Why Serious Off-Roading Should Be Left To A Specialist Motorcycle [Video]

While the off-road prowess of Royal Enfield Himalayan is known to everybody, the Bajaj Dominar 400 is good on the tarmac and maybe on a bad patch of road.

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Adventure junkies who love to go off the road have found it difficult for the last few months considering the current situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, in the last few weeks since the relaxation of the lockdown, we have come across enthusiasts taking their bikes out of their garages and engaging in a quick adventure.

One example we have with us today is of a biker duo challenging themselves with a tough off-road task of jumping into a pond with their bikes with the intention of wading waters, maybe. However, only one of them could take on the challenge properly while the other had to face embarrassment.

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The bikes in question here are Royal Enfield Himalayan and Bajaj Dominar 400. One who knows about motorcycles will easily be able to guess which bike passed and which one failed. While the off-road prowess of the Himalayan is truly vouched for, the Dominar, on the other hand, is labelled as ‘tourer’ and not with the prefix ‘adventure’.

The video uploaded by one ‘@lutappi_400’ on his Instagram page, shows how spectacularly the Dominar fails while the Himalayan is able to stay upright. We analyse as to why the Himalayan is able to perform the same task and the Dominar 400 is not.

Why the Dominar failed?

Firstly, the main point of contention here is the suspension setup. While both the Himalayan and the Dominar employ a telescopic front fork of 41mm and 43 mm respectively, the Royal Enfield’s forks offer much longer travel at 200mm as compared to the 135mm offered by the Bajaj. This allows the Himalayan to absorb a greater force before yielding while the Dominar’s fork bottomed-out as the bike is front heavy. While on paper, the Himalayan is heavier at 199kg against Dominar 400’s 184kg, it’s the front heaviness of the Dominar which makes its case difficult here. Secondly, the major difference occurs due to the size of the front tyres. The Himalayan employs a 21-incher front whereas the Dominar offers a 17-inch tyre.

Also, there is a massive difference in ground clearance here between both these bikes with the Himalayan offering a mammoth 220 mm whereas the Dominar 400 offers a meagre 157 mm. Although in this case, it didn’t play a major factor despite the Dominar getting its bottom spanked by the ground while the Himalayan not even touching the grass, it shows that for off-roading, a bike with high ground clearance is always preferable.

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Though both the riders displayed similar body positions while attempting the dip, the difference in attributes of their respective bikes sealed their fate. Therefore, it is important to pick the right motorcycle for the right activity. The Dominar 400 is retailed at a price of Rs 1.94 lakh whereas the Himlayan is offered at a price of Rs 1.89 lakh. Both prices mentioned are ex-showroom.

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  • Raaj Datta says:

    A ride is only as good as the rider. I took my Karizma ZMR, a full fairing bike, to the very end of Rajmachi. You can search with Rajmachi raajdatta. If that is not good enough, you can spot a few Honda Activa faring better than offroaders. Of course the Himalayan has an edge, but only if you are up to it.