“Hey Benoît, does the launch of the Himalayan tempt you?“…”In the Himalayas“.
This is more or less how we started our seven day trip and explored the new year 2024, India and its regions, including at least 4 days spent in transportation (planes, taxis, etc.). An intense journey that allowed us to discover the new Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 on the land that inspired its appearance, philosophy and guided its development. Stored at a base camp not far from Manali, at an altitude of about 2,050 m, it waited patiently for us, having just left the production line in Chennai, some 2,700 km away. Here, we first meet the Royal Enfield team and discover the challenges they faced in releasing a model we found pre-dated handlebars by about five years.
RE Himalayan 450… A new motorcycle, based on a new platform called K1, which takes the complete tire brand into a new era in its history. Most importantly, it’s an important motorcycle that moves from the historic air-cooled world to the liquid-cooled world, crossing the retro boundary to reach the inspired modern world. Hence, a completely new motorcycle, completely redesigned and bearing only the name and genes of its predecessor as a hyper-versatile adventurer, capable of claiming its family name through its capabilities.
> Our test of the Himalayan 410
Let’s summarize. This may seem very out of place, but linking the presentations of the BMW R1300 GS and Himalayan is very coherent because both motorcycles are designed in the same spirit and do the same thing: ride and not try hard. be a physical or psychological barrier. If one chooses technology and performance, the other chooses efficiency and accessibility. Therefore, there are two worlds, but with the same goals and a similar playing field, without forgetting the forms that have proven to be similar in the world of marketing. Except the Royal Enfield is three to four times cheaper than the German Royal Enfield. As a result, we forget about traction control and other aids that add to the final score to concentrate on the important things, on the essence of trail running: tires that stand out for all terrain, good suspension, a solid engine and a willing character, without forgetting comfort and convenience outstanding.
The Himalayan 450 is the Sherpa and pack mule, we meet on local roads, the explorer of everyday life or the extraordinary, a motorcycle capable of changing shape to please you and adapting to your wants and needs, as we will discover together. Because yes, like the GS, the Himalayan 450 has the possibility of being transformed into a more attractive Rally version (pictured below), with a flat and narrow one-piece saddle, and a more “enduro” rear trim. Accessories for tough adventurers will also be available, such as engine protection without forgetting tubeless rims capable of replacing the chamber version of the version we are going to try or even a sound exhaust and handlebar risers or higher handlebars.
What’s more, the catalog of model options never stops offering sound (exhaust), protection or even luggage storage. Another parallel between GS. RE not only revised its motorbikes, but also revised its marketing strategy and existing opportunities. A high-end move that we also see through the partners selected for the technical equipment of pilots and passengers. A line specially developed for Royal Enfield and its adventure motorcycles by Rev’it,
But back to our motorbikes. And the engine, for starters. A truly new work whose uniqueness we never get tired of seeing. A Single cylinder 450 cc, 40 hp at 8,000 rpm And 40 Nm at 5,500 rpm torque developed from start to finish by the same engineers for more than seven years. A real technical challenge, but also a technological one that involves the integration of new industrial processes and new elements such as ride by wire and its driving modes, or even reducing the thickness of the casing, driving a 6-speed gearbox…
Therefore, not only evolving mentalities, practices and possibilities are taking place not only internally, but also among suppliers, who are not used to such modernity. The revolution did happen, albeit quietly. As a result, clutch lubrication is also simplified, while internal elements are optimized and maintained for greater durability and reliability. That’s because this machine is spinning! No more than 8,750, the rev counter stops at 9,000.
Precisely about Tripper (the short name of the new generation counter unit). I4 inch round TFT screen is a world first in the world of motorcycling. Like everything happened. Subtlety? It is the first to integrate navigation Google Maps and become… round. It doesn’t take much to be happy, right? Nonetheless, the new instrumentation is, by any measure, a success in terms of information integration and readability. It offers on a black or white background Wi-Fi Connectivity fast, reliable and with high data speeds with phones running Android or iOS, the possibility of having a wide range of entertainment info, including controlling your music while driving (Spotify is missing on the Apple version, however) and of course all the important information. There are several presentation possibilities, one is relatively standard with a small summary screen, the other gives pride of place in the top 70% of the screen to the selected information (Navigation, summary, multimedia, etc.).
Therefore, hand controls must adapt. We find a 5-axis joystick on the left, a Home and Mode button, which controls one or more functions depending on the duration of the press. Not always very intuitive, but effective once you understand it and accessible while driving. By the way, the M button is supposed to switch between the two Rain mode and it Sports mode with or without active ABS at the rear. Makes sense? While driving, we couldn’t always choose what we wanted, with messages appearing on the dashboard indicating that we had to wait for the next stop. That’s enough.
The architecture of the motorbike is also completely new. Compact, narrow in the leg, removable and bolt-on rear buckle, every element is very well finished and the weld quality is excellent. The design team worked on the functionality and finish and it shows. Clean, looks good, every element such as the footrest plate is maximally integrated. Even the swingarm and its internal mounting points are the subject of both visual and practical study and choice.
We appreciate the continued presence of the crash-protecting side bars 17 liter tank and provides the possibility to install accessories. The Himalayan is a practical adventurer, as evidenced by the rear plate, the possibility of raising it is very simple driver’s seat from 825 to 845 mmthere central establishment allowing for regular maintenance or multiple hanging points for the trunk.
As you surely know, the new Himalayan line is updated and ultimately very different from the previous one. Modern, again, curvaceous and well-cut, sleek and narrow, and the view “from above” we think is superb. We perfectly understand specific volumes and harmonies. The colors were chosen to suit the Himalayan environment, from the color of the water channels to the color of the stones. One of. Shall we go take a look?
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