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Old 29th May 2017, 12:45   #1
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Default Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!

I received these images from a himalayan owners group on facebook. Someone has posted about this incident a few days back. I don't know much details about the same except , the owner states that this happened while he was riding at around 30-40 kmph. He's one lucky lad !

Source : https://www.facebook.com/groups/rehimalayan/

Please share more details, if anyone is following the same

Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!-h1.jpg  

Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!-h2.jpg  

Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!-h3.jpg  

Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!-h4.jpg  

Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!-h5.jpg  

Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!-h6.jpg  

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Old 29th May 2017, 14:36   #2
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Seems like buying a Himalayan is a death wish. This is very scary to say the least. Never seen or heard motorcycle frame tearing itself apart like this, worst case scenario should be a bent frame but not a broken one.
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Old 30th May 2017, 19:25   #3
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

RE has been known to use customers as guniea pigs but this is nuts

What the hell kind of testing did they conduct before they launched this monstrosity??

This bike does not deserve the Himalayan monicker. "The mound" ... maybe, "Hillock" would be acceptable too; but not the grand daddy of all mountains in the friggin world
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Old 30th May 2017, 19:53   #4
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Wonder where cs santosh is now considering all the visibly real bad press this bikes getting... Somebody should tweet him and get his feedback.

I am sure both tvs and ktm are having a hearty laugh at these shenanigans. Where are all the profits from royal enfield going if not back into proper product development and quality control?

Some investor raider like carl icann should just buy these guys out in the stock market and raid the boardroom and throw the management team out.

Last edited by Red Liner : 30th May 2017 at 19:55.
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Old 31st May 2017, 00:25   #5
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Although the weld joint shown in picture #2, 4 and 5 which is the same joint obviously did not have the penetration into the head stocks' parent material, it is also obvious this is not a new failure.
Notice the rust on the weld area shown nicely in photo #2. Also notice the edge of the torn material next to the broken weld. It is badly rusted indicating that this area too is not a recent failure.

The severity of the damage in these pictures leads me to believe this motorcycles front fork and steering head was treated to severe shock such as a collision or becoming airborne and landing only on the front wheel after falling a considerable distance.

The newly broken material shown in picture #1, 3 and 4 (upper area of the picture) is the result of someone, continuing to ride (and I suspect, abuse) the damaged motorcycle without first repairing the earlier damage.

This continued use, over-stressed the remaining tube (who's weld I notice did not fail) resulting in its failure.

I am not saying Royal Enfield is not at fault. The poor weld joint should never have happened.
Anyone owning a Himalayan (or any other motorcycle from any maker) should inspect the welds from time to time to see if any of the welds are developing cracks.

That said, I think the basic design of the Himalayan is sound and I for one would not be overly worried if I owned one of them.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 31st May 2017 at 00:27.
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Old 31st May 2017, 20:20   #6
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Anyone riding (for pleasure) a motorcycle needs to have both mechanical sympathy and commonsense. Which I think were lacking in this case. Does not take away from the fact that
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
The poor weld joint should never have happened.
Lack of weld penetration, well you of all people should know it from your case!

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Sutripta
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Old 31st May 2017, 20:36   #7
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
RE has been known to use customers as guniea pigs but this is nuts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
I am sure both tvs and ktm are having a hearty laugh at these shenanigans.
KTM (and in effect Bajaj) is probably second to RE when it comes to using customers as guinea pigs. However, they do work to correct issues quite actively. The Duke 390 has had many improvements over the period between 2013 and 2016. In three years, they managed to take care of almost all of the issues it had.

So far I have seen only two KTM's personally with broken frames. One crashed hard into a 4 wheeler and another had a history of serious abuse. In general, the Duke has a surprisingly resilient frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
Although the weld joint shown in picture #2, 4 and 5 which is the same joint obviously did not have the penetration into the head stocks' parent material, it is also obvious this is not a new failure.
Notice the rust on the weld area shown nicely in photo #2. Also notice the edge of the torn material next to the broken weld. It is badly rusted indicating that this area too is not a recent failure.

...

That said, I think the basic design of the Himalayan is sound and I for one would not be overly worried if I owned one of them.
It is clear that the frame's backbone started to tear more recently than the down tube as you pointed out is evident from the amount of rust there. You are also right about the quality of welds that seem to have come unstuck like a post-it note pasted on a dusty surface. They look more like they were pasted as an afterthought rather melded with the base metal. The initial damage may have been caused by an impact and that is the main problem, not the tearing of the top tube.

I do agree with all that you have said. I am only saying that this seems to be a symptom of poor metallurgy and improper manufacturing processes which have been very old problems with Royal Enfield.

Also, you are right about the design. This bike is designed quite well and they have got the dynamics right. The only problem with it is the long list of issues it has. Though RE's attitude has improved over the last couple of years or so, it seems they will take a long time to reach acceptable standards of quality.

I also want to add that our family motorcycle, a 1979 Bullet 350 has had 5 crashes where the fork tubes had bent inwards and not once has its chassis cracked. It is slightly out of alignment, yes, but there are no signs of fractures. Those batches were known to use good quality metals but they later neglected that aspect. Company attitude changed maybe?
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Old 3rd June 2017, 23:30   #8
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
Himalayan in the news again !!!

.... According to him, his Himalayan’s frame cracked while he was riding at about 30-40 Kph. While Jason managed to stop the motorcycle safely and escaped unhurt, he was left fuming at the poor quality of the Himalayan.
...
My comments about this incident are posted in the other topic about it but, the rider in this case failed to notice the obvious damage which started long before the frame totally failed.

Things like this are not unique to Royal Enfields. They happen to all of the various brands and it just reinforces the idea that each and every one of you readers who ride must examine the frame and its weld joints at regular intervals.

If there is any frame damage at all you must get it repaired before you ride your motorcycle again.

I can't count the number of times I've seen photos on this site of motorcycles with frame damage and scooters which have their sheet metal "frames" almost totally rusted away leaving large holes where the frame used to be.
Oddly, the posts concerning these machines deal with problems that have no relationship to the frame damage.

If someone suspects the frame on their motorcycle or scooter is damaged they owe it to themselves to examine it carefully.
If broken welds, torn or missing sheet metal is seen, by all means, get it repaired.

The hide you save may be your own.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 3rd June 2017 at 23:32.
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Old 4th June 2017, 00:27   #9
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
My comments about this incident are posted in the other topic about it but, the rider in this case failed to notice the obvious damage which started long before the frame totally failed.

Things like this are not unique to Royal Enfields. They happen to all of the various brands and it just reinforces the idea that each and every one of you readers who ride must examine the frame and its weld joints at regular intervals.

If there is any frame damage at all you must get it repaired before you ride your motorcycle again.

I can't count the number of times I've seen photos on this site of motorcycles with frame damage and scooters which have their sheet metal "frames" almost totally rusted away leaving large holes where the frame used to be.
Oddly, the posts concerning these machines deal with problems that have no relationship to the frame damage.

If someone suspects the frame on their motorcycle or scooter is damaged they owe it to themselves to examine it carefully.
If broken welds, torn or missing sheet metal is seen, by all means, get it repaired.

The hide you save may be your own.
Just for information, is there any specific procedure to repair any crack in welding of the frame ? Because I dont think that normal gas or electric welding will be enough.
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Old 5th June 2017, 00:05   #10
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Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
Just for information, is there any specific procedure to repair any crack in welding of the frame ? Because I dont think that normal gas or electric welding will be enough.
Welds can be repaired by either gas or electric welding.

Shielded arc electric welding which uses an inert gas to protect the weld zone is usually the best. The inert gas protects the weld from oxygen which can contaminate the molten metal.
For those who cannot afford the inert gas equipment, a flux wire arc welding machine will do almost as well.


The thing with welding and weld repairs is, the person doing the welding must know what they are doing.

Learning how to weld properly is not something that is done overnight.
It requires a great deal of training so, if a damaged or defective weld is found on your motorcycle or scooter, it should be repaired by someone with this knowledge.

A knowledgeable person doing the work is as, or more important than the equipment he is using.
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Old 21st June 2017, 09:53   #11
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Default re: Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
I received these images from a himalayan owners group on facebook.
Thanks for sharing Aditya! This is a serious issue. Moving your post + replies to a new thread.
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Old 21st June 2017, 14:39   #12
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Default Re: Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
I received these images from a himalayan owners group on facebook. Someone has posted about this incident a few days back.

Thanks
The first and third picture show shear of the metal itself. It is not weld joint coming loose, IMO.

It could be that, once one of the welding joints failed, there was immediate increase in load on other points of the frame, which lead to metal tearing (shear).

Seems engineers considered very low Factor of Safety. Probably the material used is not treated well to be part of bike's frame itself. They could have cut corners at the wrong places!
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Old 21st June 2017, 15:04   #13
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Default Re: Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!

Saw a post on fb a month ago about another frame breaking near the headstock somewhere in the mountains up north, tried to look for the post again but can't locate it . It seems to be a genuine concern , checked my frame seemed ok so far so I'm not sure what to be looking out for ?
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Old 21st June 2017, 19:00   #14
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Default Re: Welding defect in Royal Enfield Himalayan; frame cracks!

Paying a premium for this bike and it's filled with issues. I am glad the bike did not break into two while doing high speed highway run. This is a big quality failure.

If I was the owner, I wouldn’t settle down for a welding from the showroom or from the factory for that matter. Replace the bike or pay my money back.
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Old 21st June 2017, 22:39   #15
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From the photos , which are from different bike, two things are evident.

1. There is an issue with preparation of the material before the welding, which in most production lines are Robotic arms on a jig holding the frames. That explains weld parting this way, another issue could also be using incorrect or incompatible electrodes, that brings me to the second point.
2. In today's environment conscious market, most manufacturers are increasingly opting for recycled materials , the very process of recycling, includes a lot of unwanted impurities in the metal which makes the metal at best ; for the lack of a better word an " alloy" ,and not to mention it's obviously cheaper; and of course the welding electrode being used in the factories are not exactly made for these "alloys"- hence I used the term incompatible in point 1 .

These weld issues are pretty serious and I think the company should go for a root cause analysis on the issue and rectify it before they cause fatalities.
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