The Royal Enfield Classic 500 is now available with ABS (albeit only in the matt and chrome paint schemes). However, if the Classic isn’t your style, there is another option in the same dealership. It is called the Himalayan FI ABS.
Where the Classic is all retro charm and flowing lines, the Himalayan is more brute efficiency, as befits a practical adventure-tourer. The Himalayan offers a 21-inch front wheel coupled with a 17 inch rear, while the Classic offers a more standard 19 front/18 rear. The Himalayan also offers tyres that are more comfortable on dirt. Neither uses tubeless tyres, since they both have spoked rims. The Himalayan also has longer travel suspension, and a rear monoshock. Its chassis is a double cradle type, while the Classic has a single downtube. Both offer disc brakes at both ends.
The Himalayan uses a 411cc engine that generates nearly 25bhp and 32Nm. The Classic 500 uses its 499cc engine to develop a bit more power and torque, at 27bhp and 41Nm. Both have fuel injection, five-speed gearboxes and chain drive. Both have dual-channel ABS.
There is a big difference in instrumentation – The Classic offers an analogue speedometer and odometer, and a low fuel warning light and engine check light, for the FI system. The Himalayan has a wealth of information on offer. There are three analogue dials, for speed, revs and fuel level. The digital sections have on display a clock, ambient temperature, gear position, odometer, tripmeter, and even a compass. In addition, the Himalayan gets hazard warning lamps.
While the Classic is designed to be more of a single-seat cruiser, the Himalayan has one of the most comfortable pillion seats in the business. It also takes its touring brief very seriously, with bungee points available, and even the capacity to mount jerry cans of fuel on either side of the tank. The Classic has a whole host of accessories available for it, but they’re mostly cosmetic.