1st if all Congratulations.I recently bought the new Royal Enfield Himalayan. This is a very brief review of the bike after completing 1000kms.
I had been happily riding my Thunderbird for the past 6 years, which took me to various places including Ladakh. However, the machine had gotten old after 80K kms of riding and I was looking for something new.
When the rumors about Himalayan started making the rounds, I got excited and was eagerly awaiting the new offering from Enfield stable. I took the test ride on the first day it was unveiled and I had made my decision. But, I decided to wait for a couple of months as I thought it was wise to get some more information on the bike including some user reviews. I did book it finally after seeing all the good reviews from the media and first hand information from my friend who was already owning one. I got the delivery after a waiting period of almost 3 months.
Now, I have ridden it for 1000 kms, most of it on the potholed roads of Mumbai and some highway riding to outskirts of Mumbai and here's what I have to say
Initial impression - The bike is a totally new with no resemblance whatsoever to any previous RE model. It has a different DNA. The fit and finish has improved and the instrument cluster is modern with a plethora of features. For me, the useful features are the twin trip meters and clock. Additionally, there is gear indicator, temperature indicator and a compass which I personally have not looked at much.
Positives - The ride quality, suspension setup and handling are really good. The bike is heavy, but you wont feel the weight while riding. Engine is smooth (the smoothest that I have seen in a Royal Enfield) and is happy to rev up. Brakes have good feel and inspire confidence. The tyres have good grip on all sorts of roads. Seat cushioning is adequate and you get proper support at the right areas. Riding posture is upright. Although I am not a high speed rider, I believe the bike is capable of cruising at around 90kph or even 100kph for long durations. I usually prefer to ride at 80-90 on good open roads occassionally going into the three digit zone. This, the bike can deliver and I am happy for that. The bike comes with a luggage carrier as standard. Plus there is a frame enveloping the fuel tank where you can attach luggage or jerry cans. Also, there are mounting features to mount the Aluminum panniers that come as RE accessories (Not available in showrooms yet). So, there is lot of space for luggage on the bike.
Some concerns - The clutch has a heavy feel and the gear shift is quite hard. Especially while upshifting, you need considerable force. I had reported this issue during the first servicing, but the service person informed me that this is how it is. He adjusted the clutch setting though to improve it marginally. But then, I got used to it and now, it is not annoying anymore. I can ride the bike in city with lots of gearshifts through traffic with ease. The exhaust does backfire sometimes especially when you release the accelerator after revving the engine to higher RPMs. I suppose this will get ironed out as I ride more. The seat height is 800mm which may be a bit high for shorter riders.
Overall, I think the bike is capable of delivering what it has been built for - Touring and Off-roading.
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Well what about the rocker arms noise ??
Recently royal Enfield has recall some of Himalayan for hard gear and rocker arm noise . (Assuming you aware of it)