Small changes make a big difference

 Small changes make a big difference

The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan now comes with many practical and comfort-based upgrades, but does this justify the price hike? We find out

It’s been five years since the Himalayan made its debut, but in that time Royal Enfield has been improving this adventure bike by first upgrading the fuel supply from carburetor to fuel injection, then launching the BS6 version and now the 2021 avatar, which boasts of some new and helpful updates like a navigation system, new colour options and many more. The updated Himalayan’s priced from ₹2.01 lakh, ex-showroom, onwards, making it around ₹10,000 more expensive than the outgoing model. Even with the price hike, it’s still one of the most affordable adventure bikes available in the country. Let’s find out what are tweaks the Himalayan has received and how functional are they.



Royal Enfield has taken the tried and tested philosophy, ‘If it’s not broke don’t fix it’, and we totally agree with them. The 2021 Himalayan, in terms of styling, is identical to the outgoing model. Mechanically also it receives no changes. So, it retains the same suspension set up, brakes and chassis as the BS6 version. The iconic motorcycle manufacturer has spruced the Himalayan up by introducing three new colour options: Granite Black, the eye-catching Pine Green and the Mirage Silver, which is the one we have here with us and it comes standard with a contrasting brown saddle. Sadly, Royal Enfield has discontinued Snow and Sleet Grey colours.\
Based on the feedback received, Royal Enfield has tweaked the front rack frame on the fuel tank. By pushing the frame further up, thereby, there’s more knee room available for taller riders over six feet in height.

Navigation system
No doubt, one of the biggest updates the Himalayan gets is the navigation system or as the company calls it, the Tripper display. It made its debut with the Meteor 350, which we’ve used extensively and found it quite helpful. One can sync their smartphone via the Royal Enfield app available at both Apple’s App Store and Google Play store. This Google Maps based turn-by-turn navigation system it is accurate and offers a seamless experience. The Tripper doesn’t read out phone or message alerts, which is a good thing as you are focused on the road.



The only hitch we found about the Tripper is that when you switch off the bike for whatever reason or at a traffic light, it sometimes doesn’t automatically pair back to your phone. It’s a slight inconvenience, but that’s not really a deal-breaker.
To accommodate the new additional pod in the instrument cluster, the windscreen is now wider from the bottom and taller as many Himalayan owners had complained the earlier model didn’t negate wind buffeting effectively. The new windscreen is only tinted.

New seat
The previous Himalayan certainly had a comfortable seat, but it was a tad bit soft making it unsupportive on long rides. Again, based on the feedback received from current Himalayan owners, Royal Enfield has added more padding to the saddle and have made it firmer. In terms of the seat height, it continues to be 800mm which makes it accessible for many. I’m a shade taller than 5 feet 9 inches in height and I can comfortably put my feet flat on the ground.  The riding stance is comfortable as you don’t feel cramped. The footpegs are placed in a slight angular position, but nothing really to complain about. The seating position is commanding as well.  As an accessory, one can also opt for Touring Seats at an additional cost of ₹3,000.

Additional upgrades
Coming to the rear carrier, it is now more aligned to the seat and has been reinforced with an additional metal plate to haul heavy luggage. It’s inscribed on the rear carrier that it can carry up to 7 kg luggage, that’s 2 kg more than the previous Himalayan.

The 411cc engine remains the same mechanically and continues to churn 24.3bhp of power and 32Nm of torque. Ever since the Royal Enfield has introduced the fuel injection system in the Himalayan, it’s been a very smooth bike. It happily cruises anywhere between 80-100kmph and effortlessly goes past the three-figure mark. We tip our hat to Royal Enfield for ensuring that the Himalayan’s vibrations are down to a minimal, making the riding experience quite enjoyable and comfortable both in the city and on the highway.
You open the throttle and the initial response is measured and it builds momentum in a linear fashion. The power doesn’t come rushing in a hurry as the low-end torque lacks the punch and feels flat. As the Himalayan is more at home when it’s out on open roads and covering long distances, it is happiest at the mid-range power band where the motor’s optimal power can be experienced. The Himalayan cruises comfortably at speeds over the three-figure mark, but the power tends to taper off after crossing 120kmph.

Ride and handling
The Himalayan is a practical bike that can be used for your daily commute. Thanks to the soft suspension set up along with the long travel, it easily cushions undulations and speed breakers in the city and at the same time feels at home on dirt tracks and overcomes ditches and potholes without a sweat. There are a couple of minor issues that Royal Enfield can iron out like the heavy clutch and hand brake lever, which can become quite a task. Also, the brakes lack the bite and feel spongy.
The Himalayan is a heavy motorcycle and weighs around 199 kg and if and when you drop it, you can feel its weighty issues. But the beauty about this bike is that while on the go, it feels agile and light. You can easily navigate through traffic or extreme off-roading conditions.



At ₹2.01 lakh, is the extra ₹10,000 justified? Maybe not, but you won’t find a more capable ADV bike at that range that is easy to manoeuvre and doesn’t overwhelm you with additional electronic nannies. The Himalayan keeps it simple and allows you to switch off the dual-channel ABS, though it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the Himalayan got traction control. Another thing we would like to see is tubeless tyres as it makes life a lot easier and spares you with a lot of frustration, especially when you are on a long-distance ride. We would stick our neck out and say that it is a Jack of All Trades and a commuter-friendly adventure motorcycle that is very forgiving on your wallet.

Engine: 411cc + 24.3bhp + 32Nm of torque
Transmission: 5-speed
Ground clearance: 220mm
Seat height: 800mm
Tyres & brakes:
➡ Front: 90/90 – 21 inches / 300mm disc
➡ Rear: 120/90 – 17 inches / 240mm disc
➡ Dual-channel ABS


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