Royal En­field Hi­malayan Fi ABS

Royal En­field have in­tro­duced the Hi­malayan with an anti-lock brak­ing sys­tem (ABS)

Bike India - - CONTENTS - STORY:JIM GORDE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: SAU­RABH BOTRE

Full-time ABS on an off-roader? We turn to the fig­ures for the an­swer

In terms of ease of rid­ing and ca­pa­bil­ity, the hi­malayan has al­ways been an out­stand­ing mo­tor­cy­cle. com­bin­ing a great chas­sis with es­sen­tial cy­cle parts and a de­cent 411-cc en­gine gives it an edge in the prac­ti­cal­ity de­part­ment. one of the hi­malayan’s great­est virtues is the con­fi­dence it in­spires in the rider. even af­ter spend­ing a few mo­ments astride it, its point-and-shoot ca­pa­bil­ity is some­thing that makes it­self ev­i­dent anew. the hi­malayan is in­tended for no-road and off-road use, but, from where i’m sit­ting, i see a num­ber of peo­ple us­ing it off-road or hit­ting trails on the week­end, but the re­main­ing 71.4 per cent of the week is spent com­mut­ing. that said, the high ground clear­ance, ex­cel­lent han­dling, and even the trac­tion from the set-up is some­thing ev­ery­one will ap­pre­ci­ate in all sit­u­a­tions. how­ever, while they’ve flipped the safety switch on with the in­clu­sion of an abs, there’s no way to switch it off, if need be. When hit­ting the afore­men­tioned trails, most would want the rear to be in their con­trol and devoid of elec­tronic in­ter­fer­ence when manoeuvring in tight spa­ces. this goes against its off-road cre­den­tials to some ex­tent. its only sin­gle­cylin­der ri­val, the bmW g 310 gs, of­fers switch­able abs, but costs twice as much. the hi­malayan abs is avail­able for rs 1.79 lakh (ex-show­room).

in brak­ing per­for­mance terms, the ad­di­tion of abs does bet­ter brak­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics and sta­bil­ity when com­ing to a com­plete stop; whether on con­crete, tar­mac or gravel. the feel from the brakes is now pro­gres­sive, lin­ear and doesn’t feel in­tru­sive. on the road, the fig­ures from 60 km/h to zero are en­cour­ag­ing: 2.09 sec­onds and just about 18 me­tres. even on the dirt, it man­aged 30 km/h to zero in 1.79 sec­onds over 7.8 me­tres; that’s 0.8 of a sec­ond more and twice the dis­tance it takes on tar­mac for the same speed. across all speeds, though, the abs ver­sion stops quicker and over a shorter dis­tance than the con­ven­tional older model, and by a good few tenths at speed.

even so, the hi­malayan does of­fer ev­ery­thing one needs to get go­ing and fa­mil­iar­ize them­selves with off-road rid­ing. abs isn’t go­ing to be a daily-use thing even if you’re a bad rider. think of it as an in­surance pol­icy for un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances when it comes to brak­ing — the worst-case sce­nario of panic brak­ing on a wet sur­face or gravel and a sud­den in­tru­sion in your path is where it will well and truly kick in and save your bike — and your be­hind from slid­ing out of con­trol.

apart from the abs, there isn’t any­thing new in the bike. it re­tains its long-travel front fork and mag­nif­i­cent linked rear monoshock. the ceat gripp Xl rub­ber — 90/90-21 front and 120/80-18 rear — to­gether with the sus­pen­sion do a great job of putting down both ends. the “ls410” 411-cc air-and-oil-cooled sin­gle-cylin­der en­gine with fuel-in­jec­tion still makes 24.8 ps and 32 nm. the torque spread is lin­ear and us­able across the rev-range. as al­ways, a lit­tle more power would be wel­come and the en­gine and gear­box could do with a lit­tle more re­fine­ment — nVh for the en­gine and shift qual­ity when go­ing through the gears. even so, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the hi­malayan is an in­cred­i­bly ca­pa­ble bike and these are merely ways it can be im­proved upon even fur­ther.

ABOVE: New ABS light near the Mode but­ton; no but­ton to turn it off, thoughRIGHT & BE­LOW:Hi­malayan fi­nally gets a pair of wheel­speed sen­sors

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.