The Hero Impulse might have kick-started the affordable ADV-tourer segment in India but it was the Royal Enfield Himalayan which ignited the spark of adventure motorcycling in our country. It has been a very capable motorcycle since it was first introduced but during its nascent years, it was riddled with several issues. Royal Enfield has worked continuously to make it a better proposition than before and the BS6 iteration of the Himalayan is a step towards the same.
We got a chance to swing a leg over the updated Himalayan and find out what has changed and what could have been better. The characteristics of the motorcycle have remained the same but there are some minor changes which improve the Himalayan as a whole package.
Engine and performance
Starting with the powertrain first, to comply with the more stringent BS6 norms, Royal Enfield had to utilize a bigger catalytic converter, an O2 sensor and an OBD port. In most cases, the motorcycle tends to lose some power in the transition to BS6 but in the case of Himalayan, the performance drop has been minimal. In the previous iteration, it used to make 24.5 HP and 32 NM of torque from its 411cc single-cylinder engine. While the torque output stands the same, it now makes 24.3 HP. The performance drop vanishes in thin air as soon as you start riding the Himalayan. The engine’s sweet spot still lies in the mid-range and it makes one thing pretty evident that it isn’t a high-revving unit.
Royal Enfield claims that they have re-tuned the ECU for better performance and more refinement. That stands true because the Himalayan rides a lot smoother than before and the vibrations are more damped. Another mechanical update comes in the form of switchable ABS which wasn’t a part of the package before.
It is certainly great news for the trail-riding community which have always wanted to have that extra fun with the Himalayan. The ABS can be switched on and off by pushing a button neatly placed on the instrument cluster. Royal Enfield has also reworked the side stand and has made it sturdier than before. Now it can handle the weight of the motorcycle a lot better than before.
Bits where it could have been a little better
Another department where the Himalayan has improved is braking. It has been a slow and gradual process. The very first iteration of the Himalayan had wooden brakes but later got improved a little in the BS4 version. And now, RE claims that they have worked on the brakes again. The braking is surely better than before but it still lacks the bite and feedback of a proper unit.
Another aspect where the Himalayan loses some points is the overall build quality. It might be a lot better than before but you can’t go ahead and tag it as ‘premium’. The rearview mirrors are the same as before and that is not good news because apart from the fact that they don’t provide a good view, they also vibrate a lot.
New colours and pricing
Apart from the above-mentioned changes, RE has also introduced three new colours for the Himalayan, including two dual-tone colours – Lake Blue and Rock Red, adding to the existing portfolio of Snow White, Granite Black, Sleet Grey and Gravel Grey. In terms of cycle parts, the Himalayan retains the 21-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear wheel shod with dual-sport rubber. Braking is taken care by a 300mm disc upfront and a 220mm disc at the rear with ABS as standard. Meanwhile, suspension duties are taken care of by 41mm telescopic forks upfront and a monoshock at the rear.
The BS6 Himalayan is still a very capable motorcycle and continues to impress us on the road and off it as well. With the updates, it has gotten better where it should have. Prices of the RE Himalayan start from INR 1.89 Lakh.