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