The 2021 gymkhana had a good spread. There were obstacles like the drums and tyres to test out the ground clearance. Then there were obstacles to check how easy it is to jump the motorcycle and see how comfortably it lands. In fact, there was even a hurdle for understanding how a motorcycle glides over a rock garden.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan managed to impress us in every hurdle thrown at it. Firstly, with that good low-end torque, the entire gymkhana was done in first gear. The first gear was adequate for the log that was laid down. Then its easy stand-up ergonomics made a tall guy like me quite comfortable to stand up and ride throughout the course. The presence of 21-inch wheels meant the Himalayan could glide over the artificial potholes along with the rock garden easily. In fact, in the rock garden, the Himalayan felt at home. The mix of large and medium-sized rocks didn’t really bother the Himalayan. And yes, having the right vision does make some difference in clearing this obstacle.
There were plenty of obstacles where I could test the suspension travel of the Himalayan. While the fork tubes did manage to compress fully, the Himalayan didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. In fact, the rebound was smooth and the motorcycle was ready to take on the next obstacle. As the gymkhana was spread across multiple lanes, there were plenty of U-turns that were to be done. That meant the full-lock turns were operational. However, I’ll talk about this in ‘The Garage’.
The Himalayan comes with a dual-channel ABS system where the ABS can be switched off at the rear. So, during the brake test, this Royal Enfield, despite the rear lacking the bite and feel for the road, works pretty well off the road. The 40kmph to a full stop in a short course meant the speed had to be cut quite early. So, with the help of the front brake, the Himalayan could stop at the right spot as needed. And yes, for more drama, it is super easy to lock the rear and get some slides out.