Just last week we finally got to see the brand new Royal Enfield Himalayan in action, snapping foot pegs and all. Now we get a release date as well as specifications – but no pricing just yet. The bike will go on sale in India on 17 March and is expected to reach western markets such as the UK and Australia early in the second half of the year.
At the heart of the Himalayan is an all new engine – it’s a single cylinder, air-cooled 4 stroke with a capacity of 411 cc. It produces a 24.5 hp (18 kW) at 6,500 rpm and a peak 32 Nm of torque at a reasonably low 4,000 rpm. It’s mated to a five speed gearbox, fuel management is by way of carburetor but it does get an electric starter.
Suspension is tilted towards off-road tasks although many will probably still find it a little underwhelming with 200mm of travel for the 41 mm front forks with 180 mm of travel on the rear shock. There’s no mention of any available suspension adjustments though we’d be very surprised if rear preload wasn’t at least changeable. Ground clearance is 220 mm. Both wheels are spoked, with front and rear diameters of 21 inch and 17 inch respectively.
Kerb weight isn’t too bad at 182 kg and seat height is 800 mm but offers no adjustment and there’s no mention of factory options raise or lower it. There’s plenty of room for luggage or extra fuel with mounting points front and rear and the fuel capacity of 15 litres isn’t bad considering the engine capacity.
Looks wise we’ve got to say we rather like it, especially in the ‘Snow’ white colour. There’s an unmistakable Royal Enfield look about it and while this isn’t going to challenge KTM or BMW for premium adventure bikes it will definitely offer a unique proposition in the market. For the most part the bike appears to have been designed as a truly off-road capable machine. Proper sized wheels, decent suspension travel, high slung exhaust. It’s nice to see that a bash plate is standard although why they seem to have left the a section of the header pipe exposed at the front is strange.