Royal Enfield is going all guns blazing. They have committed to launch one new motorcycle every year. After the relative success of the Continental GT, RE is all set to launch the Off- Roading Monster – Himalayan.
For decades, motorcycles made by Royal Enfield have ruled the paths of Himalayas. They are the preferred motorcycles for many riders for their trip to Laddakh or Spiti Valley since they are built like a tank and are comfortable like a couch. Hence to build a motorcycle that is positioned better than their Bullets and Thunderbirds for the Himalayan Odysseys have got bikers excited about this new launch. The Himalayan also brings in a new era for the motorcycle company. Never before have RE made a motorcycle, specially made for the Hardcore Off- Roaders. A few years ago, Hero was the first one to jump into the off-roading scene in India with the Hero Impulse and tasted very little success.
The Himalayan is expected to launch in early 2016 and with the look of things is on the road to success.With so much hype around the launch, there are certain expectations as bikers from the Himalayan. Here is our list that we expect from Royal Enfield on their latest offering:
The Top Most ask from Royal Enfield on the Himalayan is Reliability. REs are not known to be reliable motorcycles. We ride them because we love them. But, when you build a motorcycle to be taken on the most treacherous terrains, you want ride it without the worry of having to push it incase of a breakdown. RE has taken major leaps in improving reliability of their motorcycles but there is still a long way to go if they want to truly offer an Off-Roader.
There are times when you feel that there is no quality control department in the Royal Enfield factory. Though they have vastly improved over the years, it is no where near to the offerings from the other motorcycle makers. Even the latest offering - Continental GT lacked finishing of most parts. The GT used parts from Brembo, Bybre, Paioli and Pirelli and the quality of these parts was superb. It was the “Made at Home” parts like the paint finish, tank, switches where finishing was a problem.
Similar to the GT, the Himalayan is expected to have a lot of quality parts for big names. However, it’s the parts that will be “Made at Home” on which we have a doubt.
A very simple example is the optional Upswept Exhaust that is sold separately by Royal Enfield. While everything on the exhaust is chrome, there is a patch of silver paint on one of the joints. Though minor, it does show that finishing is overlooked at RE.
We are sure that the company will provide good suspensions on the Himalayan since it typically is supposed to be ridden “off the Road”. We expect the suspensions to be made by Paioli just like the GT.
We expect the Himalayan to be fitted with the Brembo Brakes found on the GT that is much better than the brakes found on other models. If this is the case, we are happy. If it’s not the case, you should start practicing your falls on your trips to the mountains.
Royal Enfield have really turned up the heat in the merchandise segment. With increased competitions from Big Guns like Harley Davidson and Triumph, Royal Enfield has started offering Jackets, Shoes, Gloves, Wallets etc. They have launched clothing based on the Continental GT theme and recently on the Despatch Rider and we would expect them to have a line up for the Himalayan as well. It would be nice to see an OffRoad/ Motocross Helmet from Royal Enfield.
Well, it’s a touring motorcycle and hence we would want the motorcycle to come fitted with panniers or at least have the option of fitting panniers firmly on the motorcycle. The premium offerings like the Triumph Tiger and the BMW GS have pannier mounts and luggage racks, designed for the motorcycle. As bikers we expect this as an offering on the motorcycle.
Just because it’s a new “modern” Royal Enfield does not mean that it should leave behind its roots. Royal Enfield motorcycles are ridden because they have an old school charm. The growl from the exhausts needs to have a certain amount of bass. Without being disrespectful, you don’t want a Royal Enfield to feel like a KTM.
The add ons on any Royal Enfield motorcycle have never focused on Performance. While people might not really want a performance upgrade on the Classic or the GT, this is a motorcycle that needs to have performance upgrade parts available to the buyers. It’s about time, that RE starts offering its customers a little bit more than just aesthetic upgrades.
There are no streetlights where there are no streets. All Royal Enfield motorcycles come with useless headlights. While its still acceptable in the other models, the Himalayan should have headlights that could actually light up the path.
We would also love if RE sells auxiliary lights that could be mounted on the crash guard or have we asked for too much?
REs are known for customizations and the Himalayan should be no different. The company has recently started focusing on accessories like the bar end mirrors for the GT. Being an off- roader, we want RE to have a host of accessories like the Headlamp Grill, Hand Guards, Windshields to name a few. At the expense of getting carried away, we would really love to see the Himalayan have the option of Heated Grips.