The Royal Enfield Himalayan 400cc adventure bike is finally available in Australia at a price of $5990 plus on-road costs.
That compares with similar capacity (but not necessarily similar ability) bikes such as the BMW G 310 R ($5790 + ORC), 400cc Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 ($11,990 +ORC), Honda CB300FA ($5699 +ORC), Kawasaki Z300 ($5999 +ORC), KTM 390 Duke ($60.95 +ORC), Suzuki DR-Z400SM ($8990 +ORC) and SWM RS300 ($8290 +ORC).
The Royal Enfield Himalayan will compete in the new baby-bore adventure category that includes the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 which has been confirmed for Australia with no pricing listed yet.
Other baby adventurers not yet confirmed for Australia are the BMW G 310 GS, Honda 190 Night Hawk and Suzuki V-Strom 250, although Suzuki says it is considering the Baby Strom.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is powered by a new single-cylinder, air-cooled LS 410 engine and is now available in “Granite” grey and “Snow” white.
It is on show at the Moto Expo in Melbourne this weekend.
Royal Enfield International Business boss Arun Gopal flew out for the Australian launch, extolling the virtues of the engine capacity for adventure riding.
“Himalayan is the culmination of Royal Enfield’s 60 years of enduring history in its spiritual home—the Himalayas,” he says.
“Our single biggest insight in all these years of riding has been that the best motorcycle for the mountains like Himalayas is not one that tries to dominate its landscape, but one that is able to go with its flow.
“Large adventure tourers that currently define this category, do not fare well in such terrains as they are very heavy, extremely complicated, intimidating and not really designed for the environment.
“With its purpose-built ground-up design, the Himalayan is a simple and capable go-anywhere motorcycle that will redefine adventure touring globally.
“Its non-intimidating nature serves the purpose of a seasoned rider and at the same time opens the roads to many more people who will get the confidence that they can ride on and off the road less travelled.
“Functionally, the Himalayan’s non-intimidating spartan design, a flat torque curve, accessible seat height and long suspension travel alongside the ease of ownership, make the Himalayan an extremely versatile motorcycle that is adept for long rides through tough terrains while equally being the definitive choice to navigate cities,” he says.
Actually that is quite a good synopsis of how this low-capacity adventure market will appeal to riders.
However, the big hurdle will be how well it sits on the highway for a few hundred kilometres of “transport stage” riding to the dirt.
In Australia, that will be as important as its off-road abilities.
We hope to test a Royal Enfield Himalayan soon.
Royal Enfield Himalayan tech specs
Engine: 411cc single cylinder, air-cooled, 4 stroke, SOHC
Bore X Stroke: 78 mm x 86 mm
Compression: 9.5 : 1
Power: 18.02Kw (24.5bhp) @ 6500rpm
Torque: 32NM @ 4000-4500rpm
Ignition system: TCI, multi-curve
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox: 5-speed constant mesh
Lubrication: Wet sump
Engine start: Electric only
Chassis: Half-duplex split cradle frame
Suspension: Telescopic, 41 mm forks, 200mm travel; Monoshock with linkage , 180 mm wheel travel