick around as my GT
• Very easy to maneuverer in the traffic
• At crawling speeds, I could feel the heat a little more than my GT. Might be less after running in period
• Pretty difficult to put the bike of main stand. My arm muscles will develop further

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2016 at 10:43. Reason: Spacing & taking live. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th May 2016, 17:32   #2
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Default re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

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The Instrument Cluster
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The spokes are mounted differently than GT
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The big monoshock
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The oil cooler
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Old 19th May 2016, 09:26   #3
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Default re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

My trip to Leh is already finalised and we are leaving on 15th July. That gives me only 2 months to run in my bike. The running in recommendation is:
First 500 Km: Don’t exceed 60 KMPH, which corresponds to about 3000 rpm First service at 500 KMs.
501 to 2000 KM: Don’t exceed 80 KMPH, roughly 4000 rpm.

So I have to do 2000 Kms in about two months, and that too during summer and that is a daunting task. I decided to accrue as much mileage as possible on a daily basis rather than depending on long distance trips. The first one was on the very next day to Mahabalipuram and back. My son joined me with GT and my friend in his granite Himalayan. We left by 6 am and returned by 7.45. It was a nonstop trip of about 90 Kms. It was definitely a boring one since we could not exceed 60 KMPH. The next day we did a trip to Mudaliar kuppam and that was with 6 more friends; one of them had taken delivery of the first Himalayan in Chennai and two of them had taken delivery of the Himalayans on 29th, the same day I took delivery, from the Besant nagar RE outlet. The sixth was a Ninja 650 and the seventh was a Tiger and I really admire the last two for keeping pace with us patiently during the entire 170KM trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a single photo during the entire trip. I am sure that 5 Himalayans together would have been a good photo. I will make amends during the next trip for sure.

Further impressions:
• The bike is noisy during acceleration, mine more than the others
• The brakes require less effort if I press the lever as far away as possible from the pivot as possible and seem to give better modulation. Compared to the brakes of GT this lacks the bite and stopping power. I would like to see if they are swappable.
• Need to use both front and rear simultaneously for good braking
Wind screen is not effective for me at all. The blast hits me just below the face. I hate it
• I wish the LED parking light was more powerful so that it could be more effective on highway rides to attract the attention
• Pillions of average height and below need to use the foot rest to climb on to the bike

First Service:
A couple of days later I had clocked 480 and left it in OMR RE service station for the first service.
I had two specific complaints, a metallic noise from the front at about 3000 rpm and headlight adjustment.

They changed the engine oil, and had done the regular checks and lubrications. I has specifically told them not to wash the bike since I had just washed a couple days back and the borewell water they use is hard water and leaves lots of watermarks.

On taking delivery I noted that the noise issue has not been addressed and they checked it and found to be due to the loose front number plate mounting. They had washed bike and water marks all over the place as usual. I didn’t check the headlights and on reaching home I found that it was not adjusted at all. Somethings never change.

-The bike was definitely smoother after the service.
-The chain had been lubricated well.
-The first to second gear shift is easier, but still not smooth as the rest of them.
-The silencer seems to be made of stainless less, brushed finish which I like, looks pretty industrial. Being stainless steel it has started to discolour. Right now is yellowish to brownish since I am not going beyond 4000 rpm. Once I go beyond that it should start blueing.

On the way back from the office, I started making detours to log on more mileage. On a couple of occasions I hit the ECR and went up to Kovalam.

-The engine sounds quieter and smoother than before.
-On acceleration it is not as noisy as before. I need to compare with the rest of the gang when we go out together the next time.
-I hit 80KMPH and could maintain that effortlessly.
-The acceleration is lot more linear than my GT, but not as effortless.

Vibrations:
At about 3000 rpm I feel the vibrations of the tank on my knees, but past that it stops. Unlike my GT the mirrors do not vibrate at all. The image is rock steady. As reported I feel nearly no vibrations at the handle bar and the foot pegs. But the round mirrors are not adequate at all. The coverage is not good, especially the width is limited and I am planning to look at some wider rear view mirror. For a vehicle meant to munch miles this is important for me

Mileage:
My first tank fill has resulted in a mileage of 35.6KMPL. This 440Km of travel included 250Km of high way run at 60KMPH. Pretty reasonable but need to wait till the engine is run in.

Idling:
When the engine is cold the idling is about 900 rpm and after riding about 7 or 8 Kms it settles around 1200 rpm. Typical carburetor characteristics, I suppose.

Suspension and Handling:

The reports of various test riders is spot on. It is a bit firm but very absorbent of whatever the roads throw at it. I am very happy about it. At the limited speeds it has been an excellent handler. Weaving in and out of traffic is really simple. When compared to the GT the low speed comfort and handling is far better. I haven't tried a long ride with the pillion. Plan to do it during the next few weekends.

The tyres give me much more confidence to take diversions off the road. I rode on some of the poorly laid or not laid roads for short distances and found them to be grip well. The front with the 90/90 section looks thin but does the job very well. The rear looks beefy and I like the rugged looks.

Fit and Finish:

Fit is good. So far I couldn't hear any rattles and of course it is too early to judge it either way. When I removed the saree guard and fitted the chain guard back the holes matched perfectly and I didn’t have to wrestle to align the holes. The grab rail/carrier seems to have good dimensional accuracy. The seat removal and fixing is also simple and gets done without any fuss.

Finish could improve, especially on welds. But I have no complaints. If the roots of the joints are well fused and dimensional accuracy of the bolt holes are maintained I am more than happy. Looking at the welds they seem to be sound joints, if not cosmetically beautiful.

Looks:

This is highly subjective and compared to the GT this does not attract as much attraction. But has a presence of its own and I like it. It is a purely functional design where function comes first and then the form, and I like that philosophy. Every component is there because it serves a purpose. Probably in line with Robert Pirsig's values.

Miscellaneous:

-The tool box and documents' holders are below the seats. The removal of the seats are simple. Document holder is nifty and neat. But definitely it is not waterproof. So it is better to keep the documents in ziplock.
-The compass to begin with was a little confusing but got used to it. But does it serve any purpose? I don't think so. Would have preferred an USB power socket instead.

What I would like to have:

-Fuel Injected Engine. Hope this will give a much smoother engine and better emisson levels and of course a little more power and torque
-More powerful brakes with ABS
-Larger rear view mirrors
-A crash guard. The ones in the marketing photos is really nice. But it is not yet available as an accessory yet. In fact none of the accessories are there as of now

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2016 at 10:45. Reason: Spacing & taking live. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st May 2016, 10:46   #4
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st May 2016, 12:00   #5
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Congrats on your purchase and thanks for the ownership report of the Himalayan.

This seems like the friendliest of all Royal Enfields.

Wishing you a safe journey to Leh and many more joyous and safe miles ahead. All the best sir!
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Old 21st May 2016, 13:46   #6
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
My trip to Leh is already finalised and we are leaving on 15th July.
Congratulations, bon voyage and best wishes to you, arulpeem and your varaiaadu for trouble-free infinite miles with smiles including your forthcoming ride to Ladakh.
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Old 21st May 2016, 17:57   #7
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Wow that's really a capable machine you have got sir. Please share how the torque kicks in, in this little beast. Munch lots of miles ahead
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Old 21st May 2016, 19:19   #8
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Heartiest Congratulations!

Wish you safe miles in this mile muncher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
The bike had 71Km on the odo when I took delivery.
71Kms on Odo at time of delivery- Isn't that high for a new bike?
What was the odo for your friend's Himalayan during delivery?
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Old 21st May 2016, 20:13   #9
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Congrats Arul! Wishing You a Safe and Comfortable trip to Leh! Eagerly await your thread on your return from Leh with your experiences and pictures. Nice review of the initial ownership. Even I wish to ride to Leh from Manali one of these days.
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Old 21st May 2016, 20:31   #10
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Congrats Arul, I have mixed feelings about this bike. I just love it when I see it from few angles, and from few angles I am in dilemma.

Anyways, it seems like a good bike. Please do share your Leh experiences. One of my friend has also booked it, will share my experience once I take a ride.
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Old 21st May 2016, 20:49   #11
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohitoasis View Post
Congrats on your purchase and thanks for the ownership report of the Himalayan.

This seems like the friendliest of all Royal Enfields.

Wishing you a safe journey to Leh and many more joyous and safe miles ahead. All the best sir!
Thanks for your wishes Rohit.It is a very friendly bike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Congratulations, bon voyage and best wishes to you, arulpeem and your varaiaadu for trouble-free infinite miles with smiles including your forthcoming ride to Ladakh.
Thank you very much sir. Your rides have been one of major inspirations for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
Heartiest Congratulations!

Wish you safe miles in this mile muncher.

71Kms on Odo at time of delivery- Isn't that high for a new bike?
What was the odo for your friend's Himalayan during delivery?
Thanks daretodream. My friend's bike was at about 69. It would have been a 35Km ride to the RTO office and back. Ours was the first set of bikes to be delivered from that dealership and the bikes had just arrived. The dealership also had their test ride bikes. So, I hope there has not been any test rides on my bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7heaven View Post
Congrats Arul! Wishing You a Safe and Comfortable trip to Leh! Eagerly await your thread on your return from Leh with your experiences and pictures. Nice review of the initial ownership. Even I wish to ride to Leh from Manali one of these days.
Thank you 7heaven. Will definitely open up a thread on the Leh trip with lots of photos.

Thanks VishJ. The torque seems to gradually increase from about 1500 onwards. It definitely does not kick in. Having said that I still haven't crossed 4000 rpm since the running in period is until 2000 Km...
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Old 22nd May 2016, 07:28   #12
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Dear Arulpeem,

Congratulations for the Mobike. Very Objective Review, which was very informative. You did , what very few, middle aged people do. That is to buy a mobike, at this age for a pilgrimage, which you had dreamed off, in school and college days. 99/100 would buy a 4 wheeler, and do the dream run, ( at this age).

I had done the delhi, kedarnath, badrinath on my yezdi, in 89-90-91. After the kids, never had the courage to ride a 2 wheeler again. Though i read most reviews. never like the enfield, though, waited for this himalayan, and watched it since inception. saw all those beemers on the highway, since college days, hence the interest.

Any thoughts on the list of materials, tool kits, food and other things , you plan to carry. I would be, one among many, who would follow your trip on this himalayan. i would be in delhi during late june, so will know that you have passed through my area, in any of the days.

Thanx and my best wishes for your trip. May god the almighty, bring you and your bike safe and sound, to your beloved family.

Regards
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Old 22nd May 2016, 20:16   #13
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfOctave View Post
Congrats Arul, I have mixed feelings about this bike. I just love it when I see it from few angles, and from few angles I am in dilemma.
Thanks Halfoctave. Yes you are right about the looks. Some angles are good, some not so good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Dear Arulpeem,

Congratulations for the Mobike. Very Objective Review, which was very informative. You did , what very few, middle aged people do. That is to buy a mobike, at this age for a pilgrimage, which you had dreamed off, in school and college days. 99/100 would buy a 4 wheeler, and do the dream run, ( at this age).

Any thoughts on the list of materials, tool kits, food and other things , you plan to carry. I would be, one among many, who would follow your trip on this himalayan. i would be in delhi during late june, so will know that you have passed through my area, in any of the days.

Regards
Dear Dr Sen, thank you very much for your kinds words and wishes. I think it is about setting aside the mind set and getting on the bike that matters. One of my friends who was with us during the 1991 trip had not done any long distance bike trip other than the local scooter errands for the last 20+ years. Five months back he just borrowed his friend's 350cc classic and joined us on our trip to a place near Coimbatore, which is 525 Kms away. The rest of us had been getting used to biking for the last two years by doing long distance trips. Believe it or not he had absolutely no issues. Later he confessed that he never expected to go beyond Tindivanam, which is about 120 Km from Chennai. It seems he was mentally prepared to drop off.
I will soon update about the planning for the Leh trip once we finalise.
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Old 22nd May 2016, 22:28   #14
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Congratulations arulpeem on a fine acquisition and a very balanced review without going overboard like many fanboys. My best wishes for your safe Leh journey which I too plan to undertake around the same time but on my 14 year old Karizma (2004 Hero Honda Karizma - Still going strong). I too intend/ed to buy the Himalayan but will be waiting for sometime more for RE to get the niggling issues sorted out and also to see how the new engine fares few thousand kms down the line. Do keep posted all the niggles, issues and positives you face over time.

Ride safe, ride fully geared and wishing you many happy 'miles' on the bike.

Cheers...
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Old 22nd May 2016, 22:32   #15
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan - Initial Ownership Report

Rated 5*. Very good review Arul. I expected the headlight to be in sync with the forks, from the second pic it looks like what we have on bikes with fairing. Anyone doing ghats at the dead of the night will understand. If not for that pic, I would have taken it for granted that the headlight points where my handlebar points.

Last edited by YaeJay : 22nd May 2016 at 22:53. Reason: second pic not the first!
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