Royal Enfield has finally launched the Himalayan in the UK. The adventure tourer has been priced at 4199 Pounds (around ₹ 3.80 lakh) and is manufactured and exported from the bike maker's Chennai facility. The UK-spec Royal Enfield Himalayan is currently available in only the black and white colour options, while the Sleet (camouflaged) paint scheme has not been made available yet. Barring a few changes, the UK-spec Himalayan is quite close to the Indian version but gets dual-channel ABS to meet UK's mandatory safety standards.
Power continues to come from the same 411 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, fuel-injected motor tuned for 24.5 bhp at 6500 rpm and 32 Nm of peak torque between 4000-4500 rpm. The 5-speed gearbox remains the same as well, and the bike comes with dual-sport tyres. A seat height of 800 mm makes it quite accessible for a range of riders. Incidentally, the UK-spec Himalayan is lighter by 6 kg over the Indian version with a kerb weight of 185 kg.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan has gauged a lot of interest not only in India but globally as well as a no-frills adventure motorcycle. The basic and functional design coupled with spoked wheels and balanced riding geometry makes it easy to ride long distances while also being fun when going off the tarmac. The 15 litre fuel tank offers a decent range of around 500 km, making for fewer stops.
In most developed markets as well as India, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is the most affordable adventure bike and that is an exciting proposition for budding ADV enthusiasts. That said, the UK-spec motorcycle is expected to be better put together over the Indian version, with the latter also having seen a host of improvements with the BS-IV version launched late last year. The lack of power though continues to be a concern on the motorcycle.
In the UK, the Royal Enfield Himalayan directly competes with the BMW G 310 GS and the Honda CRF250 Rally. The CRF250 Rally is priced at 5399 Pounds (around ₹ 4.90 lakh), whereas the G 310 GS is priced at 5100 Pounds (around ₹ 4.63 lakh). While that certainly is more expensive than the Himalayan, the G 310 GS is also a made-in-India product exported to the UK and Europe and manages to offer more power as well as features in comparison. The BMW G 310 GS is confirmed to go on sale in India later this year.
It will now be interesting to see if the idea of a bare-bones, rugged, simple and affordable adventure tourer motorcycle excites the UK ADV aficionados.