-gers. Today test rode the Himalayan at the Greams Road showroom in Chennai. Here's what I have to say . What's it about?
It's Royal Enfield's attempt at the Adventure bike segment. Looks and Build Quality :
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is being tagged as an adventure motorcycle and that's a new segment that Royal Enfield is venturing into. To be honest they have done a great job. The bike looks every bit like an adventure bike that likes to be ridden everywhere. The minimalist use of body panels gives it a simple clean look. The front of the bike with it's tall arch and high set headlights give it a tall bike look. The fuel tank design is neat and gives your thighs a good support as well. The rear with it's LED lights look minimalist and neat as well. The bike looks every bit like a proper adventure tourer. The speedo console of the bike is also very modern and consists of a speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, a compass and a trip computer. The build of the bike is surprisingly good for a Royal Enfield and quality all around is commendable. The matte finish paint that can be had in a shade of black or white are smacking as well. The switch gear also works and gives you a great feed back to your thumbs and the alloy levers are tastefully finished. As usual there are small Royal Enfield quirks as well. While fit is good the finish needs to be better. There are lots of weld marks at places and welding at places needs to be improved like the rear grab handles which are not flush finished. The gearshift indicator on the trip computer won't change even if I change two gears down and is on a mind of its own. Engine and Gearbox :
The new 411 CC engine from Royal Enfield is a brand new engine for the Himalayan. First impressions are extremely positive. Fire up the motor and it settles into nice vibe free idle with decent speedy thumps. Nope the thumps which you get before is not present here. I shift the gear to first and release the clutch just to find that I have stalled it. Yes it doesn't pull as gusty like its counter parts. You need to give some gas and then you get going. As soon as you cross the 2000 rpm the bike gets into its stride and pulls smartly. Surprisingly it's a Royal Enfield that loves to be revved hard as well and it's a smooth engine with vibrations under control. Yes you read it right. Vibrations have been kept under control and the bike remains vibe free. Though find yourself under the 2000 rpm mark and you'll be forced to shift down a gear. Talking about the gearbox and the clutch, the clutch action is light and positive with good precision. The gearbox though is notchy and requires some effort to slot the gears. How's it to ride? :
The riding position is very user friendly and the saddle height is set low even though it looks tall, So short riders no problem. Once you're on the saddle, it's spacious and has great cushioning as well. Sorry folks, can't comment much on the ride quality as I rode the bike on super smooth roads. Will be taking another Test ride in Madurai soon and will comment on that later, but for the facts it comes with a telescopic front suspension and monoshock rear suspension which is a first for a Royal Enfield. The handling on the bike felt neutral and safe. Though it's not an exciting bike that you'll love to push hard on your favourite winding road. Be gentle and it does a great job. You can feel the 182 kgs kerb weight when you push the bike hard on a corner. Stability is good thanks to the long wheel base and the on and off road tyres on the bike did a great job as well. The brakes are also great and did a commendable job. The bike also felt easy to ride in urban conditions but the rear view mirrors seriously needs to be changed. They hardly offer any view behind. Buy one or not :
Royal Enfield has definitely done a great job on the Himalayan. Yes it looks attractive, has a good engine that performs nice on the open road, handles decently and is tagged as an adventure bike as well. You can even ride it in urban conditions or even ride it in the Himalayas. It's their best shot ever. True finish needs to be better and there are still Royal Enfield quirks present and the low end punch of the engine which is there in other Royal Enfields is surprisingly missing here. But these small quirks can be over come and at Rs. 1,76,000 On road Chennai this is one bike that can be used in the Urban conditions or to discover unknown places in The Himalayas. Well done Royal Enfield.