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Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Long Term Review: City Report

Authors Image

Vikrant Singh

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Introduction

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Left Front Three Quarter

This month, the Himalayan 450 spent all of its time dealing with Mumbai’s weather, roads, and traffic snarls. Some of this played in the 450’s favour, while others revealed some of its shortcomings. In this report, we will tell you the pros and cons of the Himalayan specific to city riding and daily commutes.

What we liked

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Right Side View

Seating ergos: The new Himalayan is easily one of the more comfortable motorcycles I have been on recently. The seating triangle is nearly spot-on, especially the seat-handlebar relation. It will seem tailor-made if you are around 5’ 9” or 5' 10'. The seat-handlebar distance and the handlebar width constitute for spacious but accessible seating. So, when you are filtering through traffic or crawling through it, it doesn’t put any stress on your arms or shoulders.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Monoshock Absorber

Ride quality: The Showa suspension makes a mockery of Mumbai’s bumpy, poorly-surfaced, and broken roads. The longer travel of the suspension helps. But, the spring rate and the damping settings play an equally important role in keeping the Himalayan flat, stable and unruffled over almost everything; including flying over unspotted speedbreakers.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Clutch Lever

Light clutch: My evening commutes can take up to an hour and a half. And that means excessive use of the clutch. More so in the Himalayan’s case given its relative lack of low-end grunt. But so far, it has not been an issue. The clutch is surprisingly light and kind on my fingers and wrist. This makes my long commutes a lot more bearable.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Front Disc Brake

Strong brakes: Finally, I rely heavily on the brakes for a quick commute. Not so much in terms of using them excessively. But knowing in the back of my mind that I have strong and reliable brakes if I need them allows me to run at a higher pace. The Himalayan’s brakes are one such set. I would have liked a little less play at the lever, but in terms of bite, power, and feel, these are empowering.

What we didn’t like

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Rear View Mirror

Tiny mirrors: Small mirrors are something we have experienced on other Royal Enfields as well. RE rearview mirrors don’t have a wide enough field of vision, which restricts rear visibility. As a result, there is some guesswork involved in using them. And because of the guesswork, one must do a double or triple take before committing to even changing lanes to be sure. It is tedious. And it slows you down.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Engine From Right

Engine’s nature: Don’t get us wrong, in terms of performance, the new 450cc engine is superb! It revs easily and packs in quite a punch. It has a strong mid- and top-end. But, the low-end, especially when getting a move on from a standstill, requires effort and a well-choreographed dance between the clutch and throttle to ensure it does not stall. Plus, the engine runs warm, which in stop-and-go traffic - when returning home from work - can get bothersome at times. Finally, the engine could be better-sounding. Now, it has a crude ring to it. And that for a modern-day engine is borderline unacceptable.

What’s next?

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Right Rear Three Quarter

Next month, we take the Himalayan off-roading! It might not be too intense, but it should give us an idea if the motorcycle makes for a good partner to go exploring with.

Product details

Make: Royal Enfield

Model: Himalayan 450 Summit

Kilometres this month: 1500km

Fuel efficiency: 28.6kmpl

Price when tested: Rs 3,50,469

Photography by: Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Left Front Three Quarter
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Right Rear Three Quarter
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Front Disc Brake
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Engine From Right
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Clutch Lever
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Monoshock Absorber
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Right Side View
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Rear View Mirror

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