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Old 5th June 2016, 19:29   #1
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Default Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

I never named any of my machines but this time, I have. The all black colour, the raw look, the matured characteristics and its off-road capabilities all seemed so relatable to the Black Panther from the Jungle Book and hence named it Bagheera.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0100start.jpg

I was never a fan of the Royal Enfield and was not really in need of a bike. This itch started sometime late last year and I was having this feeling to ride bikes again. The choice was RE Classic for no particular reason but the negative feedbacks from some RE owners did trouble me. To settle things I did rent a bike and it turned out that it was not the bike to my liking. However, the longing for a bike didn’t fade and I was looking for other options and none of the existing bikes big / small, cheap / expensive impressed me. And bang, RE launches the Himalayan. Honestly, the pictures in the websites did not impress me. But as destiny would want it, I ended up checking out the Himalayan on a lousy Saturday and there it stole my adventurous heart.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0110start.jpg

The test drive experience is detailed in the thread (The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread)here.

Now after more than 2 months, my Bagheera comes home.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0240bike.jpg

First, I would summarize my ownership experience so far with the bike and it has not been very different from my test drive experience.

What I like:
  • Function over form, an industrial build that is built for purpose and built to last. Yes, its solid. Fit and finish are best among other REs.
  • Excellent handling and suspension setup. Soft and low seats add to the comfort. The chassis is a marvel.
  • Like someone said, it’s an SUV on 2 wheels. You get a commanding view of the road and sitting on the saddle the other bikes seem short / puny.
  • Relatively refined engine with very little vibrations compared to other REs. Have not pushed it beyond 3000 RPM so far as I always run-in my vehicles properly.
  • It has got an excellent mid-range and the taller gearing ratios are great for city commutes.
  • Braking is good. I usually ride easy and I don’t have any complaints here when I drive within the city. For those who ride fast and brake hard or during the long highway cruise a little bit of more bite would have been good.
  • 10,000 Km oil change is a big welcome especially for a touring bike.
  • The headlight is really good. Lights up the road really well.
  • The throaty exhaust note is nice and gives that subtle ‘thump’ occasionally. It makes the bike feel more young and peppy than the matured siblings. I’m loving it.
  • Affordably priced. Rs. 1.8 lakhs OTR is a good deal.

What I don't like:
  • The engine could have been a little more powerful. 24HP might not be sufficient for long drives.
  • Did I say relatively refined? Yes, only when compared with other RE engines. The engine clatter spoils the fun a bit.
  • The switches for the lights and the engine on/off are still of poor quality. Badly needs improvement.
  • Gear shift is still not as smooth as it should be. Clutch is a bit heavy too. However, many owners have said that the gear shift has smoothened a lot after the first service.
  • Absence of ABS
  • The tyres are not tubless tyres. Punctures can be a painful.
  • A 12V charging port would have been an awesome feature that would help charging mobiles / GPS devices.
  • The saree guard is for namesake and just to satisfy law. The only piece I think does not feel solid.
  • The rear view mirrors do not shake / vibrate but do not completely serve the purpose as its coverage is very little.

Looks:

It’s subjective. But I have to confess, I love the rugged and bare bone design. And for those who have not seen it in flesh, I would urge you to do have a look and then make a decision. This bike is something that looks a million times better in real than in the pics. Let me tell, it’s not small as it seems.


Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0200bike.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0210bike.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0250bike.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0270bike.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0280bike.jpg


Handling:

One of the problems that I had when I rode the Classic 500 was that it was hard to maneuver the machine. On the other hand the Himalayan is so easy to maneuver and city commutes are really easy. Taking U-turns take little effort. The machine is heavy but still handles well. It is well planted to the surface (road / no road). This is one thing that the Himalayan excels and is unbeatable.

Engine & heat:

It’s a mixed bag. While it does not vibrate like the other RE engines it is still not the smoothest. It has a noisy clatter and I don’t like that much. It has good amount of torque and power delivery is smooth. It loves to rev and can effortlessly do 40+ in second gear.
The heat from the engine seems to be getting lesser day by day. I could feel the heat on my seats and thighs on the first day just after delivery which made me feel a little uncomfortable. But today I could hardly feel the heat was feeling comfortable.

I like the silver screws on the black engine that look like stars on dark sky.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0500engine.jpg

The welds are neat in the recent lots.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0510engine.jpg

Clutch & Gear:

The clutch is heavy and the gear shifts need a bit of effort, especially the first and second. However, they slot in properly and I have not had any false gears so far. Also, I could slot the gear to neutral most of the time. The clutch desperately needs to be softened. I was driving in heavy traffic today and after a point I could not work on the clutch as my palms were paining badly. Think I need to go to the gym to strengthen my palms.

To protect my shoes from being damaged, I have bought and installed the rubber motorcycle gear shoe protector. It seems to be doing its job well.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0530gear.jpg

Seats:

I am 5ft 10” and I sit very comfortably on the seats with my two legs properly planted to the road. The seats are soft and so far have not felt any discomfort in my city rides. The pillion seats are set up high but they are flat. My wife finds it difficult to get on to the bike due to the height. But once seated, it’s very comfortable and has enough space. The seating posture is upright and you need to extend your arm fully to hold the handle when you are seated away from the tank. This posture induces a bit of neck pain (not sure if this is just for me). But when I sit closer to the tank, I don't feel the pain. However, I feel that while on the highways, this shouldn't be a problem as you can be more relaxed.

Below the seats are the first aid kit, toolkit and document holder. The battery is also placed below the seat.

The seats can be easily removed. The Key hole is neatly hidden.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1100seat.jpg

The pillion seat comes off first.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1110seat.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1120seat.jpg

With the pillion seat removed.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1150seat.jpg

The tool kit below the pillion seat fastened by a simple rubber band.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1130seat.jpg

Note the date of manufacture.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1140seat.jpg

With both seats removed.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1160seat.jpg

The rider seat.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1145seat.jpg

Note the date of manufacture.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1146seat.jpg

The battery neatly set below the rider seat.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1170battery.jpg

The document holder.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1180dochold.jpg

Brakes:

The brakes are good enough for me. I usually ride easy and I don’t have any complaints here when I drive within the city. For those who ride fast and brake hard or during the long highway cruise a little bit of more bite would have been good.

There was only one instance when the bike’s back tire skidded / fish tailed a little bit. All other times it has been good.


The front disc.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0710brake.jpg

The rear disc.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0720brake.jpg

Tyres & Suspension:

The tyres do their job well but are not as sticky as I would have expected. The front suspension has a cushioning feel whereas the rear mono shock is a bit stiff. Thus the ride is not very plush but at the same time not very hard as well. It’s a neutral ride quality and no big complaints here.

The wider rear tyre.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0610back.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0600back.jpg

Fit & Finish:

The recent lot (including my bike) has better welds and the fit and finish overall is very good. Being purpose built there is no part in the Himalayan that does not carry any function.

Instrument cluster:

The instrument cluster has all the information that is required. The only feature missing is the absence of a 12V charging point. While the bike supports almost all its required for touring, it fails here. This is a big miss by RE and hope it would include it in the future upgrades. For now I will go for an after-market one.

The fuel indicator seems to work fine and there is a side stand indicator as well. The temperature reading is atleast a couple of degrees higher than the actual temperature. There is a trip meter that triggers once the fuel indicator reaches the red zone indicating the KMs traveled since entering the red zone. However, I have not switched to reserve even while the indicator has reached almost the last point.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0300ip.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0320ip.jpg

Notice the Side stand indicator below the KM reading. There is no beep / sound to indicate it though.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0330ip.jpg

This is the press type switch that senses that the bike is on side stand.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0335ip.jpg

Last edited by Jude300 : 6th June 2016 at 12:41.
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Old 6th June 2016, 11:39   #2
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Fit & Finish:

The recent lot (including my bike) has better welds and the fit and finish overall is very good. Being purpose built there is no part in the Himalayan that does not carry any function.

However, there is still room for improvement. Like the welds in the exhaust and the exhaust itself. The exhaust looks like it was done in some local lathe shop.

Notice the ugly looking weld.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0965exhaust.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0960exhaust.jpg

Switches and grip:

The quality of the switches are poor for a bike of this class.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0340ip.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0350ip.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0360ip.jpg

The grip is textured and feels good. At times it feels like acupuncture therapy for the palms.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0370grip.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0375grip.jpg

Lights:

The headlight are bright and light up the road well. They have a wide throw too. Some have been concerned with the fixed headlights but for me it has not been a concern so far. The headlights can be turned on with just the ignition turned on (prolonged use of headlight on battery can drain the battery fast).

The park light is LED and is just adequately bright.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0400light.jpg

With the hazard light on. The side indicators are of the right size but are too rigid and do not vibrate. Flexible ones are more suitable for Indian roads where people love to rub against the indicators in parking lots.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0410light.jpg

The rear brake lights are LEDs as well and they look cool.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0630back.jpg


The rear view mirrors are too small and placed inwards hence the coverage being inadequate. They DO NOT vibrate though like in other REs.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0995-mirror.jpg

The fuel cap is attached with the tank. That's good!!!

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-1035tank.jpg

The Carburetor on the right side.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0905carb.jpg

The Choke behind the fuel tap.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0900choke.jpg

The windshield can be adjusted for height.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0990windshield.jpg

The chain guard looks cool.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0920chain.jpg

The engine is air cooled and has got an external cooling system that maintains engine temperature.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0950air.jpg

The saree guard is flimsy and wont withstand the rough use.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0930sareeguard.jpg


Other observations:
  • The bike starts in the very first attempt but for cold starts, I would suggest using the choke as the bike tends to turn off if otherwise. The idle RPM was a bit high @ 1400 while the engine gets warm and I took it to the service center and they adjusted it back to 1100 - 1200 RPM range.
  • Center stand comes as standard. Unlike overdrive had mentioned, the stand does not rub the chain and there have not been any signs of it yet. Parking the bike on center stand requires a bit of effort.
  • The horn sounds very nasal. I ll be changing the horn soon.
  • The front guard is available now as an accessory for Rs.2900/-
  • The heat from the engine warms up the fuel tank considerably. Not sure how much this will contribute to evaporation.
  • There are two plastic covers at the end of the rods below the ‘Himalayan’ logo at the center; they tend to fall off easily. Need to find a fix for the issue.

Some more shots.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0220bike.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0230bike.jpg

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-0240bike.jpg

And finally, that's my garage.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home-3000garage.jpg

Last edited by Jude300 : 6th June 2016 at 12:34.
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Old 8th June 2016, 10:51   #3
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th June 2016, 11:22   #4
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Nice and crisp review. Let me be amonst the first ones to congratulate you on a fine acquisition. Will be following your experiences closely as I have to pick up my Himalayan soon. The notchy gear box smoothens soon after the first service as per feedback received from a fellow Himalayan owner from the first lot.

Ride safe brother and fully geared. Wishing you many years of wonderful riding on this purpose built bike.

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 8th June 2016 at 11:23.
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Old 8th June 2016, 11:26   #5
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Good luck with your ride. I too wish they gave the GT brakes to this bike. That Brembo is stunning for stopping this bike or any RE's. I am planning to retrofit that into my RE 500 and see how it works.

And one question, is your car actually hitting the wall
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Old 8th June 2016, 12:19   #6
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Have you been in stop/go kind of heavy traffic?
Does the engine roast the legs?

When you say that 24 bhp is adequate (city) - do you mean that the torque is available over a wide range of RPM and thus you can be flexible in choosing the gear, or does it means that the gearing is designed well so that the torque at wheel is always available in plenty (even though the torque from the engine might be peaky)?

Similarly, 24 bhp being inadequate on highways (say cruising at 100-120 kmph), do you feel it is not really a bhp issue but a gearing one that can be solved by changing the sprocket (or even wheel size). Or is it genuinely a bhp issue and thus not solvable.

###
Errr, forgot to mention this: thanks for the pix and the review!
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Old 8th June 2016, 12:29   #7
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Congratulations on Bagheera !!! I too own the Himalayan and covered 1k till date. Did the 1st service last week and a lot improved on the bike with respect to engine heat(lower than earlier), gear shifts (smooth now), tappet clatter(quite low than before).

Wishing you a happy & safe riding
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Old 8th June 2016, 12:34   #8
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Congrats on the bike.

The black looks really nice and with the right gear, the rider will have to keep smiling at all the admiring looks everywhere.

Have fun, ride safe.
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Old 8th June 2016, 13:01   #9
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Congrats Jude300 on finally getting your hands on your bike! That's a nice name you've given to your Himalayan.
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Old 8th June 2016, 13:19   #10
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Congratulations Jude on the new bike.
A very good review and a good set of photos. And welcome to the Himalayan gang. The tribe is growing stronger everyday. Bhageera is a lovely name for your granite Himalayan.
I wish you many miles of happy and safe riding.
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Old 8th June 2016, 13:44   #11
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
And one question, is your car actually hitting the wall
Well, its a couple of inches away from a kiss. Very rarely when I park it does kiss the wall but its the number plate that comes in contact and I am damn slow at that point and so no issues so far. I park it that close so that the rear can escape direct sun during afternoons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Does the engine roast the legs?

the gearing is designed well so that the torque at wheel is always available in plenty (even though the torque from the engine might be peaky)?

Similarly, 24 bhp being inadequate on highways
The heat does not roast your legs for sure. However, on the day I took delivery I could feel lot of heat passing through my seat & tank. I t was uncomfortable. But it has significantly improved and I am comfortable riding now. No issues with the heat.

The second gear is really tall and the torque pulls of the bike well which helps you in the city as you dont need to be changing between 2nd and 3rd while the traffic is heavy. But as a practice, I would start from halt from the 1st gear and would never do it from the 2nd even if the bike was capable.

Out on the highway, from what I have heard, it can't comfortably do 120Kmph. I have to test it myself to answer that and it will take time. I wont do those speeds without completing the run-in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishal.joshi View Post
a lot improved on the bike with respect to engine heat(lower than earlier), gear shifts (smooth now), tappet clatter(quite low than before).
Yes, that's what I have been hearing too. Thanks for your wishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post

The black looks really nice and with the right gear, the rider will have to keep smiling at all the admiring looks everywhere.
Thanks for your wishes. Yes, I have been noticing many people following me matching my pace just to have a good glance at the bike and there have been many enquirers during the traffic halts. I try hard to cover that proud wide smile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maker_of_things View Post
That's a nice name you've given to your Himalayan.
Thanks for your wishes. I have been going crazy waiting for the bike to be delivered and it was Himalayan always on my mind. That was when I watched the movie and seeing the real Bagheera on screen suddenly reminded me of the bike. And that's when my Himalayan was christened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
I have to pick up my Himalayan soon. The notchy gear box smoothens soon after the first service as per feedback received from a fellow Himalayan owner from the first lot.
Cheers...
Thanks for your wishes bro. Do put up a ownership thread when you get yours. Information shared has been immensely helpful in the case of the Himalayan where everyone has been very skeptical about the bike.

I shall be posting my experience in this thread regularly

Quote:
Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
Congratulations Jude on the new bike.
And welcome to the Himalayan gang.
Thanks for the wishes Arul. We Chennaites should try to catch-up sometime. And my wishes for your Himalayan trip.

Last edited by Jude300 : 8th June 2016 at 13:54.
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Old 8th June 2016, 20:59   #12
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Thanks for sharing Jude300. Excellent thread. After reading these threads my love for motorcycles is slowly returning. Guess, I have been playing too safe for some years driving only the car and occasional TVS Jupiter. The two bikes I am currently looking at are the RE Himalayan and Bajaj V. I know both are entirely different and purists will scoff at me using the both in one sentence but I don't need something too heavy and these too fit the bill.

The bike looks absolutely cool. Congratulations and Happy riding!
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Old 9th June 2016, 00:40   #13
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
And one question, is your car actually hitting the wall
I was cringing at the sight of it. I would have asked the question if you hadn't brought this up!

Congrats on a good buy Jude300! Happy miles.
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Old 9th June 2016, 09:33   #14
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

I really wanted to get this bike but was let down by the exact cons you have listed. Especially the lack of tubeless tyres is like "what were they thinking?". That ecosport parking job though, is really something that will take the focus of this thread away
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Old 9th June 2016, 10:49   #15
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Himalayan Ownership Thread - Bagheera comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
The notchy gear box smoothens soon after the first service as per feedback received from a fellow Himalayan owner from the first lot.
Dheeraj Saab,
Ensure the clutch is adjusted appropriately and the gearbox will be better to engage with. Having said that, the gearbox is a bit sluggish no matter how much of oil changes/clutch adjustment has been made.

@Jude,
Congratulations on your steed, wish you miles of smiles with it.
For the two plastic caps, roll a bit of thread into it (not the smooth one but the coarse one) and add a 2-3 drops of super glue like loctite and push it in its position. It will hold itself well and you will not have issues with it.

Are you sure on the front guard been put on sale in Chennai? Am yet to follow it up with my HSR Dealer

Please do share a few photos of the front guard if you are buying them.
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