New Royal Enfield Himalayan review, road test

    The big new Himalayan is happy to take on the daily grind as well.

    Published on Jan 27, 2024 07:00:00 AM


    A good place to start is the size of the bike. Everyone who has taken it for a spin at the office remarks on how it feels like a bigger bike than they expected and in that sense, it has lost some of the friendly appeal of the older Himalayan. On the bright side, the effort needed to turn the handlebar is quite low and that makes it easy to navigate through tight gaps in traffic without too much work. Low-speed balance and clutch feel are both very good as well. As for engine heat, you’ll feel some warmth on your right leg if you get stuck in a jam, but there are no blasts of hot air to be felt from the radiator fan.

    I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my commute on the Himalayan thanks to the towering view over traffic as well as the potent combination of power and chassis capability. The bike can accelerate hard when you want it, but the strong brakes and grippy Ceat tyres mean it can also slow down with urgency when you need it. Best of all, the suspension and chassis composure can deal with nasty road conditions with complete ease. My commutes have never been this quick and it’s not because I’m going any faster than normal – you just don’t need to slow down for bad roads.

    The riding position is spacious, neutral and all-day comfortable.

    In our tests, the Himalayan was quicker than I expected, clocking a 0-100kph time of 6.35 seconds. That puts it surprisingly close to the KTM 390 Adventure and quicker than both the new Bajaj-Trumph 400s. More importantly, the flat bottom end below 3,000rpm that I complained about on the first ride is far less noticeable at sea level. There’s still not much performance below that, but it’s not really a problem here. The engine also feels quite flexible at low speeds and you can get around U-turns or over speed breakers in second gear.

    As for vibrations, they’re mostly well controlled, but they creep in at the handlebar and foot pegs between 5,000rpm and 6,000rpm. On the highway, things are smooth up to 100kph in 6th, but then you feel the vibes clearly up to about 115kph, after which they start to smooth out again. It’s not a dealbreaker by any means, but I wish RE managed to smooth out this zone a little better. At the moment, 130kph feels smoother than 110kph and that’s a bit of a miss.

    Exhaust looks great, but the alphanumeric codes are an eyesore.

    Still, highway touring is a strong point. The bike feels very planted and wind protection strikes a nice balance between keeping the blast off your chest but also letting some refreshing air through. The engine will pull all the way to 150kph and the bike can comfortably hold 120-130kph if you wish.

    For a big bike with a 452cc engine, fuel efficiency is not bad either. Ridden carefully, you should get an overall figure of close to 30kpl, but even if you ride at a brisk pace, you’ll easily be able to extract 350km or more from the 17-litre tank.

    Royal Enfield Bikes

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