The new Royal Enfield Himalayan mid-sized adventure bike was purpose-built for the Himalayas, says CEO Siddhartha Lal who was involved in the testing in the famed Indian ranges and the UK.
“I think it’s pretty important for the leadership to get their hands dirty,” he said at the world unveiling in New Delhi on February 2, 2016.
The bike will be available in the Indian market from mid March, but the worldwide release schedule and price have not yet been revealed.
The Himalayan is the first ground-up new model to be released by the now Indian-owned company which is more famed for its classic retro models.
Lal says they wanted to “use the energy of the Himalayans and go with the flow of the Himalayas rather than trying to dominate them”.
The new bike is powered by an all-new 411cc LS400 long-stroke, single-cylinder, overhead-cam, oil-cooled, counterbalanced, blacked-out engine with 10,000km service intervals.
Lal says the long-stroke engine retains Royal Enfield’s character with torque from 2250rpm and a maximum of 32Nm. The overhead cam also allows the bike to have usable power up to 6500 revs and 20kW of power.
Lal says the “real difference” with the182kg bike is that it has long-travel suspension, 220mm clearance and a 21-inch front wheel, yet an accessible seat height of 800mm.
Rudratej Singh RE president says the ergonomics will inspire confidence.
“What excites me most is that it conjures up the aspirations of the seasoned rider and opens up the doors for many more enthusiasts who are bench sitters right now,” he says.
Lal says the bike has a very clean and simply design with a timeless look.
“But the form should follow the function,” he says.
Illustrating the versatility and practicality of the bike he says they have designed it to allow for hard and soft luggage and “for the first time on a production bike there are racks up front for pannier bags”.
Other highlights of the bike are conventional forks, single front disc, single headlight, slim indicators, streamlined mirrors, cable clutch and twin instrument pods with comprehensive information.
Brakes are a 300mm front disc with a two-piston floating caliper and a 240mm rear disc with single piston caliper.
It seems to be available only in black and white colour schemes, but it comes with a lot of body and engine protection, and there are RE luggage accessories as well as riding gear developed with REV’IT!
Australian importer Urban Moto Imports say they are “very excited by this new direction and we are confident that the Himalayan will soon gather a following that will equal other Royal Enfield models”.
There is no word yet on when it will arrive in Australia or the price.