2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review: Old Wine in New Bottle

The most relevant update on the bike is the new navigation assist dial, we have seen this earlier on the meteor.

New Delhi: In 2020 Himalayan’s BS6 version was introduced and earlier this year, 2021, Himalayan was updated. Was it though? 

Let’s have a look at it, there have been few cosmetic changes in the bike.  

Like the windshield is taller, wider and now tinted. More suitable for taller riders now. The metal frame has been cut short, because earlier it would restrict the knee moment of taller riders.

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So, it’s nice that RE is listening to the taller riders 🙂 moving onto the seat, it gets the new high-density foam, better cushioned, stiffer, means more comfort on the long rides. There’s a new carrier mount which can hold up to 7 kgs now, earlier it was 5. There’s a metal plate and bolts which makes you’re touring more convenient and luggage safer. 

The most relevant update on the bike is the new navigation assist dial, we have seen this earlier on the meteor. You can connect your phone via Bluetooth, and you are ready for turn-by-turn navigation.

Although it’s not as accurate as your google maps on the phone and you have to restart every time you start the bike. Kind of basically still defeats the purpose of flawless, faster and accurate touring. 

Royal Enfield is the most customisable bike across the country, even the company offers make your own ride. You have a number of accessories to facelift your own bike according to your needs, the cosmetic changes made in this bike could easily have been customised by an individual by company provided accessories. My point is, then why charges all its customers 10,000/- extra for just this.  

The mechanical specifications continue to use a 411cc, single-cylinder engine that makes 24.3bhp of power at 6,500rpm and 32Nm of peak torque at 4,500rpm. The motor is linked to a five-speed gearbox.

Now this is where I was expecting an upgrade, more power, more torque. Stronger low-end torque. Which has been missing since its predecessor. 

The bike is great to ride between 80-100’s , Middle range of rev band is strongest , easy for long smooth rides. You can comfortably cruise miles and miles. After all this is an adventure tourer. But over 110 and @6000rpm you will feel the vibrations. And if you need to apply sudden brakes, which we obviously need on our special Indian roads and traffic, you will have to grab the brakes really hard, and it will take few seconds to stop. 

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The safety is taken care by 300mm disc up front and a 220mm disc at the rear with dual-channel ABS as standard. Which is not sufficient. We could have had traction control and tubeless tyres, its essential specially when the bike is capable of so much more and you intended to take the Himalayan on long tours and different corners of the Country. 

The Himalayan retains the 21-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear wheel shod with dual-sport rubber. 

Suspension duties are taken care of by 41mm telescopic forks up front and a Mono shock at the rear. Which is decent for all city rides, touring and off the road. The ground clearance is 220mm, very good, Middle range of rev band is strongest 

Now because its best suited for off-roading and is an adventure motorcycle, I would expect it to be lighter, but it’s not , it is big and heavy, weighs 199kgs! 

It is available in Mirage Silver, Granite Black, Pine Green, Rock Red, Lake Blue and Gravel Grey

Verdict: If I ignore the upgrades in the bike and consider its price of 2.01 lakh ex-showroom, the bike does make a strong statement for itself.

It’s an easy cruiser which will enable you to travel across the country on all kinds of roads, even no roads are handled by Himalayan fairly well. So, you can have a lot of fun and adventure on this bike, just be skillful and careful with the brakes.