RE Himalayan Owners Long Term Ownership Review

Royal Enfield Himalayan Long Term Ownership Review:

The Royal Enfield Himalayan was launched in March of 2016, this is not the first motorcycle of such kind in the Indian motorcycle history, though for the Royal Enfield. The RE Himalayan is powered by a bigger power plant compared to the early motorcycles manufactured in India like the Endura SX and Hero Impulse. But does the Himalayan really live up to the name? What would be the cost to own the Himalayan in short as well as long run? Is it really worth buying and taking you anywhere? etc. Read on to know the answers...

The RE Himalayan is powered by a 411cc engine which develops 24.5 bhp @ 6500 rpm and manages to generate a massive torque of 27 nm @ 4000 rpm. The engine has be fitted with an oil cooler to increase the heat deception, which looks weird due to its vertical orientation on one side of the motorcycle. The bike also feature a semi double cradle frame which is something new for Royal Enfield's. The engine lower side also get a sheet metal shield as a protector which might become useful in case of jumping over a kerb.

Also read:
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BMW G310R vs Duke 390 Comparison

 The bike comes with some new features like digital compass, hazards lamps, 21 inch front wheels, luggage racks, extra fuel can mounting brackets in front, adjustable windscreen etc.

The question still remains that whether the RE Himalayan lives up to the expectations of the customers, hence we caught hold of customers who had been through the toughest terrains in the world namely the Leh and the Spiti valley. Driving their bikes rigorously through these terrains with lots of luggage.

Performance and tractability at altitude:

When being below 10k feet above sea level the RE Himalayan's power-train behaves normal and feels at home. But when the Himalayan climbs above 10k feet, sometimes the bike's engine felt like loosing power, which is quite annoying. It is possible to move ahead in the mid range rpm's (2500) by controlling the wrist, but due to the self weight and added luggage, throttle cannot be kept gentle. Here is where a fuel injection or a foam filter might had been at help, though getting a fuel injection is less reliable as a small failure can ruin your hole journey making you stranded in middle of nowhere. Talking about the engine performance, the power-train is still not refined to the expectations, when accelerating hard engine feels struggling even on normal roads. Once passing 60 kmph, cursing can be done effortlessly. The gear-box on the other hand has some shifting issues, for example shifting in 1st gear and also from 1st to 2nd gear sometimes becomes difficult. Even the cluster gear indication malfunctions most of the time which keeps on showing wrong gear at times.

Fuel efficiency:
Mileage on the other side is very poor on the Himalayan which is around 22-25 kmpl in worst driving conditions, in best conditions it can only go up-to 30-32 kmpl, which is very less for a 24.5 bhp motorcycle if compared against the Ktm Duke 200's. 

Handling & Ride Quality:

The RE Himalayan is meant for rough terrains and was built for the sole purpose. Yes, this is an area where the Himalayan is at its peak, handling through rough terrains is like a walk in the park for the transroader. The Himalayan feels at home going in any sort of bumps, gravels, pebbles, small to mid size pot holes and river crossings. This is possible due to its 200 mm front and rear suspension travel which has been tuned very well by the British guys from Harris performance. Both the front and rear suspension has a very good bump absorption capabilities and also offers good rigidity at corners as the front for is 41 mm in diameter ( 2 mm lesser than the Duke). Even the front fork's triple clamps are quite widely placed which helps in the torsional rigidity of the front suspension on corners. At rear the Himalayan suspension uses a multi-link mechanism instead of a direct mounted spring, which helps in reducing the shocks from the road and lowers the CG as well, when loaded. The Himalayan can actually glide on the rough patches with unimaginable speeds.

Comfort & Ergonomics:

Again the seat for the rider on the RE Himalayan is awesomely designed, the seat cushion is completely different from any other motorcycle available in India, it has a memory foam like effect which takes you in it when seated. Handle bars are quite upright and the foot pegs are correctly placed for long journeys. Riding in standing conditions is a pleasure on the Himalayan, handle bars do not go out of reach even while standing. The foot pegs are provided with removable rubber for better grips in muddy and slurry conditions.

Niggling issue list:
Many of the early bought Himalayan's do face issue of rapid tire wear within 5-10 k km, the tire rubber actually gets chipped off on braking events due to hard compound tires, reminds me of my bicycle. Many times in high altitude conditions, battery charging becomes an irritant and motorcycle is unable to crack and the RE Himalayan does not get a kick starter as an option. Fuel efficiency is low and again fuel tank capacity is just 15 liters only which doesn't suit the long journey character of the motorcycle. The bike's front headlight module rattles while accelerating and creates buzz noise even in new motorcycles. Fuel gauge does not show accurate readings not even near!!!
                        The chain sprocket kit has got a maximum life of 15-18 k km in normal riding conditions. Even the Sari guard and the chain covers falls off due to excessive vibrations from the motorcycles power-train which the Royal Enfield has not addressed yet. We do not expect much from the Royal Enfield as they always showcase similar problems with all of their motorcycles, but we wish the customers would understand and take conscious decisions while buying such motorcycles.

Useful tips: Always use a chain cleaner and lubricating agent with a brush, refer below link for the products
Chain Lubricant
Chain Cleaner
Cleaning Brush