Quick Spin: 2020 Royal Enfield Himalayan



The Himalayan precedes the Interceptor and Continental models by a few years (in original Indian spec, a year earlier for the UK spec, Euro4 model).  What it is, is a clever positioning; an adventure bike not 10 foot tall or weighing tonnes.  Smaller, lighter, lower, it fits with Enfield’s target of the “middle market” between small-capacity and top-end machinery. Tested by Bob Pickett.

Give me some spec

Article continues below…

Enjoy everything More Bikes by reading the monthly newspaper, Read FREE Online.

A 410cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine putting out 24bhp with 23.6ft-lbs torque resides in a half-duplex split-cradle frame.  Seat height is 800mm, the Himalayan weighs in at a svelte 185kg.  Stopping power comes from a single 300mm, 2-piston caliper front disc with a 240mm single piston floating caliper rear.

Any updates from last year?

The original (not for the UK) model was carbureted. UK spec features fuel injection, Euro4 compliant catalytic converter and ABS.

Article continues below…

So what is it like to ride?

The Himalayan has done well in test rides on home soil.  But how about UK roads in October?

Article continues below…

There is a choke (younger readers ask your grandparents), but I didn’t need it on a crisp, Autumn morning.  Starting first press of the button, it rumbled away agreeably (very top of the rev range it sounds rattly… so don’t go there!).  The Himalayan looks ready for adventure thanks to the 21 inch front and 17 inch rear.  It’s shorter than it looks; 800mm seat height aided by being so narrow, I could get both heels on the floor.  On the bike you’re sat upright, pegs centrally placed to allow for up on the heels when off-roading.

On the road the Himalayan’s 410cc single heads to 30mph quickly and it’ll pick up to 40 in 2nd easily. In town it’s a gem: Easy to balance, you’ll find yourself doing Doogie Lampkin impersonations at the lights.  On major A roads, I wondered how a mere 24.5 horses would cope. Running through the gears, the Enfield build speed well enough – you’ll want to plan overtakes, but they’re possible.  Buoyed by this, I moved to the motorway, where the Himalayan sat at 70mph. Even in this environment I was comfortable pulling out and past slower traffic.

B roads are where the Himalayan is most fun.  Those wide bars, huge opposite lock and semi-knobbly tyres that grip more than you’d imagine allow you to lean the little Enfield with confidence.  I didn’t take it off-road but deliberately aiming for lumps, bumps and crests, the Himalayan’s generous travel soaked up everything thrown at it.

Article continues below…

The front brake needs a firm squeeze to do… anything. There’s a lot of additional stopping power from the rear.  Remember it was built to be ridden on Indian dirt-tracks, where powerful front stoppers could lose the front.

It was all-morning comfortable, aided by it’s frugal nature you could spend a lot of time in the saddle.  As I’m being practical, I loved the clocks: A mix of digital and analogue, everything you need is on display.  And the mirrors gave OK feedback.

The Himalayan is much more fun than a 24.5hp bike should be.

Royal Enfield Himalayan

How much does it cost?

The base machine retails at £4,199 inc. VAT.

Want to try one?

To test this bike, contact:

East London Kawasaki/Bacons Motorcycles

737-741 Eastern Avenue, Ilford, Essex IG2 7RT, Tel: 020 8252 6020





Enjoy everything More Bikes by reading the MoreBikes monthly newspaper. Click here to subscribe, or Read FREE Online.

Sign-up to the More Bikes Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address below and get regular updates straight to your inbox…

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Newsletter Signup

Enter your e-mail address below and you will receive biking news straight into your inbox…

You can unsubscribe at any time.