Royal Enfield Himalayan vs Classic 500 Comparison Review

Royal Enfield Himalayan vs Classic 500 Comparison Review

Pricing & Features:
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 is priced at 1.86 lakhs on road Delhi, the Himalayan's pricing is not far, which is priced at 1.74 lakhs on road Delhi. The Classic 500 get a fuel injection system compared to the carbureted engine of the Himalayan. Fuel injection might prove better at higher altitudes as the Himalayan faces power issues at heights. On the console the Classic 500 gets a analog speedo with basic tell-tale indications and a low fuel indication with engine check lamp. The Himalayan on the other hand gets a 21 inch front wheel, digital compass, hazard indicators, long travel front and rear suspensions and luggage mounting racks at front as well as rear.

Fuel Efficiency:

Talking about fuel efficiency can be but touchy as truth is always bitter. The Royal Enfield Classic 500 manages to go around 27-32 kmpl in different driving conditions, but the RE Himalayan get even worst, which drops to 20-25 kmpl even in city driving conditions, lot of Himalayan customers have already started complaining about the same. Even with just 25 horses and bigger wheels Himalayan is unable to pull a good number on the fuel economy part.

Fuel Cost: (for running of 40,000 km)
Classic 500 – 97,000 Rs.
Himalayan – 1.22 lakhs Rs.

Reliability & After Sales Service: 

Royal Enfield bikes are so notorious for their troublesome ownership experience, that it has become one of the defining characteristics of the brand. It is so absurd in fact, that anecdotes of their walk-home-failures and unsolvable issues, tend to rack up far more mileage at the local pubs, than the bikes themselves. Premium pricing has given them some breathing room, to sort out a lot of their inherent issues, over the past decade. However, even today, Royal Enfield remains the manufacturer of the most unreliable two-wheelers in the country, bar none, and that too by a huge margin.

Resale & Cost of Ownership:

Five to seven year old Classic 500, retail for around 1.0 lakhs Rs. today. The current Himalayans still have a few teething troubles, which doesn't bode well for their residual value. Expect the 2016 Himalayans to retail for around 70,000 Rs. in the year 2022.

Resale Price: (after 5 to 7 years of usage)

Classic 500 – 1.0 lakhs Rs.
Himalayan – 70,000 Rs.

Total Cost of Ownership: (Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)

Classic 500 – 1.83 lakhs Rs.
Himalayan – 2.26 lakhs Rs.

Performance & Tractability:
The Classic 500 has a enormous torque of about 41Nm which is almost equal to the old Maruti Suzuki 800. Moving ahead is a effortless to say due to the humongous torque. The power to weight ratio of the RE Classic 500 is massive as it only weighs 8 kgs higher than the Himalayan. The Classic 500 manages to do 0 - 100 kmph under 10 seconds which is incredible for a Royal Enfield motorcycle. Once your are at cruising speeds minimum gear shift are required to pull ahead a vehicle, on the other hand the Himalayan has taller gear to manage itself at off-road terrains. Both motorcycle have fairly similar power on paper but the Classic 500 pull-of like a wild bull than the Himalayan, as the Classic 500 is able to generate 25 percent more torque at similar engine revs.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Classic 500 – 143, Himalayan – 135 (Δ5%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Classic 500 – 217, Himalayan – 176 (Δ23%)

Power (PS@rpm): Classic 500 – 27.2 @ 5250, Himalayan – 24.5 @ 6500

Torque (Nm@rpm): Classic 500 – 41.3 @ 4000, Himalayan  – 32 @ 4000-4500
Kerb Weight (kg): Classic 500 – 190, Himalayan  – 182

Displacement: Classic 500 - 499 cc, Himalayan - 411 cc

Handling & Ride Quality:

Tyre Size:

Front: Classic 500 – 90/90-19, Himalayan – 90/90-21
Rear: Classic 500 – 120/80-18, Himalayan –120/90-17

Wheelbase (mm): Classic 500 – 1360, Himalayan – 1465

Ground Clearance (mm): Classic 500 - 135, Himalayan - 220

Comfort & Ergonomics:

Seat Height (mm): Classic 500 - 800, Himalayan - 800


Technically, the Himalayan is a far superior motorcycle than the Classic 500. It has incredibly better performance, distinctly superior ride-handling and inherently more capable off-road behavior than the 500. It is also relatively more practical bike than the Classic 500, thanks to a more ergonomic riding position and plenty of anchoring points for mounting luggage. But what really distinguishes it from the Classic, or for that matter any other Royal Enfield is that it feels half a century more advanced than the others. Right from the way it cranks, the way it responds to throttle inputs, the way it revs, the way it absorbs the bumps, the way it tackles the turns, the way it cruises, right down to the way it stops . Every living second spent astride the Himalayan is way more rewarding than that spent astride the Classic 500. And that is why the Royal Enfield Himalayan is the clear winner of this test.