We had a go on the up­dated Hi­malayan and here’s why you should fi­nally take it se­ri­ously


NEVER RUSH INTO THINGS. Rush­ing things re­sults in un­fin­ished prod­ucts and poor out­comes. Then you have to face the back­lash and crit­i­cism. And even if you fix the prod­uct, it will have to washout all the bad rep­u­ta­tion it gar­nered. Thank­fully, Royal En­field has fi­nally de­liv­ered the Hi­malayan that it should have right from the start – a ro­bust, ca­pa­ble off-roader that can be has­sle-free, both on as well as off road.

Vis­ually, there is ab­so­lutely no telling the new bike from the old, just the ab­sence of the pet­cock giv­ing away that it is no longer car­bu­ret­ted along with a few black pan­els. The de­sign was some­thing I re­ally liked about the mo­tor­cy­cle and I am happy that RE hasn’t tam­pered with it. Un­der the skin, there are a host of small changes in ad­di­tion to the fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem. These in­clude tweaks to the gear­box to make it smoother shift­ing, more ro­bust pip­ing for the oil cooler and a new metal guard for the oil cooler. Be­sides, there are the usual ad­di­tions that Royal En­field needed to make on the bike to make it BS IV com­pli­ant, and that has re­sulted in the ex­tra weight gain.

The Hi­malayan FI feels bet­ter in terms of build qual­ity with bet­ter con­ceal­ing of ca­bles as well as bet­ter welds all along, but there’s still scope for im­prove­ment. The haz­ard light switch is gone too. Now let’s get to the rid­ing bit. You want to know how she goes when things get a bit dirty, right?

Off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties were never an is­sue. This one how­ever, feels more sure footed of­froad. The strong low-to-midrange per­for­mance has been the Hi­malayan’s forte. The fu­elling is now smoother and that makes it feel pep­pier, espe­cially in the first two cogs. The out­put re­mains un­changed at 24.5bhp and 32Nm and that is a small dis­ap­point­ment for me. I would have liked RE to just aid it with a few ex­tra ponies to help it get to bet­ter tour­ing speeds. It feels at home at the 80kmph mark but any­thing more than that is ask­ing too much from the bike.

We had just the cou­ple of days with the bike and did spend the bet­ter part of the test pe­riod sharp­en­ing our off-road skills. The Hi­malayan took the brunt of it. What­ever we threw at her, she glided over it with­out breaking down. That is a sign of great things to come and we would love to have the bike for a longer du­ra­tion soon. ⌧

Far left: The mo­tor feels smoother than be­fore. Left: No more car­bu­ret­tor means lots of va­cant space

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