Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
The New Himalayan 450, you’ll know that the bike was super capable up in the mountains, create fun on the good roads and so, so talented in the off-road sections.
At one point I even said there’s something romantic about riding a bike, all the Himalaya in the Himalayas.
The thing is though, rides up in the Himalayas are very rare occurrences and there is nothing romantic about returning back to life in the big city.
Low rev performance
Now one of the first things I’d like to start with is addressing one of my biggest concerns from the first ride review and that’s the low RPM performance.
If you recall, I said that this new Shape off 450 engine felt completely flat below 3000 RPM. There just wasn’t any performance at that rev range.
Now, it wouldn’t stall on you, but you’d have to wait for the needle to cross the 3000 RPM mark. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
A lot of that was down to altitude as it turns out, because in the city the bike feels a lot better. In the mountains I really noticed it over here, not so much.
The only time you really notice it is when you are riding in slow-moving traffic. You spot a gap and you wanna go for it, but you have to wait for a second for the revs to pick up.
Tractability, clutch and heat in traffic
Otherwise, in most circumstances, this is actually a really nice bike to ride in traffic. The engine is tractable. I spend very little time in first year.
Second is good for most applications. It’s not as low end tractable as the old himalayan engine, but it makes up for it.
Whenever you cross the 3000 RPM mark, overall it’s actually a real nice engine to use in traffic. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
The clutch feel is good and it doesn’t get too hot. There was a concern about where the hot air blast from the radiator fan would go, but it doesn’t really hit you.
If you get stuck in bad traffic, you will feel some warmth along the right side of your body, but it’s really not bad. It’s not heat, it’s warmth.
Now, one of the things that actually surprised me when we got the bike back down to sea level was the performance.
When we tested this bike, it gave us a zero to a hundred time of 6.3 seconds, which was quicker than I was assuming. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
In fact, that’s actually quicker than both the new triumphs, not just the scrambler but also the lightest speed 400 and that time is quite close to the KTM 390 adventure, roll-on performance is also very good and I think the reason this motorcycle is quicker than the triumphs in our acceleration tests, even though it’s heavier and it makes the same 40 horsepower is the way the power is delivered.
The triumph engines don’t really like being revved out. There’s more vibration up there.
There’s not a lot of reward for doing that, but the Himalayan does reward you. You can take it all the way to eight and a half thousand rpm.
There’s a great induction noise. It sounds good. It takes you on and there’s genuine performance up there.
Surprisingly, this is not just a tractable mule of a motorcycle. There is fun to be had when you rev it out.Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
Tested fuel efficiency
Now the important thing to consider is that our fuel efficiency tests are conducted at fairly conservative real world, but conservative speeds.
For example, a highway tests are done at about 80 to 85 KPH so that we’re staying within the national speed limit.
If you go faster, you will surely get a smaller fuel efficiency figure, but overall it’s not bad. And with a 17 liter of fuel tank, this thing can easily do 350 kilometers on a tank full. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
It’s nice if you want to chill, it’s good fun if you wanna go fast, it basically gives you anything you ask of it in almost any situation.
There is only one thing that I find slightly disappointing after riding it in the mountains.
Now up there I did say there are some vibrations, but they didn’t really bother me. The thing is up there we were riding in very padded winter clothing and we were not holding sustained high speeds.
Over here I found that there is a clear vibration that creeps in between 5,000 and 5,800 RPM. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
It builds up in the bars, it builds up in the foot pegs and you do feel it. Now that speed in sixth gear is about 105 to 120 kilometers per hour.
Highway cruising, riding position
The bike is smooth up to a hundred and it’s smooths out again above 120, but that crucial cruising speed window does come with some vibrations that you’ll feel here and here.
They’re not a deal breaker, but I haven’t been able to ignore them either and I wish Royal Enfield was able to isolate that rev range a little bit better because it is funny that this motorcycle is smooth 130, then it is at 110.
Nevertheless, actual cruising performance is really good. It is rock solid even above 125. You can hold 130 if you wish to. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
Wind protection is also quite nice. It’s a nice balance between keeping the blast off you but also not keeping you completely isolated from the wind.
You do get some cooling breeze but not too much buffeting and I really like it. That highway cruising capability goes very nicely with this bike’s riding position.
This is really neutral, very spacious, all day comfortable. The handlebars not too wide, but you do sit high up and you have a great commanding view. Now the elephant in the room with this motorcycle is that it is a big machine.
It’s big feeling, it feels tall and the biggest challenge for most people is just simply getting it off the side stand.
But What is nice is that once you’re moving the handle, puff feels a lot lighter than you would expect and that means that it doesn’t take much effort to navigate between tight gaps in slow moving traffic.
I think that as long as you are comfortable with putting your feet down, you should be fine with riding this bike in traffic and I have never found it too large or cumbersome. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
That being said, this is undoubtedly a large and fairly tall motorcycle, and if you’re a short rider you need to check that you’re comfortable with getting your feet down.
That is also the temptation to consider the lower seat that royal Enfield will sell you, which brings a seat high down to about 8 or 5 mm.
That does sound good, but Ari has achieved that by reducing the cushioning on the seat, which will surely have some impact on the comfort.
We haven’t tried that accessory seat out, but it’s something to consider. As for the stock seat, I think it’s really quite comfortable. I would like to try the touring seat. That’d be happy to live with this if I needed to.
Now let’s talk about the smaller details that have stood out with day-to-Day use For one TFT display is superb.
Very simple layout, but very easy to read and gives you all the information you need. This is one of my favorite TFT displays on pretty much any motorcycle out there.
I think Ari has done a great job with this. What I don’t like is this joystick button down here that he used to control the display. It feels fiddly.
It’s not very precise and that needs to be improved.
The rest of the switch gears is okay, but this is an annoyance and while I’m talking about annoyances, royal and field has now moved for these rotary switches, which are very nice.Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
It’s on all their motorcycles now, but there’s no conventional high beam flash switch. If you wanna do that, you’ve got to do this, which is not a very easy move and it’s definitely not one that comes quickly when you need to flash somebody in a hurry.
Mirrors, fuel gauge, riding modes
Another small couple of things that I’ve grown to appreciate are that the mirrors are really quite nice.
They look simple, but they give you a great feel of you and somehow at night you don’t get bedazzled by high beam traffic behind you.
I don’t know what they’re doing, but there’s not too much glare that comes back at you and that’s a nice thing.
Then there’s the fuel gauge, which has proven to be quite reliable and consistent and I think it works better than what we’ve seen in the three fifties and the six fifties where sometimes a fuel level dramatically drops when you’re approaching the reserve level.Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Review
Finally, there are the modes. Now Royal Enfield gives you four modes. There’s performance with ABS on a year performance with ABS off eco with ABS on and eco with ABS off eco mode cuts performance by about 20% in the first four years and then gives you full performance in fifth and sixth. I have never used it.
I don’t feel any need to use it because a throttle response is very nice. Like I said, the low RPM performance is not strong or startling.
I’ve never used eco and I don’t think I ever will unless I’m in a situation where I’m running out of fuel.