Hyderabad: One of the most affordable adventure bikes in the country, the Himalayan is already quite a sweetheart amongst riders and enthusiasts. Owing to its success across the world, Royal Enfield has gone one step ahead with the motorcycle and launched the 2021 Himalayan, its first launch for the year.
The 2021 Himalayan comes a year after the BS VI variant with some cosmetic and comfort changes while the engine and the chassis remain unchanged.
At first glance we could not notice a great deal of change except the new colour scheme, rack, wind screen and a new tripper.
However, once we got riding on the Himalayan, we realised it was much more comfortable than the earlier BS VI variant, thanks to a well worked suspension set up and the all new seat with an extra layer of padding.
For a motorcycle that promises to take you anywhere, the seat that it came with earlier was rather uncomfortable. The saddle is now wider and softer and more comfortable even during long rides and on broken (or no) tarmac. The suspension set up is commendable with the right amount of sponginess for a comfortable off-road experience.
For the comfort of taller riders, the front rack on the fuel tank has been re-shaped and pushed a little forward ensuring more room for knees. The rear rack luggage rack is now on the seat-level and makes it easier for a pillion to hop on.
What looks different:
The Himalayan now comes in three new colour schemes – Granite Black (mix of matte and gloss), Mirage Silver, Pine Green – in addition to the existing colours. The windscreen which comes with a smoky tint is a bit wider and curvier for accommodating the tripper. It is slightly taller than the earlier one and does its job quite alright.
The newest addition to the console packed with features like compass is the Google-integrated tripper which was first seen on the Meteor 350. The LED tripper is a Bluetooth device, which needs to be paired with the RE mobile app for turn-by-turn navigation. The console is well placed, easily visible even under the harshest of sun and the graphics it shows are quite peppy too, but the RE mobile app which it is connected to is too slow. The tripper, when not in use turns into a digital clock.
Ride quality and handling:
The slight changes to the ergonomics have improved the ride quality of the Himalayan. The BS VI 411 cc engine with two-valve air-cooled motor, remains to be smooth and refined. The gearshift is smooth, and the dual channel ABS is on point. The large tyres with spoked-wheels offer good grip on and off roads. Two things that we are not mighty impressed with are the heavy clutch and lack of zippiness.
While it is understandable for an ADV motorcycle to come with a heavy clutch, it is a bit too heavy considering the fact that most urban folk would do a lot of travel in the city traffic. The BS VI variants of all engines seem little less powerful, the Himalayan’s fate is no different. However, the bike could have been zippier to help with those overtakes on the highway.
Overall, the Himalayan with its great road presence is a head-turner and is one of the best in the segment given its price tag. Bottom line is that it is not only a great buy, but now a more stylish one too.
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