The original firestarter of the entry-level Adventure Motorcycle segment in India, the Royal Enfield Himalayan continues to enjoy that novelty by being the sole product within that category. However, that equation will soon change when the BMW G 310 GS and the KTM 390 Adventure arrive to offer a more powerful and modern alternative. Naturally, the Himalayan will have to up its game by that time. We came across a slightly old interview where RE’s CEO went on to confirm that a bigger, Royal Enfield Himalayan 750 is on the cards.
During an interview with the Motorcycle Magazine, when asked if the bike maker will dish out a larger capacity version of the Himalayan for more expert riders, Royal Enfield CEO Siddharth Lal said,
Yes, we will. In terms of Royal Enfield sales in India, it’s really 350cc motorcycles that are our true core product. But I’d say that in the order of 10% of our motorcycles in India are now 500cc, and 10% is now 60.000 bikes a year, so it’s not a small number anymore – and learning from that, you realise there is a case from the Indian perspective for a bigger engined Himalayan, not just for export markets, I always come back to India because any product that we do manufacture with an eye on other parts of the world has to have its roots in India, where we have 96% of Royal Enfield customers. We will not launch a motorcycle which we don’t think can sell in any great numbers in India. India gives us our scale in terms of volume, and if we don’t get scale for any given product, then it’s not worth our while developing it. I will not make a motorcycle today just for our American market where I can only sell 200 or 500 bikes a month – it’s simply not viable. Because if you think about it, for a company which is now selling 60,000 bikes a month, any product that represents just a few 100 units a month is simply not viable.
So back to your question about higher capacity, we have selected which models we will be making bigger and more powerful versions of than we have today, and the Himalayan is one of those – but because our Indian customer says so, not anyone overseas. However, I recognise of course that this is a benefit for our export sales, and as we get close to meeting demand in India for our products, then we must start to lift our sales overseas. In the next five-year horizon, we intend Royal Enfield should be No.1 in global sales in the middleweight segment.
Mr Lal also talked about being aware of the Himalayan being called “not powerful enough” by experts. When asked if he will be hoping to educate consumers about RE’s capabilities with their new products and approach, he said, “I don’t think it’s about educating so much – it’s more a case of our gaining a deep understanding of our consumers and what they really want, and giving them something which they’ve not even verbalised, but we believe we know they desire. Because we live that life too, and we’ve gone through a lot of thought processes before coming up with what we have. So for example, look at the power of the Himalayan, where the experts said it’s not powerful enough. But we’re not building this bike for experts, we‘re building this for people who want to graduate from a commuter motorcycle, yet have a passion for adventure and touring. That’s who we’re building this bike for. If you’re graduating from a 150cc motorcycle, then the 410cc Himalayan is a huge step up. So that’s what you’re going to see – a lot more innovative products from Royal Enfield which address the desires of our customers that they maybe haven’t even recognised is what they want, while still retaining our core model range of classics.”
Royal Enfield Himalayan 750 Expected Launch Date
We expect the Royal Enfield Himalayan 750 to arrive sometime in 2019 as the new 750cc parallel twin motor will be fitted in the Bonnie and Continental GT styled models first. The Himalayan should get the new engine once it will be produced in enough quantities to meet the demand for the aforementioned bikes and there will be units left for application elsewhere.
Royal Enfield Himalayan 750 Expected Price
For what will possibly be India’s first locally manufactured twin-cylinder adventurer, expect the motorcycle to be priced around the INR 4 lakh mark.
Royal Enfield Himalayan 750 Expected Details
Going by the on-road performance of the new 750cc twin, the bigger engined Royal Enfield Himalayan should offer solid performance both on and off the road. Expect power figures to hover around the 50 HP and 60 NM mark. We expect the frame to be beefed up so that it can handle the additional power better. Also, the suspension bits and rubber could see an upgrade. Things like ABS and a more modern instrument cluster and lighting system should come as standard.