Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 chassis failures explained

    Royal Enfield recommends using its crash guards that are part of the accessories catalogue.

    Published On Jun 14, 2024 12:12:00 PM

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    Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 chassis failures explained

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    In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a couple of isolated instances where two Royal Enfield Himalayan 450’s have suffered chassis failures. With this being a particularly sensitive point for Royal Enfield given past chassis failure issues with the Himalayan 411, the company reached out to us to explain what was happening here. After an in-depth conversation with Royal Enfield's technical team, we can share why these two cases happened and how you can avoid this happening on your own bike . 

    1. Caused by aftermarket crash guard
    2. Incorrect use of bolts and/or torque settings can cause this too 

    Royal Enfield says that in both instances, the bikes had aftermarket crash guard installed. The new Himalayan 450’s chassis uses the engine as an integral and stressed member of the frame. The Sherpa 450 engine is mounted to the tubular steel main frame at 3 points, 2 at the top on either side of the engine head and one at the bottom. 

    Also See:
    New Royal Enfield Himalayan review, road test

    The bolts that connect the engine to frame are specialised, load-bearing units which are designed to be able to retain the correct torque specifications over a long term period. Moreover the connection between the chassis and the engine also uses a specifically designed spacer that is integral towards retaining the torque setting and correctly spreading the load from the bolt. 

    In both instances, when the customer installed the aftermarket protective guard, different specs of bolts were used and this likely led to incorrect torque settings. Since the instances emerged, Royal Enfield says it has run simulation tests to investigate the effects of incorrect torque. The results revealed that this can lead to unnatural chassis stresses over a long term period, which could end up in a chassis failure.  

    The company says that it acknowledges that on an ADV like the Himalayan people are bound to put these sort of guards on it and it is specified in the owner's manual that doing so can void the warranty. However, it recommends installing its own GMA guards as these have been developed and homologated alongside the motorcycle. RE’s GMA catalogue lists the standard engine guards’ price at Rs 4,750, while the Rally cage with the sump guard is priced at Rs 9,950. 

    Also See:
    Royal Enfield Himalayan accessories prices revealed; start at Rs 950

    OUR TAKE

    There are millions of Royal Enfields on the road and a majority of them have aftermarket crash guards without this having been an issue so far. With the new Himalayan, at first there was a limited supply of accessories for a few months and these accessories are also quite expensive. However, it appears that the money saved by going for aftermarket solutions in this case certainly isn’t worth the risk. The stock tank guards on the Himalayan are sturdy enough to protect the bike in a drop, but if you wish to add more protection, we’d definitely recommend sticking with the OEM accessories in this case. 

    That being said, RE should have been aware of the fact that its bikes are always covered in accessories like this and considered this possibility in the design stage itself. Nevertheless, the company says it will communicate with all existing customers about this issue and that dealerships will also advise new customers going forward as well. 

    Also See:
    New Royal Enfield Himalayan long-term review, 1,900km report

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