My RE Himalayan 450: Ownership observations after its first ride

The best and worst tank-to-tank fuel efficiency in 5 refills is 33.4 km/l to 28.1 km/l.

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A small recap of my sudden ride from Jaipur to Bhubaneswar. Due to some exigency, I had to ride home and of course, chose the Himalayan 450 as my ride. Just out of first service she was all set. I had already installed the rally protection kit, radiator guard & all-important aux light (more on it later). Also installed my Givi top box in a hurry.

Started from Jaipur at 5.30 am with the temperature hovering at about 7-8 degrees. My RE waterproof gloves tried their best to fight the cold but my fingers were still freezing (missed the Barkbusters for the wind protection - the same gloves in Spiti and leg rides were fine). The Rynox Storm Evo jacket and trousers along with thermal inners were kind of OK, but a wind cheater would have been welcome. All through the day till Katni, the temperature remained below 10 degrees.

Now coming to the bike - it performed flawlessly. As already brought out by everyone, there is nothing below 3-3,500 rpm in lower gears (read all gears other than 1st), but cross 4-4,500 and voila, she changes character! Absolute fun - overtaking is a breeze.

Another observation - don't bother to use 6th gear below 4,500 rpm or below 80 km/h. The bike becomes almost dead.

The best part undeniably & without question is the suspension. Bad broken patches of roads are like non-existent. When every other vehicle slows down, this thing simply flies without a care in the world. Simply awesome! Buy this bike just for the suspension if nothing else.

Now coming to the light. The stock light is crap unless you are alone on a dark road, which is not possible in the real world.

I have installed a Baja Squadron Pro light with 4 levels of intensity control set at 20%, 40%, 70% & 100% respectively. 10% is the default & comes on every time the bike is started. The rest can be selected as required. In the thick early morning fog, they were my saviours (not using any yellow filter or else they would be more effective). Unlike other aux lights, there was a focused beam from the top two LEDs and a wide swathe of light from the lower two LEDS illuminating from close to the bike to about 150-250 m ahead where I could see even a dog moving at the farthest. I would say paisa vasool.

Now my other bike and Thar both have Maddog Alpha installed. While Alphas are equally bright where they lose out is beam focus, while Baja simply excels. Another factor is the light's colour temperature. At 5600-5700 Kelvin, Maddog is more vibrant, while Baja at 5000 Kelvin is more soothing to the eyes as well as better in smoke/dust/light fog.

The stock horn was very feeble. So I installed Denali Soundbomb Mini horns and they were excellent at dissipating traffic when used - some perverse pleasure. One must use them responsibly. They are insanely loud & confusing.

The stock windscreen, while good till about 80-90 km/h, is almost of no use at higher speeds. It also allows a lot of insects to hit on the visor. I feel a taller windscreen will be better.

For luggage, I am using my Rynox stormproof duffle bag (5-year-old) with 2 Decathlon bungee cords in a tied criss-cross pattern and it is holding great. The top box is empty less my spare gloves, water bottle and cleaning cloth. I need to install a pannier rack so that I get the Dirtsack Core 30 panniers.

Yes, the tank range is consistently 400-430 km however you ride. The best and worst tank-to-tank mileage in 5 refills is 33.4 km/l to 28.1 km/l.

Overall, I am super happy with the purchase. Serves my purpose of a touring bike to a tee.

Finally, a snap with the best makeup one can give the Himalayan:

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