Apart from motorcycles, Royal Enfield offers a plethora of apparel to give the buyers an all-round experience. From balaclavas to riding boots – the company offers a comprehensive range of accessories. Among the list is their Khardung La V2 riding jacket. The Khardung La V2 is an all-weather, premium touring jacket from Royal Enfield that comes equipped with D3O armour protectors. Listed in two colour options – Grey and Olive – it has been priced at Rs 12,950.
The Khardung La V2’s USP is the availability of the premium D3O armour in the relatively budget-friendly price range. We tested this jacket for three months in a variety of riding conditions and different motorcycles (from the Hero Passion Pro to BMW F 900 XR) to test various parameters such as comfort, ventilation, storage, and practicality.
Things we liked
The Khardung La V2 is a touring-focussed jacket, and thus it comes with multiple pockets and a non-mesh design. It also features multiple vents that are aimed to offer ventilation for warm days, and the setup offers decent performance. We tested the Khardung La V2 in the city and on the highways, and on the move, things are fairly comfortable, even with all the vents closed.
When things did get warm in bumper-to-bumper traffic of Mumbai, we unzipped all the vents and things got easily bearable. The magnetic fasteners on the chest stay in their place, and do not move, even when off-roading.
The vents on the forearms and the armpits are easier to unzip with gloves although the ones on the back are very difficult to reach. For colder occasions, Royal Enfield supplies a thermal liner that can be zipped inside. An external rain liner is also a part of the contents and it can be stored in the massive back pocket at the back.
The standard safety package comprises D3O protective armour for shoulders and elbows, while the back and chest protection only includes foam padding. I replaced the foam protector with the CE Level-Two armour from my old jacket.
The back protector pocket has Velcro tabs inside to accommodate different size protectors – a very nifty feature if you plan to replace the armour. The jacket itself gets a CE certification and is made of 600 D polyester fabric. The patches on the shoulder and elbow are produced from 610 D polyester Cordura.
Things we didn’t like
While the Khardung La comes with D3O armour for the shoulders and elbows, the foam-type back and chest guards are hardly protective. Thus, you will have to spend an additional amount of money to get proper back and chest protectors, which will take the final price higher, thus bringing it very close to the Royal Enfield Nirvik. More on that in the verdict.
The Khardung La V2 feels heavy too, although things get comfortable once you slide into it. Loading the pockets with essentials isn’t very difficult, but it further adds to the weight, and things can get uncomfortable during long rides. Instead, we opted for the Rynox Magnapod tank bag to store the wallet, protein bars, water bottle, clothes, and a power bank. Check out the review of the Rynox Magnapod and Navigator for an in-depth analysis.
The jacket, as mentioned above, gets multiple vents, and things are fairly comfortable for most of the time. However, we would opt for something with a mesh layout once the summer peaks.
Lastly, while the fit is comfortable and the jacket feels roomy, I would’ve liked Velcro-style adjusters instead of buttons on the Khardung La. Velcro-adjustment system delivers more snug fit to every body type instead of just two settings that come with a button-style design.
The Royal Enfield Khardung La V2 is versatile, to say the least, and it presents itself as an ideal companion for long and short distance rides. It’s the do-it-all dexterity if you’re tight on budget and looking to have a single jacket in your wardrobe. The company has put a lot of thought into its design, and the Velcro tabs in the back protector pocket are a perfect example of the attention to detail. The reflective branding on the back and chest, and the reflective patch on the side arms enhance the low-light visibility, thus improving the safety aspect of the riding jacket.
However, like we said in our introduction review, the real threat to the Khardung La V2 is the Royal Enfield’s flagship touring jacket, the Nirvik. The Nirvik retails for Rs 14,950, which is a premium of just Rs 2,000 and for that you get 500 D 100 per cent Nylon construction, D3O CE Level 1 back protector, CE Level 1 chest protectors, and Velcro straps instead of buttons that can be used for better adjustability.
Name: Royal Enfield Khardung La V2
Price: Rs 12,950
How to buy: Royal Enfield’s website or stores
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
Royal Enfield Himalayan Right Front Three Quarter