Royal Enfield Himalayan 450: Long Term Update – 3,059km

Benjamin Gracias
An adventure tourer for every occasion

I admit I have never been a fan of the first-generation Royal Enfield Himalayan despite it being a fine motorcycle. It had the right ingredients to be a fantastic adventure tourer – the highly practical industrial design (which I liked), the fantastic suspension and the grunty long-stroke motor. My reason is a personal one though. The engine, with all its goodness, felt crude and unrefined. Again my personal opinion.

The Himalayan 450 then is a different kettle of fish. It does not just get a more powerful motor, it is lighter than its predecessor despite being larger in every aspect. And I love it! Everything about the new Himalayan 450 ticks the fitness of purpose check box. The design, for example, is now more organic and makes the Himalayan 450 quite the looker. The design is an evolution of the Himalayan 411 so you still get the tubular exoskeleton you can hang stuff from. Then there are the dimensions which make it look like a large-capacity motorcycle but is quite accommodating when you get around the business of riding it. The seat doesn’t feel too tall either and if it does, you can easily reduce the seat height by a notch.

The all-new Sherpa 450 motor is lovable. It does not set records in refinement or performance but is brimming with character. The new liquid-cooled motor delivers 40PS and 40Nm, a significant jump over the Himalayan 411. The motor offers excellent mid-range performance which makes the Himalayan 450 feel at home be it slicing through city traffic or navigating the steep rocky trail. More importantly, it allows you to cruise at triple-digit speeds all day long.
The chassis complements the motor well, be it high-speed cruising or attacking technical trails. The long-travel Showa suspension coupled with a 21-inch front/17-inch rear wheels make the new Himalayan feel unstoppable. What’s even more impressive is the motorcycle’s agility despite the forgiving suspension and larger front tyre. The Himalayan feels like the perfect ‘one motorcycle to do it all’.

The Himalayan 450 already has me dreaming of the upgrades I’d do to mine. First off would be weight reduction. The Himalayan is already lighter than its predecessor but can lose a lot more by taking off a couple of guards. The plus point, it would look more like a scrambler (the upcoming Scrambler 450 is already sounding delicious). Then of course would be go-faster bits to liberate a bit more horsepower. A significant upgrade would be switching to spoked tubeless rims, I feel that the current tubed setup restricts the Himalayan’s go-anywhere ability. While the Ceats are impressive, I would switch to more aggressive profile tyres.

Royal Enfield has some interesting rally official accessories for the Himalayan – like a rally mudguard, one piece-seat and tapered handlebar. Maybe I’d raid the online shop. The new Himalayan 450 is so good, it makes you daydream.

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