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Saw the Himalayan 450 in person for the first time at the launch event

While everyone congregated around the gorgeous Hanle Black model, I requested a Royal Enfield salesperson to take the wraps off the 2nd motorcycle - a Kaza Brown model.

BHPian neil.jericho recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Back in 2019, when the Royal Enfield 650 twins were launched, Indian motorcycle enthusiasts were genuinely excited by the prospect of two affordable multi-cylinder motorcycles being sold by a company with a pan-India service network. At that time, I was invited by one of the showrooms to attend the local launch of the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.

Fast forward to 2023 and history was all set to repeat itself, at least partially. The Himalayan 450 has global motorcycle enthusiasts buzzing with excitement at the prospect of an affordable do-it-all adventure motorcycle being sold by a company with an increasingly large global service network. This time, I wasn't invited by any of the showrooms to attend the launch but I made it a point to invite myself! The sales lady at the company store in Bangalore confirmed that the motorcycle was present in the store and it would be unveiled at 7:30 PM in Royal Enfield showrooms across India.

Center Stage

Off To One Side

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the showroom had not one, but two motorcycles, under wraps. One took center stage and another was tucked away to the side. The webcast was being shown on a TV but nobody was really paying attention to it. Everyone was patiently waiting to see the motorcycle and learn the prices.

Introductions Before The Unveiling

Around 7.30, the gentleman in charge of the company showroom gathered everyone around the motorcycle. He introduced the chief guest of the evening, who is a retired officer and had bought a Royal Enfield Bullet in the 80s! After a brief speech, the chief guest was invited to unveil the motorcycle.

My immediate impressions of the Himalayan 450 were that it looks better in front of you than it does on a television screen.

First glimpse

While everyone congregated around the gorgeous Hanle Black model, I pulled away to the side and requested a salesperson to take the wraps off the 2nd motorcycle which was being ignored. While I would have liked this Kaza brown paint shade to be a tad darker, I must admit that I am thoroughly smitten by this scheme.

Meanwhile, the helpful staff members served refreshments and a snack to everyone who was in the showroom. The Burger King burger and a Paper Boat drink were gratefully accepted by all the walk-ins.

Pricing

There was so much excitement around the unveiling of the 2 motorcycles, that nobody paid any attention to the live stream from Goa. Thanks to being a part of several active Whatsapp motorcycling groups, I saw the prices, as soon as they were announced. When I shared the numbers with some of the sales folks, they were as excited as the potential customers were. The hard-to-hide grins said it all! Slowly the pricing information started to spread in the crowd and everyone was visibly happy with these introductory figures.

Crowd

I would venture to say that there must have been at least 75-100+ walk-ins yesterday evening. And that is on the conservative side. Overall, the crowd was very well-behaved and patiently took turns to be seated on the new bikes, and get photographed on them. Fortunately, we only had one obnoxious gentleman who probably was some influenza, and shamelessly hogged a lot of time on these new motorcycles, without bothering about the others who were waiting for their turn. I'm just grateful that there was only 1 such person at the launch event.

Now that I'm done with the lengthy preamble, let's get on to the actual motorcycle!

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