Royal Enfield is currently killing it in the motorcycle business. Not just in India but all over the world, their products have been winning applauds and sales. The Royal Enfield Interceptor for example has been the bestseller in the UK at one point in time and still continues to sell well. Even motorcycles like Meteor 350 and Classic 350 are being exported to countries like USA, UK and have been selling in great numbers too.
The one motorcycle however that has taken the fight to premium motorcycles and has been winning on many fronts is the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Just a few years ago, adventure motorcycles were thought to be this premium class only in the reach of rich riders. Given motorcycles like the BMW GS1250 could cost an arm and leg in India, it was impossible for someone middle class like me to even think of getting into adventure motorcycling.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan however changed all that for the better. Now anyone with a budget for a commuter motorcycle can go ahead and buy a Himalayan and get into the crazy world of adventure motorcycling. Or Just get a cool motorcycle.
Despite Himalayan’s fame and advantages, however, there are certain shortcomings that it needs to rectify to become a perfect motorcycle. Below are the 3 changes that would make Royal Enfield Himalayan the best adventure tourer in India.
A little more power
One aspect that is talked about by every Himalayan owner is its lack of power. A 411cc engine producing 24.3 PS of power and 32 NM of torque is nothing to write home about. A Pulsar 200NS with a 200cc engine produces similar power. A Duke 200 with an engine half the size of Himalayan produces more power.
While the Himalayan engine is able to do its job well enough, there are instances when you feel the need for more power. LIke on highways, the lack of top-end is certainly apparent and most riders feel there should have been more to offer from this engine.
There is chatter of lighter and more powerful 450cc Himalayan that would certainly fulfil everyone’s needs but until that motorcycle is launched we will reserve our judgement.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan with a 24 hp engine is asked to bear the weight of a 200kg monster. Yes, you heard that right! The Royal Enfield Himalayan weighs in at a mindboggling 200kgs. For reference, the Yamaha Tenere which produces 72hp and 68 nm of torque weighs 200kgs.
The weight of the Himalayan poses a huge disadvantage to the motorcycle even before it rolls off the side stand. This huge weight when married to a weak engine produces a very slow motorcycle which is fine for going at slower speeds but on highways, it just gets obliterated by everything on the road.
Royal Enfield is supposed to be an adventure tourer meaning it is designed to go into the dark and unknown. The only problem? It has poor headlights!
I know you can buy a LED light for cheap and install it on the Himalayan but when you pay more than Rs 2.5 lakhs you should expect your motorcycle to be rideable at night. The Royal Enfield Himalayan needs to come with better lighting for it to be a perfect adventurer tourer. LEDs don’t even cost much so this should not be a problem for Royal Enfield.
Royal Enfield is all around a great motorcycle. It has all the bases for an adv covered. It has a big fuel tank, a very good suspension, a decent windscreen, good low-end torque, a reliable engine and is pretty easy to work on if something breaks down. The only area where it is lacking is in the engine department. Increasing the power or reducing the weight by 20kgs would ideally make the Himalayan the very best adv in its class.
I believe the above 3 changes would make the Royal Enfield Himalayan the best adventure motorcycle udner 500cc.