As retro style motorcycle has become globally hot, the English-originated brand Royal Enfield added a dual-purpose model called Himalayan which was designed by South African Pierre Terblanche and recently launched to the Malaysian market by RE Motorcycles Sdn Bhd with over 20 motorcycle media attended the gathering. The Himalayan was introduced in India market back in 2015, Himalayan designed to look like a classic seventies dual-purpose Paris Dakar motorcycle.
Origin of the Name
The name Himalayan represents the inheritance of classic Royal Enfield and designed to tackle the broken roads of the Himalayan Mountain. In our review days whenever we parked the Himalayan will cause a buzz with older bikers and stands out in a crowd.
Seen from its appearance, Himalayan inherited the classic design of its family. The classic clean-cut fuel tank has a capacity of 15L. The simple classic vintage round headlamp, the almost oval taillight and the turn lights all adopt traditional lights source. The gel like saddle provides a very comfortable riding. Himalayan uses Pirelli MT 60 tyre, front 90/90 21” and rear 120/90 17”. In addition, the Himalayan is the first Royal Enfield to be fitted with mono absorber.
The Himalayan has a single four stroke engine with a displacement of 411cc, with 5 gears. The frame designed by Harris Performance match perfectly.
The engine sounds less like most single and with 24hp @ 6,700 rpm provide a no frills power. The big 411cc single cylinder engine feels less energetic at low torque and the acceleration from 0 to 80km/h is not so torquey. The top speed can reach up to 135km/h, but the Himalayan weights a whopping 191kg
With air cooled, the engine heat has no effect on the riding. It was over 40℃ on the ride day. After a riding distance of 200km, there is no heat exhaustion on the major parts, and our rider felt no heat wave at the inner side of two legs.
The handlebar is handy and gives proper vibration sense during riding. The rear shock absorber is comfortably soft, but can adjustable accordingly. It is better to be adjusted to be softer when riding on off-road sections. The front 41mm telescopic shock absorber with a 200mm travel can handle normal off-road conditions. During Off-road session during the review, the Himalayan handles pretty well on rocky and soft sand, plus I actually met the rider who took the Himalayan to Rimba Raid, place 3rd in his category.
Braking is done by disc brakes on both ends with ABS. Brakes felt abit spongy during the test ride probably cos the ABS kicking in!. On the curves, the body gravity of Himalayan is not that low so it is much better to get through the curves with reverse bending and leg out!
Riding on paved road, the bike gradually speeded up to 80km/h. I could full throttle from 1st to 3rd gear but sometimes will miss the gear change to 2nd gear. But on road handling was exceptionally better than other dual purpose bikes, the Himalayan felt solid and handling in tight road corners was quite precise where we want it to go, even with the Pirelli knobby dual purpose tyres.
The feeling of changing torque from all gears are not obvious. When the bike runs faster than 100km/h, the engine sound and vibration increase a lot. The rider with weight of 50kg, has run a top speed of 135km/h during the test ride.
Himalayan performs quite stable on off-road sections and city pavements during traffic jams. Thanks to the 220mm ground clearance that makes the Himalayan quite a pavement and quick off-road diversion conqueror.
With the low torque, the back wheel doesn’t slides so much with full throttle, which becomes no trouble, but brings more control and riding fun.
After several hundred kilometres of riding, we had a mix feel about the Himalayan but no matter riding on city road, country road or off road, Himalayan will not fail to respond to your control expectation. Ergonomics are comfortable and upright when seated as well as making it easy to stand up on the bike and turn on the road and move around when off-road. The wind shield does a decent job on the highways which I average around 100km/h.
But with the price tag of RM36,880 seems Himalayan is the highest priced 400cc in the market.