https://youtu.be/HLFXSrgNio0


Frequent readers ofADVMoto will find it no surprise that we're big fans ofRoyal Enfield's Himalayan. When it finally came to the US in 2018, this offerring from the Indian manufacturer gave us a highly capable mid-sized dual-sport motorcycle with an unbeatable pricetag just under $5,000. But riders everywhere were asking for one big update to the bike: ABS.Royal Enfieled heard their pleas, and letADVMoto check out one of the very firstHimalayan ABS  models in North America.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 1

• Updates to Braking and Lighting

For the most part, the bike is wonderfully unchanged. The 410cc thumper is still there, as is the low slung seat, wonderful standing geometry and surprisingly capable stock suspension. These these features combined to make the original Himalayan incredibly easy to ride. The Himalayan was already a wonderful offering for new riders, and the ABS is only going to increase that beginner friendliness. But the new Himalayan ABS  isn't completely the same, there are a few new features to go over on the ABS model.

The first change we noticed about the new bike wasn't actually the braking system, it was the new paint scheme.Royal Enfield calls it "Sleet" which gives off an arctic camo vibe that definitely matches the overall feel of the bike. It's graphics are vinyl decals placed on a grey painted tank, then clearcoated with a dull finish for durability. Also, since the decals are hand placed, each one is a little different. TheHimalayan ABS will also be offered in a black and white "Snow" and "Granite," both of which are colors from the previous generation.

But the biggest addition on this model is a little ABS unit hiding under the right side cover. There are also a smattering of ABS supporting mods made to the bike. These include return lines coming down the neck and under the tank, ABS sensors, an ABS light on the dash and a new larger fuse box. See the video for more details.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 3

A couple of other visual changes we noticed included a new larger brake light, and round turn signals, perhaps to match the round headlight.  The previous brake light was not only smaller but also housed multiple leds.  While the newer unit is larger, there appears to house only a single bulb.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 5

As far as the ABS system itself, we found it to be a very solid option. The ABS was effective, but not intrusive. Riding off-road we were able to get the rear tire locked up and got the bike into a few little slides. It felt like the ABS would only kick on at higher speeds. After our test ride the folks at Royal Enfield North America confirmed our impressions were correct. The ABS is only active above 5 KPH (3.1 MPH).

This means that even with ABS, you can take those slow technical or downhill off-road sections with a nice slide. This also means riders may not need to find alternate ways to disable the ABS, all of which we do not recommend. For on-road riding the value of ABS as a safety feature cannot be overstated and is mandatory in many parts of the world.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 2

The Himalayan ABS is hitting showroom floors now sporting an MSRP of just $4,750. This is a pretty minimal price jump from the $4,500 of the Non-ABS model, and at either price you'll struggle to find more bike for the money. At the time of this writing, all non-ABS models are sold out. Only ABS models will be available for the remainder of 2019.

It's good to see Royal Enfield responding to customer comments and demands. If this attention to market desires continues, an Interceptor 650 parallel twin powerplant may go into the next Himalayan to further expand performance.  The extra power would address one of the biggest complaints found in the North American market which is being able to maintain higher street speeds for longer distance travel. Although this extra power may come at some added weight and cost, a little more umph could mike a bigger Himalayan a great addition to their already impressive line-up. For more information on the Himalayan, visit:  RoyalEnfield.com   

For more ADVMoto videos, be sure to check out ADVMoto's Youtube channel!

 

https://youtu.be/HLFXSrgNio0


Frequent readers ofADVMoto will find it no surprise that we're big fans ofRoyal Enfield's Himalayan. When it finally came to the US in 2018, this offerring from the Indian manufacturer gave us a highly capable mid-sized dual-sport motorcycle with an unbeatable pricetag just under $5,000. But riders everywhere were asking for one big update to the bike: ABS.Royal Enfieled heard their pleas, and letADVMoto check out one of the very firstHimalayan ABS  models in North America.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 1

• Updates to Braking and Lighting

For the most part, the bike is wonderfully unchanged. The 410cc thumper is still there, as is the low slung seat, wonderful standing geometry and surprisingly capable stock suspension. These these features combined to make the original Himalayan incredibly easy to ride. The Himalayan was already a wonderful offering for new riders, and the ABS is only going to increase that beginner friendliness. But the new Himalayan ABS  isn't completely the same, there are a few new features to go over on the ABS model.

The first change we noticed about the new bike wasn't actually the braking system, it was the new paint scheme.Royal Enfield calls it "Sleet" which gives off an arctic camo vibe that definitely matches the overall feel of the bike. It's graphics are vinyl decals placed on a grey painted tank, then clearcoated with a dull finish for durability. Also, since the decals are hand placed, each one is a little different. TheHimalayan ABS will also be offered in a black and white "Snow" and "Granite," both of which are colors from the previous generation.

But the biggest addition on this model is a little ABS unit hiding under the right side cover. There are also a smattering of ABS supporting mods made to the bike. These include return lines coming down the neck and under the tank, ABS sensors, an ABS light on the dash and a new larger fuse box. See the video for more details.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 3

A couple of other visual changes we noticed included a new larger brake light, and round turn signals, perhaps to match the round headlight.  The previous brake light was not only smaller but also housed multiple leds.  While the newer unit is larger, there appears to house only a single bulb.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 5

As far as the ABS system itself, we found it to be a very solid option. The ABS was effective, but not intrusive. Riding off-road we were able to get the rear tire locked up and got the bike into a few little slides. It felt like the ABS would only kick on at higher speeds. After our test ride the folks at Royal Enfield North America confirmed our impressions were correct. The ABS is only active above 5 KPH (3.1 MPH).

This means that even with ABS, you can take those slow technical or downhill off-road sections with a nice slide. This also means riders may not need to find alternate ways to disable the ABS, all of which we do not recommend. For on-road riding the value of ABS as a safety feature cannot be overstated and is mandatory in many parts of the world.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan ABS Sleet 2

The Himalayan ABS is hitting showroom floors now sporting an MSRP of just $4,750. This is a pretty minimal price jump from the $4,500 of the Non-ABS model, and at either price you'll struggle to find more bike for the money. At the time of this writing, all non-ABS models are sold out. Only ABS models will be available for the remainder of 2019.

It's good to see Royal Enfield responding to customer comments and demands. If this attention to market desires continues, an Interceptor 650 parallel twin powerplant may go into the next Himalayan to further expand performance.  The extra power would address one of the biggest complaints found in the North American market which is being able to maintain higher street speeds for longer distance travel. Although this extra power may come at some added weight and cost, a little more umph could mike a bigger Himalayan a great addition to their already impressive line-up. For more information on the Himalayan, visit:  RoyalEnfield.com   

For more ADVMoto videos, be sure to check out ADVMoto's Youtube channel!

 

The iconic Suzuki DR-Z400 has been a popular choice for dual-sport enthusiasts and world travelers since its inception in 2000. Worldwide, the DR-Z400 is available in multiple versions utilizing a single-cylinder 398cc that pumps out a respectable 39hp.Combined with long travel, adjustable suspension, liquid-cooling, proper off-road wheels, and Japanese-built reliability, it’s easy to see why it became a staple for budget conscious commuters, trail riders or even the occasional hare scrambler.

Despite its age, the DR-Z is a promising platform for some minor upgrades which would make it a viable option to rival European dual-sports at an affordable pricepoint. A new DR-Z could also be a major turning point in Suzuki's lineup, allowing them to square off with major competitors and take advantage of the rapidly growing dual-sport/ADV market.  With so much interest in mid-sized adventure dual-sport bikes, ADVMoto got creative and rendered what an updated DR-Z 450 Rally could look like. We also don't want to forget the upgrades it would need to be an affordable pace-setting bike for everyone interested in cool looking, versatile and practical rides.

ADVMoto DRZ450Rally Concept Front Red 1

• It’s a Family Affair - Bring the Improvement Philosophy for V-Stroms to the DRZ

The Suzuki V-Strom 650  and V-Strom 1000 are some of the best-selling adventure motorcycles in the world, and the 650 outsells the 1000 two-to-one. Suzuki consistently upgrades these models to keep them relevant with current market trends, and with each revision the V-Stroms find their way towards the top of the popularity list for three main reasons – affordability, practicality and reliability.

Honda is also the only Japanese manufacturer that currently produces a street-legal, 450cc single-cylinder dual-sport. Following its announcement in 2018, complaints about the premium pricing and short service intervals flew around the internet. It’s too far on the “race” side of the spectrum with barely enough street hardware to achieve the DOT stamp and legally connect trail heads without upsetting law enforcement. Should Yamaha and Kawasaki follow suit, their options would be to modify their 450cc enduros for street legality, putting them in the same boat to receive the same criticism as Honda.

• Make a Wish - Changes we would like to See in the DRZ-400 Platform

The dual-sport and ADV category is the fastest growing on the market and a rally replica DR-Z 450 is exactly what Suzuki needs in their line-up. Featuring a five gallon gas tank, a rally tower and windscreen with GPS mount, and full-street hardware, the DR-Z450R could instantly become the most sought after motorcycle in the dual-sport/ADV community, especially if they can keep the affordable price. Suzuki could be the first major manufacturer to offer a practical 450cc rally replica based on a tried and true platform.

ADVMoto DRZ450World Concept Front White 2

2020 would be a prime time to announce the 20th Anniversary and an updated DR-Z. While this is unlikely to happen, we’ll continue to keep our fingers crossed and dream on. But, if you’re listening, Suzuki, build these bikes; we’ll take two. Then give the DR650 a similar treatment. And for Pete’s sake, fix the leaky countershaft sprocket seal!

Suzuki has a unique opportunity to evolve an old bike into what could very well be a best-selling dual-sport. Maybe, its wishful thinking but you never know! As long as we continue to make our demands heard, eventually calls will be answered. Before too long, we can finally put our money down on a versatile and fun 450 to ride off into the sunset with.

Stay tuned for the full article with more images and initial concept sketched in the July/August edition of ADVMoto! Do you own or have you owned a DRZ? Where do you think Suzuki has room to improve? At what price point would you buy an updated DRZ450? Is there anything we left out? Chime-in in the comments below and let us know what you think!

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