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Old 4th December 2022, 16:07   #1
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8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

This is my first post. After going through thousands of threads on Team BHP, finally I have a story to share! This is about my team with Himalayan, how it all started, what I love and what I don't during the past 8 months.

How it started
Ever since 2011, when I started working, the fascination with bikes started. It started with getting to know what I can afford, the phone calls to check prices and reading everything on web about the bikes I could afford. I started on a blank slate, but very soon fell into the 'Classic' category instead of 'Modern'. 2 years passed and in a rush decision, I bought a 125 cc Honda. The bike did justice to what it promised, but I was never able to get attached to it as I had read too much!

Time kept flying, marriage and moved to 4 wheeler - Polo 2015 trendline, which I love and treasure at 100k KMS currently. I had forgotten that I spent years thinking about motorcycles.

How it got restarted
Except a visit to RE showroom in 2016, I had done nothing. It restarted in March 2021. I read RE had launched a new bike - Meteor based on a completely new platform. My first feeling was of shock that such a significant development happened with a brand I followed so closely and I had no clue (so forgotten the bike dream was). The bike 'read' promising and after a few conversations with wife, the fire was reignited.

The decision process
To sum it up, it was an overthought and over engineered process. Meteor read promising, but I decided to wait for J platform to come to Classic 350 (inclination towards Classic genre had remained in sub conscious).

When the Reborn Classic was launched, I thought my decision was final. After many years, in mid-2021, called RE showroom and booked a test drive. I drove the Classic Reborne and Meteor back to back in parking lot. I rode a bike after years and was going to decide by 2 rounds of parking lot.

The Classic was easier to drive while Meteor was had better road personality. When I concluded the test drive and parked the Meteor, an Interceptor was parked next to it. Now enters Interceptor into the mix. It checked all boxes - A Classic, has Character and is not Common.

Reading started about Interceptor (I never test rode it as I wasn't sure if I will be able to handle the power!). A critical factor was that the rear seat should be comfortable for my wife. The awkwardly upward rear foot peg of Interceptor was noticed and spoken about during the showroom visit and became a bottleneck.

Now I was stuck, Classic wasn't interesting and unique enough comparing to Interceptor. Meteor did not appeal to the 'Classic' inclination and wife termed that as college boy bike (I am 35 currently and now there is a 3 year old in family, living in Rewari HR with office in Gurgaon -35kms).

Goa
We went to Goa in March 2022. We are regulars to Goa since 2016 and I was fascinated by the biking culture there, though we always rented a scooty.

During this week in Goa, Himalayan entered the mix. I always knew of its existence, but always thought of that as a 'niche' bike made for a purpose I had nothing to do with. Further, it's not very common in where I live. With slight hesitation, I started the reading about Himalayan during the vacation. The size was the first question,but seeing persons of average size (my size), males and females, steering Himalayan in Goa gave me the confidence to keep the size aside. In few weeks I was convinced that this is worth considering.

Test Drive and Booking process
Vacation was over and the next weekend, we visited the showroom. First time, I rode the Himalayan and found it manageable in size. Rode it only for a few KMs and was sold - it had Character, was unique and not a true Classic but 'Old school' in its genre (compared to KTMs!).

I paid the booking amount and was destined to get the Gravel Grey delivered by end of May'22.

There were a few more visits to showrooms, dillydallying between Meteor and Himalayan. Finally, wife said Himalayan (she had figured out that I wanted her to say that) and overruled the color choice. We paid the bill for a Lake Blue instead of Gravel grey. After a satisfactory PDI, on Apr 16, 2022 finally, Himalayan was coming home.

We almost brought this beauty home! This was after we did PDI (and then went back to Himalayan!)

8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)-1.png

Finally taking delivery
Nothing much to write about here. The bike was ready and we had all the time in world to click pics as the government website where registration is required was down for an hour. I got the keys and the first ride of 35kms with wife as pillion wa slow and steady. When we reached, it was my first time to park the bike. I made multiple efforts to put it on center stand and was successful only after wife pulled it from the back. While walking back home, I was happy and also nervous - will I be able to manage this!

Paid the bill, now Junior could saddle with authority.

8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)-2.jpg

Getting used to it
I went back to YouTube and reading about getting used to managing motorcycles. That helped. In couple of days, I was comfortable with the center stand maneuver, unless on an incline. I also found my method of getting up and down. So far, I didn't have to pick it up, but I am confident that I will be able to put my theoretical knowledge to test when the inevitable happens.

Mind you, I am still thinking about where will I park, how will I get her out whenever I am riding; that has more to do with how I am as a person though!

A random click from my solo ride to Jaipur. The tankbag from Guardian Gear is a boon.

8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)-3.png

What I love

The upright stance
The liberation you require when you get on a motorcycle is in plenty on offer here. You sit comfortably, clear view of the road ahead and feel confident with the high handlebar.

Power delivery
I have not rode a bike with bigger engine so I am not aware of what's on offer. Also, I am a sedate rider irrespective of wheels on a vehicle. I have never crossed 100 and don't intend to. For this, i like the way power is delivered and the amount of it.

Suspension and Ground Clearance
I feel happy with how the bike approaches the adulations. I have gone through a monsoon season in Gurgaon with under construction roads and the bike never felt questioned.

Balance
I have only been on roads and highways, the worst roads, but yes still won't call that offroading. When you hold the handlebar, you feel confident of the balance and the way the bike reacts to your maneuvers.

Road presence
It's subjective, but it gets noticed and you stand out when talking about bikes under 3 lacs.

What I don't Love

Gearing
Two things - getting to Neutral and lack of sixth gear hamper the experience. Till date, i never get to neutral in the first attempt. This is very irritating when you want to wait on a red light or park in neutral.

Secondly, whenever i cross 80 on highways, more often that not, I am pressing for another gear, only to see the indicator that I am only in 5th. Seems like this will be changed with the generation (I did give the next generation a thought - the platform could require time to stabilize and could be lot expensive, hence I went with BS6 understanding it is mature and towards the end of its lifecycle)

Tube Tyres
This remains an area of subconscious anxiety. Someday I am going to get a puncture and I will figure out a way to get it fixed. Will share that experience!


The breakdowns

Fuel pump
A major breakdown when I was on Highway. Himalayan has been my go to vehicle for 1-2 visits to office every week (35kms one day Rewari-Gurgaon). I stopped for refueling midway one morning. Once refueled, the bike won't start. It used to happen once in a while since I got it home 4 months back so I wasn't concerned. After 4-5 tries, the starting sound started to die and it became quite clear this is a breakdown. The petrol pump folks started to gather and advised me to let it 'cool' down. I waited for 30 mins and during that time called the RE RSA. They were responsive in picking up, but the assigned person was eventually not so responsive. After 90mins of waiting, I tried again and now the bike started. I had been calling the assigned person and was getting excuses for delays. After the bike started, we agreed that I should ride to the service center 3-4 kms away. They were quite responsive when I reached and within minutes said that the fuel pump is faulty and they will replace under warranty. They sounded like this is a common issue in certain lots of Himalayan. This is quite shocking and disturbing as the company should do a formal recall rather than riders getting stranded one by one when that's a eventuality. When will Indian firms understand that recalls dony bring bad press as much as snowballing of such issues.

Anyway, thankfully the fuel pump was available and by evening I got the bike back. I felt that bike has been riding much better after this - not a surprise as engine would be getting better fueling.

Horn
The horn stopped working after slowly dying down. In the first visit, they changed some wiring. The issue came back again. This time they replaced that with a Classic horn which is slightly squeamish. I did not complain as I try to honk less anyway. I paid 300 rs for this.


Service Cost
I have availed 2 free services at Manzil Motors. Nothing much to write here as nothing special to be done. All was done on time.

Add ons so far

Backrest
Getting a backrest installed ASAP was a pre requisite by wife. I did some research and got one from Clozotech Automotive. Found on YouTube and ordered via WhatsApp. This was DIY and is sturdy. The reason I selected this is because it fixes on the backplate screws and doesn't intrude the seat space. I just checked and seems the business isn't active on WhatsApp though.

Formula X
To overcome the anxiety re tube tires, I went with Formula X filling in both tires. Haven't experienced any puncture so hoping this has silently worked. I do keep checking tires for any nails.

Other than this I clean and lube every 500kms and once a month take the bike for washing.

Making it look pretty again after Monsoon. Though have to say, Himalayan goes well with dirt!

8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)-4.jpg

Plan and Aspirations Ahead

Go for a mountain trip
So far my only long ride bas been a solo to Jaipur in May (200kms one way). I aspire a weeklong trip to Himachal in some medium complexity roads. Need wife to agree and join me as the partner in crime. Equally important, need to prep our 3 year old to be able to stay with extended family for a week!

Grow as a versatile biker
My riding experience has been roads and highways. I wish to do more rides, start trail riding and do more with the bike in general. Not sure how to start on this as time is the first issue and secondly, I don't have an riding community around me.

Learn more about machine
I wish to understand the machine better and be able to do some of the regular maintenance on my own. Any suggestions welcome.

Graduate from Himalayan to something else
Don't have a timeline in sight for this and what that something would be!

Lastly, I have invested in a Rynox jacket and gloves and knee guards. In addition to helmet (of course) I strongly recommend everyone to invest in gear for self and pillions. Our roads aren't safe for riding and you can get into an accident without any mistake of yours. These investments will look small if God forbid they are put to test someday.
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Old 4th December 2022, 18:09   #2
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re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Wonderful Post, I wish you many more happy miles ahead! My Himalayan will turn 6 months old in a couple of days, and luckily there haven't been any major issues so far. I look forward to more posts from you, Cheers
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Old 4th December 2022, 18:15   #3
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re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Thank you. Hope you don't run into any issues and Happy 6 months soon.
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Old 5th December 2022, 11:41   #4
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re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Congrats on your Himalayan, it is a versatile bike and I am sure you will enjoy it. The neutral and any gear shift issues will sort out after first service. It is known that bad/adulterated fuel can cause issues so only fuel it at known good pumps. You will not suffer any puncture unless you ride too much offroad or some nails gets in your way, it is pretty good tube/tyre combo IMO.
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Old 5th December 2022, 12:16   #5
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Re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Thanks for sharing your experience with Himalayan. Please keep sharing about your rides and adventures.
The neutral hunting can be made easier with a fix to clutch adjustment, you may be having less play.

Last edited by gharika : 5th December 2022 at 12:18. Reason: Additional feedback
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Old 5th December 2022, 15:35   #6
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Mod note: Back to back post, please use Multi Quote [Quote +] instead of this. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaks View Post
Congrats on your Himalayan, it is a versatile bike and I am sure you will enjoy it. The neutral and any gear shift issues will sort out after first service. It is known that bad/adulterated fuel can cause issues so only fuel it at known good pumps. You will not suffer any puncture unless you ride too much offroad or some nails gets in your way, it is pretty good tube/tyre combo IMO.
Thank you. I have done the first two services and the neutral issue has actually worsened after the second service. Will connect with RE with this feedback. Thanks a lot for the fuel tip. I have been fuelling at a known pump - is there any specific grade of fuel more suited for the bike? Good to know your feedback on the tyres (helps keeps my anxious nerves down).

Quote:
Originally Posted by gharika View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience with Himalayan. Please keep sharing about your rides and adventures.
The neutral hunting can be made easier with a fix to clutch adjustment, you may be having less play.
Thanks for the tip on clutch adjustment. I will soon visit RE and pass on the feedback to them. Will definitely share my experiences - as a first time poster here, I am hoping that the desire to share experiences will make me ride more and farther, cheers!

Last edited by Jaggu : 5th December 2022 at 15:44. Reason: Back to back post, please use Multi Quote [Quote +] instead of this. Thanks.
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Old 5th December 2022, 15:50   #7
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Re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

You'll have trouble switching to another bike 5-10 years down the line. The suspension of the Himalayan is super comfy and very mature when dealing with poor road conditions.

Be careful though. Its suspension is so good that it very quickly makes the rider over confident.

About the punctures, don't worry. I have extensively used both, Ceat Gripp and Ceat Gripp XL tires. The Gripp is always looking for sharp objects to grab but the Gripp XL is very resilient to punctures. Their true potential comes through in the off-road/gravel/sand patches.
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Old 5th December 2022, 16:56   #8
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Re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaheshY1 View Post
You'll have trouble switching to another bike 5-10 years down the line. The suspension of the Himalayan is super comfy and very mature when dealing with poor road conditions.

Be careful though. Its suspension is so good that it very quickly makes the rider over confident.

About the punctures, don't worry. I have extensively used both, Ceat Gripp and Ceat Gripp XL tires. The Gripp is always looking for sharp objects to grab but the Gripp XL is very resilient to punctures. Their true potential comes through in the off-road/gravel/sand patches.
Thank you Mahesh. I went for a vacation recently to Udaipur and Mount Abu recently with family - rented a scooty there and it was such a pain after riding Himalayan as my daily driver. Completely relate to what you said about comfort and suspension.

Good to hear reassurance from the experience riders about the tyres. Makes me more confident for sure.
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Old 5th December 2022, 21:41   #9
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Re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shobhitsaxena View Post
Thank you. I have done the first two services and the neutral issue has actually worsened after the second service. Will connect with RE with this feedback. Thanks a lot for the fuel tip. I have been fuelling at a known pump - is there any specific grade of fuel more suited for the bike? Good to know your feedback on the tyres (helps keeps my anxious nerves down).
This is probably because an oil change is not done during the second service. Consider getting an oil change done. The recommended grade is 15W50, Semi Synthetic. Motul 5100 is by far the most commonly used oil for the Himmy and is what I'm running right now, but there are synthetic Oils by Shell, Maxima and Putoline and Amisoil as well, with no known clutch slippage AFAIK. Also Periodically lubricate the gear shifft mechanism's joints with WD40, it has helped for me.

With regard to the fuel grade, 91RON and higher is what is recommended. I have tried XP 95 but didn't feel a spectacular difference. I did feel that Shell Petrol had a marginally smoother ride, but that may be in my head. I regularly fuel up at a Bharat Petroleum near my place which we've trusted for years now.

Last edited by WhiskeyTangoFox : 5th December 2022 at 21:45.
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Old 6th December 2022, 06:56   #10
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Re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shobhitsaxena View Post
This is my first post. After going through thousands of threads on Team BHP, finally I have a story to share! This is about my team with Himalayan, how it all started, what I love and what I don't during the past 8 months.......Lastly, I have invested in a Rynox jacket and gloves and knee guards. In addition to helmet (of course) I strongly recommend everyone to invest in gear for self and pillions. Our roads aren't safe for riding and you can get into an accident without any mistake of yours. These investments will look small if God forbid they are put to test someday.
Wonderful post, Shobhit - straight from the heart and from the shoulder!

Wishing you many more years of happy riding.
Best regards,
Shashanka
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Old 5th January 2023, 17:20   #11
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Re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyTangoFox View Post
...
With regard to the fuel grade, 91RON and higher is what is recommended. I have tried XP 95 but didn't feel a spectacular difference. I did feel that Shell Petrol had a marginally smoother ride, but that may be in my head. I regularly fuel up at a Bharat Petroleum near my place which we've trusted for years now.
It's probably placebo. From what google tells me, Baleno has a 10:1 compression ratio and it runs alright on normal petrol. Himalayan has a 9.5:1 compression --- lower than even the Baleno's. Regular petrol is fine.
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Old 6th January 2023, 01:44   #12
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Re: 8 months with a Royal Enfield Himalayan (Lake Blue)

I picked up a BSIV non-ABS Himalayan in August 2018. Went riding a 100kms that night. On the return journey, I had a rear tyre puncture. On the very first day (night). Such is life!

All said & done, the Himalayan truly opened me up to "mature" riding. Riding as an adult. Thoughtful riding. Riding for pleasure. A means to what freedom could truly feel like. It has given my wife & I, immeasurable happiness. Words cannot adequately describe (though I try), what a joy this motorcycle has been, and continues to be.

At present, it is acting as a daily rider for a friend, who for context, also rides a V Strom 650. He says, and I quote, "Shyam, she's a keeper"! My friends have all advised me to never ever sell this beauty. And by no means am I or my friends, RE fanboys. This bike isn't RE. And yet it's RE!

Congratulations! And keep the thread updated.
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