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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!

 

Times are changing for the adventure market, and with the recent introduction of more small displacement dual-sport/ADV options, we can only assume the best is yet to come. Although Royal Enfield isn’t currently among the most popular brands in America, they hope to change that with the announcement of several new bikes, including the highly anticipated, single cylinder Himalayan. To get a better understanding of Royal Enfield’s plans for the US, we chit-chat with Rod Copes who oversees RE distribution for North America.

ADVMoto: Tell us a bit about your motorcycling background and how you came to work with Royal Enfield.

Rod Copes: Much of my background is actually with Harley-Davidson, who I worked with for almost 20 years. While introducing HD to India in 2008-2009, I learned about Royal Enfield and fell in love with the brand, eventually even buying a Royal Enfield motorcycle for my personal use.

During this time, I met several employees from Royal Enfield in India, including Siddhartha Lal, the CEO. I left Harley-Davidson in late 2012. When Royal Enfield decided to expand their global presence, I reconnected with Siddhartha and was offered the opportunity to lead the North America region for Royal Enfield.

RoyalEnfieldHimalayan 09

AM: What do you think are some of the most attractive selling points of the new Himalayan compared to other cost competitive models like the Kawasaki Versys 300 or BMW 310 GS?

RC: It is always difficult to compare motorcycles, but I believe the Himalayan motorcycle offers a fun, accessible and affordable option into the adventure touring category of motorcycles. It is versatile, yet balanced and enjoyable for both seasoned riders and new riders alike.

AM:  RE really seemed to be pushing new products and tech development over the past few years. Where did this push on innovation and investment come from?

RC: Siddhartha has been leading Royal Enfield since the late 1990's. When he first took over the reins, the company was only selling about 30,000 motorcycles annually and was not profitable. Much of the success came from his vision for the company and he very deliberately and carefully led the company through an amazing turn around.

This year the company will sell over 800,000 motorcycles. As the company has grown and become profitable, Siddhartha has invested in strategic capabilities for the future.

RoyalEnfieldHimalayan 04

AM: Who are some of the key players in developing RE new vision?

RC: Siddartha is intimately involved in the current day-to-day operations and the future vision of Royal Enfield. Notably, Royal Enfield opened a Tech Centre in the UK last year, which is monumental to progressing the company forward in its vision. The Tech Centre has more than 100 employees in the UK that are dedicated to designing and developing new motorcycles.

The industrial design and product strategy team is led by Mark Wells. Simon Warburton and his team oversee product development in both the UK and India. They work collectively with Siddartha to develop the vision for Royal Enfield,and to make it a reality. A second Tech Center is currently under construction in India. 

AM: Where do you see RE in North America 10 years from now?

RC:  Royal Enfield is positioned to be the leader in the global middle-weight motorcycle segment. The global team is executing a 5-year new motorcycle plan that will result in several new motorcycle platforms and many new motorcycle models. From a North America standpoint – we want to be the first brand to come to mind for fun, economical bikes for new or experienced riders.

RoyalEnfieldHimalayan 15

AM: Although Royal Enfield is has a long legacy, it's fairly new to North America. A common concern about new brands is having good support in terms of parts availability, service manuals, accessories, dealer networks, etc. How is Royal Enfield handling this in North America?

RC: We began our recent journey over 3 years ago, focusing initially on building the infrastructure for Royal Enfield in North America. This includes the processes/systems, capabilities, building the dealer network and opening a Pre-Delivery Inspection Center (PDI Center) to ensure high quality motorcycles are delivered to our dealers and customers. We also have a warehouse in Texas that is constantly stocked with an ample supply of parts.

Royal Enfield offers year-round training to all RE dealers to ensure they are equipped to offer support and service for customers when needed. We understand that consumers want to have accessible service and accessories and we firmly believe the purchase of a motorcycle is just the beginning of our relationship. It is our desire to be the leader in the middleweight motorcycle segment, but more importantly to be known for an incredible customer experience and satisfaction.

AM: Do you think the RE 650 parallel twin will be put into the Himalayan (or similar) platform?

RC: I am unable to comment on potential new models and products for Royal Enfield, but I can say I am quite excited about the many new motorcycles that will be introduced over the next three to five years. We are the only motorcycle company that is solely focused on middle-weight motorcycles, and I am confident we are well on our way to becoming the global leader in this segment. The introduction of the Himalayan to the North American market, as well as the global debut of the twin models is just the beginning for Royal Enfield.

The Himalayan will be available April of 2018 with an MSRP of $4,499. For more information about Royal Enfield, visit RoyalEnfield.com/USA/. To learn more about the Himalayan, CLICK HERE!

{gallery}ARTICLES/News/RoyalEnfield/Interview/Gallery{/gallery}

My first experience on a Royal Enfield was riding around Mumbai on the back of a Bullet in 2007. Fast forward more than a decade and it's clear Royal Enfield has undergone major changes since then. In the past 20 years they’ve grown from selling 30,000 to over 800,000 units a year, which puts them firmly in the category of the world fastest growing motorcycle brand. Dating back to 1901, they’re also the oldest.


Royal Enfield’srecent growth of industrial resources and product vision has culminated in the new Himalayan, which stands as a significant milestone in the company’s evolution. As a cross-purpose budget friendly bike with classic styling, what can $4,500 get you in a new motorcycle these days? A lot more than you might expect!

RoyalEnfield Himalayan Review 06

• Comfort / Geometry / Equipment

Mounting the Himalayan is a pleasantly easy affair. The bike is squarely targeted at fitting a wider swatch of riders than the average 37" seat height dirt bike or over 500-pound heavy tourer. Tall or short, the 31" seat height is very manageable for flat footing despite the 21/17-wheel size combo that often makes bikes precariously tall for shorter riders. An optional low seat takes the seat height to just under 30 inches. The saddle is well sculpted and comfortable enough for all day long riding stints. However, heftier riders, over say 250 lbs., may be wishing for a roomier rider notch.

Like any adventure touring-oriented bike, your back is upright, with your legs in a chair-like position. Transitioning to a standing riding position is very easy and natural even for a six-foot rider. Those taller than six feet may see some benefit from bar risers, but even with stock bars you’re not heavily leaning over the gauges when on the pegs. The fairing is minimal and protects the gauges but doesn’t give much protection at highway speed.

We expect the aftermarket will soon address that issue and the Himalayan in general is a wonderful platform for all types of customizations.

_______________________________
“What we want to be is authentic and accessible. We can be a new vintage motorcycle for the 75-year-old guy who used to own an Interceptor in the ‘60s or the 16-year-old who’s just learning to ride. We cannot be everything to everyone, but we can surely bring a personal sense adventure to every individual and help empower them to experience it for themselves.”
Rod Copes, Royal Enfield North America President
To read our interview with Rod Copes, CLICK HERE!
_______________________________


Although it’s not really an issue, if we had a wish list for future versions of the Himalayan it would be to move the brake light further back on the fender and then extend the rear seat and frame rails another six to eight inches. Then, removing the rear seat would expose an area ideal for directly mounting luggage. At the same time, with an elongated seat pad there’d be a more generous pillion seating surface for sharing some quality time with a riding partner or loved one.

Another marked improvement centers around the controls and instrumentation. Gone is the brittle pot metal clutch perch of yesteryear’s Bullet. Instead, all handlebar co

ntrols now feel more on par with what you’d expect on many modern Asian bikes.

The gauges have also been updated and modernized. There’s way more information now than your traditional idiot lights, two dials and an odometer. Now you have a gear shift indicator, fuel gauge, thermometer, clock and multiple trip odometers as well as a digital compass showing your current direction with an arrow always pointing north.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan Review 12

• Handling/Suspension

For less than $5,000, many testers weren’t sure what to expect from the suspension on the new budget-priced Himalayan. Based on recent test of the new Versys 300, I knew it was possible to have firm yet compliant suspension without having to drop thousands of dollars on a fully adjustable setup. Would the Himalayan meet this mark?

On paved twisties, the 21" front wheel shod with Pirelli Scorpion MT60s do a wonderful job of providing very neutral and predictable handling. The turn in was nice and gradual, perfect for beginning riders or anyone who simply wants a relaxed and confidence inspiring riding experience. The front 41mm forks are plenty rigid and combined with the integrated fork brace helped handling both on and off road.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan Review 03


The real surprise, though, is the spot-on suspension tuning. Ten years ago, we would never have seen a ride this good on bikes costing twice as much. Royal Enfield really got the fork and shock tuning right on the Himalayan. Testers were jumping the bike over rail road tracks and on a dirt motocross course. Landing was a highly composed affair for under $5,000.

Off-road handling is fun, no doubt aided greatly by the 21" front wheel and Pirelli tires. Several laps on a muddy motocross track tested the bike’s composure in slippery tight turns and steep hills. The inherently comfortable standing geometry becomes more usable off road, and when combined with the torquey single cylinder it almost makes you feel like you’re riding a traditional thumper dual-sport.

Another off-road friendly feature is the exhaust pipe runs next to the frame and not under it like many “street-turned-ADV” models. The two upper tank guards, which also serve as the headlight and instrument cluster stays, do a great job of protecting the tank in a tip over. One test rider had multiple drops on the motocross track resulting in no damage to the bike. Just dust off and go. Ultimately, the well sorted suspension, wheel sizes and riding geometry are some of the most surprising features on a new bike at this price point, for which there are no other direct new competitors.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan Review 07

• Power/Performance

So, what about the new fuel-injected 411cc motor? Granted, it’s not the most cutting edge or highest output thumper available. That said, the newly fuel-injected motor sports a 9.5:1 compression ratio and will get you up to speed quickly enough to be safe on most North American roads. Many of the complaints are about the first generation’s carburetion and adopting fuel injection has resolved many of those issues.

Power output alone is not what makes a good engine. Properly mating the transmission with available power goes a long way in getting the most from your output. The five-speed transmission does this very well and can sustain a 65 to 70 mph cruising quite comfortably. However, it would certainly be nice to have a sixth gear.

Pradeep Mathew, head designer of the Himalayan, flew in from India to answer technical questions. He stated that in India a sixth gear is not necessary, and that in many parts of the world the roads are not well maintained, and speeds remain relatively low. Nevertheless, in current form I do not think many, especially new riders, would complain. Its "easy-to-live-with" performance will no doubt contribute to its reliability and affordability.

The new counter-balanced motor spins up fast and is arguably smoother than the DRZ400’s mill. It’s so smooth that you can hit your rev limiter in first gear without knowing it. Peak 24.5 hp comes at the 6,500-rpm red line, and 24.6 ft.-lbs. of torque reaches its apex at around 4,200 rpm. You end up playing between 3,000 rpm and red line so there’s never really a shortage of power in most riding conditions.
_______________________________
“Yes, we include the centerstand as a standard feature because people may need to service a bike on the road.”
Pradeep Mathew, Royal Enfield Himalayan Project Lead
_______________________________

Shifting has greatly improved over Royal Enfields of yore. The gears were easy to find and slipped into place nicely. Neutral was occasionally a bit tricky to find on my test bike, but it was no big deal and may have been that I was not yet familiar with the bike’s quirks.

Braking is an uncomplicated affair thanks to the standard braided stainless brake lines. ABS is not yet available in North America but is in other markets. If you’d like to see the Himalayan with other options like ABS option, we encourage you to contact them directly and share your ideas.

RoyalEnfield Himalayan Review 08

• Summary

With any unfamiliar brand there’s invariably going to be social media haters who nitpick. This type of criticism may be contributing to what’s “wrong” with the current North American motorcycle market. Fortunately, neither ADVMoto or Royal Enfield believe most riders are like that.

For years new and experienced riders alike have appreciated simple, fun, friendly and affordable bikes; but their voices often seem to go unheard. The quest for bigger, faster, ultimately more expensive and complicated machines have left many without new bike purchasing options, only driving them to a second-hand market. It’s therefore no mystery as to why new bike sales are down in some markets—a statistic that’s curable by making, selling and promoting what people actually want to buy.

Royal Enfield clearly wants to spread roots in this underserved midsize segment. Royal Enfield North America President, Rod Copes, has 20 years of experience at Harley Davidson and fully understands that the Himalayan doesn’t have to be a bike meant to replace what you already have in the stable, but add to it. Old or young, new or experienced riders can find something to like about the new Himalayan, and at the $4,500 price point, it’s very strong competition to both new and used models.
_______________________________
“With Royal Enfield as a brand, it’s not about the transaction, and it’s not about ‘Buy our motorcycle and we’re done with you.’ We want to keep that customer in our family forever and we’ve adopted that philosophy here in the U.S. We want every single customer to know we appreciate them. We wouldn’t be anything without our customers.”
Bree Poland, Royal Enfield America Senior Marketing Manager
_______________________________

RoyalEnfield Himalayan Review 09

Even better, Royal Enfield is willing to put their money where their mouth is by offering a two-year unlimited mileage warranty on both parts and labor. Some of this confidence has come from their new manufacturing workflow process which, unlike many other brands, assembles and inspects bikes at a central warehouse/distribution center before being shipped to dealers. This process alone has dramatically reduced the amount of quality control complaints in North America.

Royal Enfield’s new Himalayan goes a long way in making adventure accessible, practical, easily affordable and fun for a wider range of riders. For the cost of more expensive bikes, you could get a Himalayan, some kit and upgrades while still have several thousand left over to finance an adventure.

When you add up the highly improved build quality, versatility, unique styling, comfortable geometry, capable suspension, off-road sized wheels and aggressive warranty—all for under $5,000—there’s not much left but to try one out for yourself. It may be the best new bike value on the market. While not a perfect bike, it's much like many adventure riders: already very cpapable with plenty of room to grow!  RoyalEnfield.com/USA


• 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan Specs

Suspension (front): Telescopic 41mm forks, 7.9 in. (200mm) travel
Suspension (rear): Monoshock; 7.1 in. (180mm) travel, preload adjustable
Seat Height: 31.5 in. (29.9 in. w/ low saddle option)
Ground Clearance: 9 in.
Wet Weight: 401 lbs.
Tires (front): 90/90-21
Tires (rear): 120/90-17
Brakes (front): 300mm single disc, 2-piston floating caliper
Brakes (rear): 240mm single disc, single piston floating caliper
Alternator Output: 220 Watts
Engine Type: Single cylinder, air-cooled, 4 stroke, SOHC
Displacement: 411cc
Max. Power Output: 24.5 BHP @ 6500 RPM
Max. Torque: 26 ft-lbs @ 4200 RPM
Fuel System: Fuel injected
Fuel Capacity: 4 gal
Fuel Efficiency: 70 MPG (estimated)
Gearbox: 5 speed
Colors: Snow and Granite
MSRP: $4,499


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VESLq_uP0LI


{gallery}ARTICLES/Bikes/RoyalEnfield/Himalayan2018/Gallery{/gallery}

SRC MOTO, Innovations for Adventure is introducing an add-on heavy duty fuel can and bracket system for the Royal Enfield Himalayan. While the generous 4-gallon tank on the Royal Enfield Himalayan provides a range of about 250 miles, with the SRC Auxiliary Fuel Can kit, you can add up to another 100-mile range!

The SRC Auxiliary Fuel Can bolts on using existing mounting points on the Himalayan upper front cargo racks. Unlike other mounts on the market that only mount at the top and are prone to stress cracking from repeated flexing, the rugged SRC kits include 2 mm thick powder-coated steel brackets featuring lower and upper support points to provide years of safe and secure service.

The kit comes fully assembled and ready to install. There is also a heavy-duty EPDM foam seating surface applied to prevent vibration and improve the functionality of the retention system. Two kits can be installed, one on each side of the bike for 6 liters (1.6 gallons) of extra fuel. The fuel cans are 10" tall, 8" wide and 5" deep. A flexible spout is stored under the main cap.

The full kit includes:

  • 1 Himalayan specific bracket, available for the left or the right side
  • 1- 3L (.8 gal) gas can with integrated spout and quick release mount

PHOTOS BELOW: Mounted fuel kit for the Royal Enfield Himalayan - $88.00 USD/Per side

SRCMoto Aux Fuel Can kit

PHOTOS BELOW: Standalone brackets are also available - $48.00 USD/Per side

SRCMoto Aux Fuel Can Bracket

Scott Hart, President of SRC MOTO added: “The Himalayan has become popular with long-distance and round-the-world riders; we saw the opportunity to add additional fuel storage to help further extend the range. We also heard the same need from other Himalayan riders and decided to develop our own kit to help with this.”

These parts and many others are now available online at www.srcmoto.com and a formal Dealer Program is available for dealers located throughout the US, Canada, and Latin America.

About SRC MOTO

SRC MOTO, Innovations for Adventure, is focused on bringing you the best possible parts for the adventure motorcycles that you love. SRC MOTO is a new brand recently launched by MOTO STUFF, focusing specifically on accessories for adventure & dual-sport motorcycles. As the exclusive Americas retailer and distributor of SRC Sriracha DesignsSRC MOTO provides innovative, lightweight and high-value aftermarket products for adventure motorcycles such as the Royal Enfield HimalayanHonda CRF 250L & RallyBMW G 310 GS & RSuzuki V-StromTriumph Tiger, etc.

www.srcmoto.com

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