Royal Enfield's Big Boss Tips New Himalayan 450 – ADVrider

It’s a secret that isn’t really a secret anymore: Royal Enfield is working on a new Himalayan 450 adventure bike, and it’s likely to be a big step forward for the brand. And now, the CEO himself is tipping the new machine, via a video on his Instagram feed:

A post shared by Sid Lal (@sidlal)

This isn’t the first time Siddhartha Lal, managing director of Eicher (Royal Enfield’s parent company) has done this with top-secret projects, and it’s also not the first time we’ve seen this bike! Earlier this week, British moto-mag MCN managed to get their hands on a photo of the machine at a gas station near RE’s research and development facility in the UK (see the bike here). Nobody has officially confirmed any specs for the machine, but it sure looks like we’re getting a liquid-cooled single-cylinder dual sport in the 450cc range, with a chassis design that appear much more developed than the current Himalayan model.

Will it compete with stalwarts of the Japanese dual sport scene, like the Suzuki DR-Z400? We’ll find out soon enough, but the fact that a manufacturer based in a democratic country is developing its own models (with help from designers in the moto-mad UK!) is surely news that will make the Japanese take notice. Let’s be honest: The Big Four have introduced a handful of new machines over the past decade, but have mostly been content to let this segment wither away, instead of giving customers what they want. Royal Enfield, on the other hand, is very keen to give customers what they want, and if you can believe the Internet clamor, what people really want is a sturdy liquid-cooled 450 with a six-speed gearbox.
Is that what we have here? We’re sure we’ll know more soon, and even after the initial launch, we’ll have to wait months for the bike to show up in North America, and then years to see if it’s really up to snuff. But, despite some early teething issues, the original Himalayan has started to develop a rep as a tough, reliable and affordable expedition bike. Surely, some of those lessons will be put to good use on this new 450 model.

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