Will The Upcoming Himalayan Live Up To The Legacy Of The Original? – TopSpeed

The Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 has some big tires to fill
The original Royal Enfield Himalayan was launched in 2015, and it grew to be one of the best motorcycles you can buy in the market. Riding it isn’t mind-blowing, but it offers a comfortable, approachable familiarity found in rare bikes. It makes you smile. And the best part is that this baby ADV bike still is value for money and extremely easy to maintain — it is often likened to a tractor thanks to its basic design philosophy.
But that’s about to change with Royal Enfield’s upcoming Himalayan 450, a successor to a bike we all love. With this new bike, Royal Enfield is expected to dial it to eleven, and spy shots don’t lie — the Himalayan 450 feels like a completely new bike, and it’s capable, as showcased by the Indian enduro racer, CS Santosh, on his Instagram feed. While we are stoked about the Himalayan 450, we also have our apprehensions, the biggest one being: what if the new Himalayan 450 loses the charm and experience of the original?
Related: Everything That’s Good And Bad About The Royal Enfield Himalayan
The original Himalayan wasn’t a one-hit wonder, but over time, it has carved a niche for itself as one of the best sub-500cc adventure bikes — it’s the best in our eyes, though! And there’s so much to love about the Himalayan that we could go on and on about it. But let’s keep things concise, starting with the design.
The Himalayan 411 is designed by Pierre Terblanche, the mind behind the Ducati Hypermotard, Ducati 999, and Confederate X132 Hellcat Speedster. The design is utilitarian and minimalistic, but the chassis underpinning the design is crafted by Harris Performance. This chassis is capable, low, and agile, which was surprising for Royal Enfield bikes at the time.
The chassis houses the sweet LS411 thumper engine that, while not so capable at highway speeds, is great on dirt. Its low-end torque lets you putter around at low speeds — like a tractor. And the well-balanced long-stroke engine is refined (with many updates) and sounds quite sweet for a thumper.
A basic yet composed long-travel suspension setup holds all this off the ground. The suspension makes this bike glide over rough terrain and returns excellent feedback to your butt, hands, and feet. And despite the terrific ground clearance, tall suspension, and big wheels, the seat is relatively low to the ground. Essentially, the original Himalayan is about finding the sweet spot in bare basics.
LS411 – 411cc SOHC, air/oil-cooled, single-cylinder
24.3 horsepower @6500 rpm
23.6 pound-feet @ 4250 rpm
5-speed constant mesh
439 pounds
Seat Height
31.5 inches
Front Suspension
Telescopic, 41mm with 200mm travel
Rear Suspension
Mono-shock with linkage with 180mm travel
Fuel Capacity
4 gallons
Ground Clearance
8.6 inches
Despite all the benefits, it would be foolish (or biased) to ignore that the Himalayan is not a perfect motorcycle — it’s far from it. For starters, the engine is vibey and hilariously underpowered for regular use; it sweats at the sight of a freeway. Plus, the fit and finish is a hit or miss, and there have been many reports of cracked chassis, and how can we forget the infamous promo video where the bike lost one of its foot pegs?
Apart from the slow and relaxed engine, you’ll find various other niggles to complain about, like the small fuel tank that won’t take you far, a headlight that works more as a DRL since it’s so dim, the brakes that feel wooden, and you’d wish you had drum brakes instead, and in the name of being bare-basics, it misses out on some “basic” features that you’d expect from a modern ADV bike.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan 411 is an excellent bike, but the niggles can be dealbreakers for many bikers. Fortunately, the Himalayan 450 is expected to fix these niggles and push the Himalayan formula into modernity. Remember, all our info on the Himalayan 450 comes from spy shots and rumors, so take everything with a grain of salt.
As of writing this article, the Himalayan 450 promises so much that it would have you start saving up for the bike. Let’s take a look at some of the excellent features that the Himalayan 450 is likely to come with:
That’s honestly a lot to look forward to. So, what does it all mean? Put simply, the upcoming Himalayan 450 will be more capable than ever. It features modern components, a powerful engine, a much-desired electronics suite, and, hopefully, rider aids. Looking at the spy shots and rumors, the Himalayan 450 seems to be what the original Himalayan should’ve been almost a decade ago.
Related: The Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Looks All Set For Your Garage
The smaller ADV segment has been growing in the last decade, blessing the community with the likes of the BMW G 310 GS, KTM 390 Adventure, and Kawasaki Versys X300. Currently, the Himalayan does not hold a candle to these small ADVs in any other aspect apart from off-roadability, ease of ownership, and approachability.
Fortunately, if the rumors are true and the Himalayan 450 will live up to the expectation, this will be the first time Royal Enfield will hit KTM, BMW, and Kawasaki where it hurts the most, kind of. Regarding off-roadability, the Himalayan will be at the top, like it already is. The other bikes are more road-focused since they are essentially street bikes in ADV’s clothing, but the Himalayan is more of a dual-sport with ADV styling. In fact, we expect the Himalayan 450 to be even better than the current Himalayan. The on-road performance is something we hope it’s good at. The new 499cc engine is more powerful, so it should be on par with the BMW G 310 GS in terms of performance, but it won’t be as potent as the 43 horsepower single of the KTM 390 Adventure or the parallel-twin, high-revving engine of the Versys. Even though the engine is powerful, Royal Enfield is known for making heavier bikes, and the Himalayan 450 likely won’t be any different, even if it is lighter than the current model. And in terms of components, the Himalayan 450 will finally see headlight-to-headlight with its rivals. It’s got USD forks, digital dash, liquid cooling, and hopefully, at least off-roading ABS and traction control.
Let’s put the bike’s fender where it counts — the price. The current Himalayan retails for $5,449, the KTM 390 Adventure for $7,399, and the Versys X 300 for $5,899. Considering Indian manufacturing and an extensive dealership network are at play here, the upcoming Himalayan 450 will likely come with a slight bump in the price, but nothing too significant to unsettle the fans.
The Himalayan 450 has been sighted in India and Europe numerous times, and even Royal Enfield is no longer hush-hush about the bike. With the Super Meteor 650 launch out of the way, the Himalayan 450 is just around the corner. It’ll still take a couple of months to arrive.
So, if you are looking for a sub-500cc adventure bike, you should be excited about the Himalayan 450. So far, it is clear that Royal Enfield has only improved the Himalayan formula, and thanks to various videos of it on the internet, it will be a capable ADV bike that will make us just as happy as the current-gen Himalayan. Hopefully, it makes us more happy and pushes the competition aside. It is a purpose-built adventure bike that’s current and loaded with goodies, and it will hold up to the Himalayan legacy.
The only aspect we hope the Himalaya 450 does not live up to the Himalayan legacy is the fit and finish. For what it’s worth, wait for the second batch of it to roll out before signing the check.

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Meet Aayush, a motorcycle-loving writer from Goa. With almost a decade of riding experience and a shiny new 390 ADV, you can find him exploring the Western Ghats on Sundays or tinkering with motorcycles during his free hours. From touring tips to DIY maintenance, he’s got you covered. So, grab your helmet and join the ride!







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