Royal Enfield, the oldest motorcycle brand in India since 1901, has been making efforts to enthral bike-lovers across the globe with its unique and distinctive modern classic bikes.Royal Enfield’s product line-up in India includes the Bullet, Classic and Thunderbird, in the 350-cc and 500-cc displacement, along with the Continental GT 535-cc cafe racer.
Made Like A Gun – what Royal Enfield proudly proclaims, with regard to its rugged and well-built machines. If a gun wasn’t enough, this new monster that has just hit Indian roads and off-roads, may be made like a ‘tank’, yet glides its way that most bikes dare not go.
The launch of the purpose-built Himalayan, powered by the new LS410 engine, brings the best out in an adventurer-tourer bike enthusiast, who will be eager to test his/her limits and skills on this new beast.
The motorcycle is one good-looker. The bold tall handlebar looks impressive, and the large 21-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel with CEAT tyres is massive. The single, round headlight looks to be very much in control, especially during those adrenaline rides one may take at night.
You have to spend lot of time to understand the instrument panel which is a mix of digital and analogue dials. The console displays gear indicator, two trip metres, odometer, ambient temperature, clock, average speed, service indicator, digital compass, and a side-stand indicator.
At the rear, there is a small luggage stand which is standard with frames on either side which can take a load of 24 kg.
Engineered to hike
The Royal Enfield Himalayan’s engine is all new with a 411-cc single-cylinder, air-cooled petrol powertrain, which produces 24.5 bhp@6,500 rpm of power, and a peak torque of 32 Nm@4,500 rpm.
The 14-litre fuel tank offers decent range – around 400-450 km on a full tank, depending on terrain and riding style.
One of the best aspects that we find is that the Himalayan comes only with an electric starter, which means there is no wasting time with a kick starter. This means that the adventure has already begun once you’ve mounted the motorcycle, and zoom…!
New meaning to riding
The Himalayan is a new design that Royal Enfield has come up with. For all RE aficionados out there, who swear by the seamless riding rhythm of a Bullet (as most RE bikes are affectionately called in India), a chance to roar on the Himalayan is a unique experience. The motorcycle, though large-built and heavy, is yet manoeuvrable and deft in riding. The extra cushion seats are the plus-point, and a never seen feature on Royal Enfield machines till date. The cushion seats are a tailor-made feature for the world tourer bike, which makes our ride smoother at any corner of the world.
Be it off-roading, or the highway, the bike needs to be enjoyed with its goose-bumping acceleration, with normal pulling efficiency at a different height. With maximum safety measures, the bike was tested under all the weather conditions.
Though the vehicle drifted on the slippery road, it was not a tough task for the rider to control it. The bike was also manageable among senseless drivers on the city roads and the highway. With moderate traffic on the highway, and city limits, the bike’s speed test was done. On a humid afternoon with an average speed of 100kmph, it took 1 hour 35 minutes to ride a distance of 130 km.
Driving in the city limits with bumper-to-bumper traffic is a nightmare for the Himalayan though. The burning engine will actually force riders to turn it off, or to get down from the bike to avoid contact with the scorching heat.
Another feature that is different from Royal Enfield bikes is the sound of its engine. The iconic Bullet sound is not there in this bike, which is distinct in itself, and a fresh change seen on RE’s motorcycles.
The manufacturers would have actually increased the pulling capacity, instead of the speed. As the bike falls in the world tourer category, it’s the pulling that actually matters, when the bike is on the desert or rocky terrain. But seeing the cost and brand name, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is the best deal that any company can offer to bike-lovers.
And as its name suggests, India’s mighty motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield has been able to move mountains to offer an incredible machine in the Indian two-wheeler market.
DH News Service
(With inputs from Hrithik Kiran Bagade)