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Royal Enfield Himalayan Review: BikeWale Off-Road Day 2019

18 November 2019, 06:23 PM Pratheek Kunder

Introduction

Royal Enfield Himalayan Right Front Three Quarter

The Himalayan was the first proper ADV that was bestowed upon us by Royal Enfield a few years ago. The minimalistic styling along with the legendary name became an instant hit among the adventure-seeking Indian motorcycle enthusiasts. It came equipped with a 410cc long-stroke motor that was specifically developed to facilitate a stellar ride on the arduous terrain that our country offers. Now, the accessible seat height and those dual-purposes tyres prove to be a great combination in mild off-road conditions. 

But, does it have what it takes to be a true-blue off-roader? To answer that, we decided to take the Himalayan to Big Rock Dirt Park in Bangalore where we put it against our specially-designed off-road tests at BikeWale’s inaugural off-road day. 

Test 1: The Walk

Royal Enfield Himalayan Action

Score: 22/30

Believe it or not, the best way to gauge a motorcycle’s dynamics is by walking it. And that’s why it was the first test at this year’s off-road day. Here, instead of pushing the bike, the rider needs to use the engine power by the combined use of the clutch and throttle. 

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

₹ 1,91,853

For the Himalayan, this was quite easy. The smartly-set handlebars enabled a lot of control over the motorcycle and that works well for both short and tall riders. Moreover, finding the balance point of the Himalayan didn’t take long. In fact, as soon as I got through the set cones, I realised how effortless it was to handle this Royal Enfield in such situations. What’s more, the clutch is light and the throttle modulation is smooth. 

Royal Enfield Himalayan Action

Now, the bike weighs around 194kgs, but during the exercise, it didn’t pose a problem at all. Moreover, when it came to weight balance, the Himalayan surprised us all. The weight is evenly distributed and it went in the direction that it was pointed at. And, there wasn’t a moment where I felt I was putting in extra effort.

Test 2: The Braking

Royal Enfield Himalayan Action

Score: 22/30

Firstly, the ABS on the Himalayan can’t be switched off like the other fancier ADVs on this test. Secondly, it comes with dual-channel ABS. That would usually mean the 60-0kmph off-road braking test won’t be in favour of the motorcycle, right? Wrong! 

In fact, in this test, the Himalayan proved to be the second-best performer of the lot. The braking distance was okay, but the way the Himalayan braked, without any drama that too, had us all impressed. Also, there was a reasonable amount of power and feel on the levers. The rear, especially, worked efficiently. The ABS, moreover, has been calibrated well, and even under really hard braking, the front didn’t wash off. Needless to say, we liked this smooth transition.

Test 3: The Slow Slalom

Royal Enfield Himalayan Action

Score: 24/30

Here, we literally had to crawl the bike. The cones were set so close that it would have been next to impossible in a usual scenario to get through without dabbing. But, it was cakewalk for the Himalayan. The stand-up ergonomics were just perfect. The steering was light, and there was so much space to move the bike around and get the body balance right. The clutch and throttle modulation, again, were effortless. And even with the bike tilted, the Himalayan doesn’t hamper your confidence. 

Test 4: The Log Hop

Royal Enfield Himalayan Action

Score: 21/30

Like Vikrant said, there are two ways to get over a decently sized log; skirt around it or be brave and hop over it. With the Himalayan, I chose to do the latter. Let me tell you why. Firstly, the Himalayan isn’t a big ADV, and thanks to its minimalistic design, not a lot of components would need to be replaced in case I fell with the bike. Secondly, this RE has a good amount of travel at the front and some good engine grunt. So that, along with the good clutch control, made it easy for the Himalayan to get through to the other side. The damping too was perfect for a bike this size. And the rear slides in nicely as well. 

Test 5: The Cornering

Royal Enfield Himalayan Action

Score: 22/30

Who wouldn’t want to slide through those fun and fast corners on trails, right? But in order to enjoy that, you need a motorcycle that backs you up. The Himalayan is that motorcycle. Yes, with a21-inch front, it did feel a bit dull around fast corners, but thanks to those grippy tyres and the ability to lean it comfortably, the Himalayan made for a good cornering tool. But, does it slide? Well, yes and no! I weigh close to 100kg, and that made it a bit difficult for the motorcycle to slide, even with that strong mid-range. But, if you’re someone who isn’t as heavy as me and can manage to fit some loose gravel, the Himalayan will make you feel like the cool kid coming out of those corners.

Conclusion

Royal Enfield Himalayan Right Side

Total Score: 111/150

Rank: 3/6

The Himalayan, with a total of 111 points, took the third spot in a line-up of five motorcycles. It also managed to top the slow slalom test which tells us how well-balanced the bike is. Moreover, this humble ADV tackles all the obstacles thrown at it like a boss. The off-road braking too is nimble and effortless. Also, with the accessible seat height, it caters to a larger audience. And best of all, it nails the most important factor - the fun quotient. Oh boy, the amount of fun you can have with it! You can drop it. Jump it. Fly it. Slide it. And all of this without pushing the bike out of its comfort zone!

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