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2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan First Ride Review

30 March 2021, 07:22 AM Pratheek Kunder


Front View

The Royal Enfield Himalayan changed the way motorcyclists travel and tour in India. This bike gave a lot of Indians the ability to see new places and explore the wild side of this vast country – all in a budget that didn't burn a hole in the pocket. In fact, I know some people whose first bike was the Himalayan and four years later, they are still holding onto it purely due to their love for affordable travel and exploration.

For 2021, Royal Enfield decided to make things a bit fancier, more comfortable and aspirational for the Indian buyers. So it gave it some new paint schemes, a navigation system, better windscreen and the seat. We spent a few days with this Royal Enfield and this is what we feel about this ADV. But before, we get into the details, let’s talk about the aesthetic upgrades.

The Visuals

Right Side View

The Himalayan was always known for its no-non sense, rugged and versatile design. ADVs by nature and form are bound to be abused quite a lot in various terrains. That means, there will be plenty of falls. The Himalayan's design allows the rider to save some money because the bodywork and the panels aren’t affected much. Just some scratches that honestly don’t make the bike look shabby.  

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Royal Enfield Himalayan

  • Displacement411 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported30 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)24.3 bhp
  • Kerb Weight199 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 2,15,881

Right Rear Three Quarter

For 2021, Royal Enfield also decided to give the Himalayan some fancy new paint schemes. The one you see here goes by the name Pine Green and it looks pretty cool, especially if you park it in the wild. The bike also gets a revised windscreen. This time it’s wider (to accommodate the tripper) and also a bit darker (due to the tint). The Chennai-based company has also worked on making the frame next to the fuel tank smaller. As a result, taller riders are far more comfortable now as their knees don’t hit the frame anymore under hard braking. The tail section has been revised too, thanks to the addition of a new tail rack. It now gets a metal plate on top of it to make loading of luggage friendlier. 

The Package

Royal Enfield Himalayan Handlebar Assembly

The Himalayan is equipped with dual-channel ABS. This system lets you switch off ABS at the back so that you can have more control off-road. There’s this new navigation display added on the cluster that shows the direction. But in order to use this feature, the system needs to be connected to the smartphone and that can be done via Royal Enfield’s connected app.  

Royal Enfield Himalayan Front Suspension

Most of the other cycle parts like the suspension, brakes, tyres and wheels have been carried over from the outgoing model. Unfortunately, the 2021 Himalayan continues to get the same old bulb setup on the headlight and also on the turn indicators. 

The Ride

Front View

The 2021 Himalayan feels no different than its 2020 counterpart when it comes to performance and ride. The single-cylinder still carries the same level of refinement. The NVH is pretty good. The power delivery is linear and the good torque low-down keeps things interesting on the road as well as off the road. Due to increase in weight, there's a noticeable difference in performance, thanks to decreased power-to-weight ratio, but the experience continues to be fun. 

Front View

100kmph is a comfortable cruising speed for this Himalayan. It can even stay at 110kmph for long hours but you will have to deal with minimal vibes. The five-speed gearbox has got minutely better, but it is still not perfect.  There are no complaints about the ride comfort. The bike is excellent there, thanks to the brilliant suspension setup.

Front View

 Plus that comfortable and wide seat is an icing on the cake. Even for stand-up riding, the ergos are perfect. Taller riders don’t necessarily need a handlebar riser. The brakes though, especially the front one still needs some work in the feel and power departments. The rear works flawlessly and yes, it is still fun to switch off the ABS at the rear wheel and get that rear out in the dirt. 


Front View

With the 2021 upgrades, the Royal Enfield Himalayan has become far more desirable. The new paint scheme is stunning to look at. The turn-by-turn navigation system works and with its multiple color combination makes it feel a bit more premium. Other small changes like the wider windscreen and smaller fuel tank frame have made the bike a bit more practical. In terms of comfort, the Himalayan has been excelling since long and it’s no different with the 2021 version. And when it comes to the overall performance, this ADV works well for Indian conditions. The high-speed touring might be little difficult due to vibrations but the Himalayan clearly works as a 100kmph all day motorcycle. It can also be used in the city on an everyday basis, but its kerb weight might bother a few of the riders. So in short, buy the Himalayan if you are into exploring the country on two-wheels and also want to use it as a daily commuter. 

Photography by Kapil Angane


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