Royal Enfield Himalayan FI Review
- Published On: 13 November 2017
- 4 min read
Royal Enfield has updated its adventure motorcycle to improve its overall reliability.
It's been a rough ride for the Royal Enfield Himalayan. The adventure motorcycle was highly acclaimed post the initial test ride occasion in Shimla - it performed in the nature it was intended for and named after. After this, things went somewhat downhill, with various quality issues crawling up over longer use. After which, Royal Enfield stopped selling the bike, and started work on the BS4-spec motorcycle. The company used this opportunity to roll out various improvements and upgrades to fix some issues. Here is how this updated Himalayan performs.
The Himalayan looks unchanged at first glance; it continues to offer simple, rugged styling which gives it an air of toughness. The uncovered metal tubing that make up the back rack, foot peg holders and front crash bar represent a major piece of the outline, however the messy welds are unappealing. In any case, there is an upgrade here as well, the oil cooler now gets a little metal guard. To its credit, the motorcycle felt well put together after an entire day of harsh streets, potholes and some rough terrain fun.
The fuel cap, bar-end weights and luggage mounts are now powder coated in matte-black - the silver finish on the older motorcycle showed signs of wear easily. The motorcycle now comes equipped with Automatic headlamp on (AHO) to meet new regulations. The instrument cluster on the Himalayan takes time to get used to, but provides a significant amount of data.
The biggest change on this motorcycle is the lack of a carburettor and the addition of fuel injection. This has been done to help the motorcycle meet the emission norms of BS4. Interestingly, this change has affected the performance positively, the bike is now more responsive and easier to modulate. Power delivery is smooth, and its arrival is in a linear manner. Moreover, the motor feels smoother while continuing to offer good torque. You can easily sustain highway speeds of 90-100kph, and the company has smoothened the bike’s transmission as well.
The Himalayan is still lacking in the power department and we feel it deserves more power. However, the low-speed capability of the motorcycle cannot be faulted. City riding is easy thanks to the good power at low revs and the wide handlebar, the low seat height of 800mm also helps considerably. The wider pipe of the oil-cooler also increases flow and aids cooling. Royal Enfield need to work on the brakes because they continue to feel wooden and require lot of input, ABS would have been a good addition.
The Himalayan was already heavy at 191kg, but has now gained nine more kilos. Nonetheless, it feels well-balanced and continues to be the best off-roader at that price point. The Himalayan is more suited towards relaxed enduro riding and it doesn’t like being taken to its limits. If jumped too high the centre stand hit the ground. At higher revs, the engine also makes a displeasing noise, almost like it is being stressed.
Should I Buy One?
That said, there is no denying that the new FI version is an improvement over the older bike. However, the question of long term reliability cannot be answered yet. In the few days we spent with the bike, we can tell that it rode well. The manufacturer says that it has addressed customer complaints with the previous model and is now seeing increasing demand. Hopefully, these updates will go a long way towards ensuring the motorcycle remains trouble-free over the long term. For now, it’s strong personality and good range of abilities make it surprisingly desirable.