2024 RE Himalayan vs Honda NX500 Which One Is Best According To Performance

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RE Himalayan vs Honda NX500

When Honda came out with the NX 500 earlier this year, it priced the motorcycle at 5.9 Lakh Rupee’s X showroom, which is expensive, but still not a real shocker for those who know because this motorcycle, it costs a little over 20,000 more than the CB 500X, the model it replaces out here. But of course, it does with some additional features and a different esthetic.

Now, like the earlier CB 500X, this NX 500 is meant to be your daily commuter motorcycle that’s built for the city.

And of course, it’s also meant to tackle long highway jaunts with ease. But since we live out here in India and it is this motorcycle is costly, we want to see how this motorcycle fares against some thoroughbred Indian built competition. Queue the Royal Enfield Himalayan.

Now, this motorcycle, the Royal Enfield, well, it is lacking a certain amount of capacity, power, and it obviously is down on one combustion chamber as well.

But most importantly, it does cost pretty much half the price that you would pay for the Honda. Now, we’re out here to find out which motorcycle suits you best and which one does what better.

Design: Honda NX500

I’m starting off with the designs and esthetics of both these motorcycles. The NX 500 has a lot in common with the older CB 500X. It essentially is the same bike with a facelift and some new tech thrown in.

But on the looks front here, I’m not too sure if I like this one better because it’s slightly boxy up front.

Now, this one looks like a proper Mile Muncher as well, but the older bike had a sharper, better flowing design esthetic. Well, that’s according to me anyway.

Now, the NX5 wanted it as a very road-biased machine, and you can tell just by the way it looks because that half-faring up front, it’s meant to deflect wind away from you while you’re riding out on the highway, which is great.

Then again, another tell-tale sign are the wheels. Now, there are alloy wheels at both ends of this motorcycle.

That’s a 19-inch up front and a 17-inch at the rear and of course, the major street-biased tell-tail sign is the 180mm of ground clearance.

That is great for when you’re hitting the road, hitting the streets. But then again, not so much so when you tackling off-road trails and of course, if you do hit some of the rough stuff, you are going to damage some of the underside of that motorcycle because there is no protection at all.

Design: RE Himalayan 450

Now, the Himalayan, on the other hand, looks nothing like the bike it replaces from the Enfield stable.

It’s a lot more athletic-looking, not as boxy as the older bike, and it appears ready to take on all sorts of terrain and elements.

Now, coming to the Enfield, well, the Himalayan has minimalistic bodywork, and of course, it is ready for off-road just by the looks of it.

You can tell that the more capable machine because of the way the wheels are set up, that’s a big 21-inch wheel up front, spoked, of course, and you have a nice, chunky 17-inch spoked wheel at the rear as well.

Most importantly, you have a good 230mm of ground clearance to play with great for tackling trails off-road.

So there’s no one denying that the RE looks more of a Butch off-road ready bike while the Honda comes across as a soft roader of sorts.

But then again, looks as subjective, and both these vehicles have undeniable road presence of their own.

Features & Specs

Now, a cool feature about the NX 500 has to be its five-inch DFT screen. Now, this unit has been lifted straight off the Honda XL 750 Transalp.

So you have a pretty simple but nice vibrant layout which gives you all the information you really want.

And of course, you do have the option of Bluetooth connectivity, turn-by-turn navigation, and also traction controls, something the Himalayan doesn’t come with.

So the Himalayan also has a very nice and unique screen because Yes, it is round, nice and vibrant, and of course, comes with the Bluetooth connectivity and all of that jazz.

But the main USP of this particular display is you can cast your map onto the screen, which makes it very convenient when you’re on the go and you have to reach your destination which you’re very unfamiliar with.

So this motorcycle doesn’t get traction control, but ABS is switchable off at the rear.

The Himalayan screen also reads out a distance to empty reading, which is great to have on long distance rides, while the Honda, well, that simply reads out the running rate of fuel consumption.

The RE also gets the tank crash guards as standard, and these need and unique tail lights that are integrated into the turn signals.

While the crash guards the knuckle guards, tinted-bend screen, the tail rack, all that you see in the Honda here are cost extra.

Something that I really like about the Honda was the way the buttons clicked and snapped every time I use them, and the joystick is backlit, which looks really neat at night.

The Himalayan, on the other hand, the Joystick felt quite soggy and flimsy to employ in comparison.

To reiterate, the Honda is a CBU unit, and you can’t shy away from the build quality that feels a step higher than that of the Enfineld.

Engine & Performance

Now moving on to the engine.

Now, the 471 cc Liquid Cool Parallel Twin of the Honda, it makes a good 47 PS of max power and 43 Nm of max torque, which is great for city and highway riding.

Low down the power band in the city, you’ll find it very tractable. Low down the gears well, it picks up nice under 2000 RPM and mid-range and top-end performance all the way up to 8500 RPM.

Well, that’s a whole lot of fun. And you won’t really find it to be lacking any short of power. It’s one of the most fun engines you can really come across at this time.

But then again, now coming to the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Now, this 452 cc liquid cool single cylinder, well, it is lacking a certain amount of power, and it is a single cylinder at the end of the day.

So it isn’t as refined as something like the Honda. And of course, it makes around 40 PS of max power, 40 Nm of max torque, and torque arrives around 1,000 RPM sooner than it does on the Honda.

But then again, this motorcycle, lower down the power band under 2,000 RPM, it doesn’t feel very lively.

It feels like it’s going to stall. And around 3,000 RPM, that’s when it feels like, okay, we’ve got to get going. But the fun really starts from 4,000 to 7,000 RPM. And that’s where you want to be on this motorcycle.

Now, both these bikes have square bordering on short-stroke engines, so mid-range performance is supposed to be where it’s at with this pair.

There’s a lively response every time you twist the throttle on the Honda, making getting ahead of city traffic a real breeze.

But with the Royal Enfield, you’ll have to be in the sweet spot and be forced into additional gear changes to really feel the rush of excitement or carry out a brisk overtake.

With the NX 500, power feels a lot more natural and instantaneous, lower down the power band, and the twin disk setup at the front really allows to stop predictably well. Moving over to the Himalayan.

Now, the single disk at either end of this motorcycle provide just about adequate stopping power given this bike’s performance stat.

And as far as the engine is concerned, now you have to remember that this is Royal Enfield’s first liquid-cooled motor out here.

And there is one particular issue that you will come across with this bike, and that has to do with the engine heating up quite quickly in the city, especially when you’re stuck in traffic.

The Himalayan is definitely a lot happier and comfortable clocking down kilometers out in the highway.

So if you’re mostly going to be ruffing it out in the city amongst traffic, the NX 500 won’t have you wagging your index finger, heated in disbelief as the Himalayan would have you.

Heat management works just fine with the Honda, and it’s all there to be seen that the company I’ve had years of experience with the liquid cool parallel twins, and the finesse really shines through with the NX 500.

Now, the suspension is set up quite soft on the NX 500, and you don’t have a lot of ground clearance to play with, just 180mm. So it’s meant for the street.

It’s meant for speed and to tackle the road.

Ride & Handling: Honda NX500

Now, that also goes to show when you’re actually out in the road and it comes to ride and handling, because the motorcycle’s center of gravity is a lot lower to the ground than it does on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, and it makes it a lot more agile, a lot more flickable than the Royal Enfield.

The NX 500 takes over from the older CB 500X very well. The suspension setup is soft but very absorbent over bumps and ions out undulations very well.

Provided It’s decided that you are taking it easy and traveling at a steady pace.

But the faster you go, the more unsettling bumps can tend to get, and you’ll have to ease up the gas and be a little more alert while taking on the bumps at higher speed.

Ride & Handling: RE Himalayan 450

The previous Himalayan 411 was one of the most comfortable bikes to be astried in its class. And in that regard, this latest 450 model aces it just as well.

I found the seat to be very accommodating by letting you not only adjust your posture or even stand up comfortably according to the terrain you’re traversing over, but also take on corners with a pace and aggression that you would never have previously foreseen.

Sure, it may not be as nimble as the Honda, but it certainly doesn’t fail to impress.

The longer wheelbase adds suspension setup that’s more in tune to tackling the rough stuff makes it more stable off the pair, especially over our highway conditions.

And once the roads vanish, well, this bike just is leans ahead in terms of capability and will quite literally kick up dust in the Honda’s face.

Once you get the hang of what the suspension is capable of managing, taking on rough terrain is just so easy.

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