Planning to book a RE Himalayan but....

Hello BMCTians,

I joined BMT somewhere back in 2010 or 2011, couldn't recall exactly, remained a silent but frequent reader of what's happening here. The reason was simple.....i was already bitten by touring 'bug' but lack of good touring machine and overwhelming load of then master and now doctoral thesis gave me no other option other than watching/reading other's travelogues on BCMT and similar sites. Now I am in stage where i can no longer stop myself and planning to get one decent touring machine & kill that touring bug of mine. The budget I set is upto 2 lac.
The best machine I thought was Thunderbird 500 as the previous one, Karzima R got discontinued & updated one looks ugly.
So, couple of weeks ago i went to Ess Aar motors@Jhandewalan to book a TBTs500. As it happened with most of the potential TBTS customers in past two months...the looks of Himalayan possessed me.
Previously, it appealed to me as a road-side mechanic's fantasy in all the leaked images that RE was deliberately circulating on the internet. But in reality it was much better and bigger, specially in white color.
I ended up test driving a white Himalayan. I found it to be totally different that all the machines I have driven so far. It was way much comfortable than a Thunderbird or any other RE, in all terms. That day I booked nothing and returned home with a grin on my face but a confusion in my head.
On reaching home, I started digging the internet about Himalayan, and within a short period of time I realized that people already started commenting on the quality issues with Himalayan.

Last week, I again went to a RE dealer. This time, South Delhi Motors@Kailash Colony. I went there to clear some doubts and issues with the Himalayan that I read on internet but they offered me a test drive. I paid attention to details on this test drive and things that I noticed goes like this:

1. The exhaust note of test drive Himalayan was totally different than that of the Himalayan waiting to be delivered. The exhaust note of test vehicle was heavier and more profound while the actual vehicle sounded like a canister.

2. The exhaust on the delivery vehicle was also backfiring a lot.

3. A more closer look into details and I found that test and delivery vehicles has different silencers. Later, salesman @ South Delhi Motors confirmed me that RE will be offering an aftermarket exhaust for the himalayan, the one featured on all of the test drive Himalayans.

4. Ugly welds were everywhere, from vehicle frame/chassis to the luggage rack.

5. On idle rpm engine clatter coming out near the handle-tank joint section is too much too bear.

6. Rear view mirrors are useless and offers very limited view atleast to a 5'6" rider like me.

7. A 45K motorcycle has a better paint job than a Himalayan.

If I keep the bare bones ugly look of Himalayan aside, it appears to be a good overall package at Rs 1.73 lac when compared to the 1.98 lac TBTS500 even with all its flaws. (For example, just compare the saddles of these two machine and you will notice the clear difference.)

So before I book one for my touring needs, I want to take the opinion from experts here.

Is it too early to get a Himalayan?

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a video made by Himalayan owner on Youtube, (Gonna share the link once I get home, Youtube isn't accessible from here) he too have similar exhaust backfiring problem with Himalayan.

Is it possible to resolve the issues like exhaust backfiring by carb tuning without changing to the aftermarket options?
I will be touring with a pillion everytime.
Used my brother's Classic350 and Dad's Electra (CI) for 35-50kms rides from Hometown (Haridwar) to Rishikesh. My experience on classic n electra is very bad. Either my riding posture is wrong or their handle configuration is like that or blame it on the pilgrims rush in our hometown, within 20 km of ride my elbows and shoulders starts to ache.
Once I borrowed Thunderbird 350 (newer one) from a relative and took it on the same route, experience was totally different. Even with traffic rush of June month in Haridwar...(believe me..this is time of the year when entire Delhi want itself to be in Haridwar/Rishikesh/Dehradun), there were no muscle aches upto Dhanaulti.
Apparently, Thunderbird 500 was the only option for my needs until I rode a Himalayan.
I was about to book it but thought of asking some experts before I invest something but there are hardly any suggestions I am getting here. May be I should wait for a while as the weekend is around...BCMTians may respond to my queries.


Super User
sir even harleys have naked joints shown so if that is what is pushing you away from the machine dont be afraid, the news where the foot peg broke it was extensively used for off roading and jumping. niether of us are using it in a track if we are i'm sure a rider will find a solution for the same.

regarding himalayan. the suspension is awesome no bikes give you that much of suspension travel. engine is as torqy as it can get. its a bit rev friendly as well compared to other RE's but dont compare the revs of yamaha, R.C to himalayan that would be an overkill.

the sitting position is very smooth. regarding the rear view mirrors shorter the rear view mirrors more the stability from body vibration.

hope all your queries are answered.

also regarding exhausts stick to stock exhaust for better engine life. or go for performance exhausts never for a free flow, if its a calibrated free flow exhaust it will not cost you less than 12k.
if you are fine putting in that kind of money for the exhaust then there is no looking back.

i have extensively driven himlayan on and off road and its a damn good machine

the slogan make your own road can be apt for it as it can take on any terrain, that has been my experience. seating is very personal as each one has different sitting style.

having said that, the seating of classic is a bit vary, it gives you butt sores after 50 odd kms but there are after market seats. himalayan seats are very good i have driven it for more than 75 kms without any problem.

even after that if you have butt sores you get jelly seats in the market which should solve the problem. every biker who are long haulers use jelly seats regardless of the make of the bike. even superbikers 1000cc + bikes use jelly seats.

so enjoy riding rather than finding the negatives of small things which dont matter.
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Buying an RE-any RE-you better be a believer in serendipity:)
I guess i made myself clear that i will be adding a third RE into my family if i get thunderbird or the himalayan.
The quality issues are not limited to RE only here in India.
I believe it's their primitive design and production techniques that makes them vulnerable.

What exactly i want to learn is a solution to issues like silencer backfiring and if evryone is experiencing it then it could be a serious defect.