Bike-scooters/ First-drive/ RE Himalayan 450 | The Mountain Child | First Ride Review

RE Himalayan 450 | The Mountain Child | First Ride Review

With the Himalayan 450, Royal Enfield has reached a new summit. Highest one it has ever reached in its lustrous as well as bleak history.

For

Performance , Suspension , Handling

Against

Joystick operations

Exterior

Form, function, fusion!

I will laugh on your face and bury you under the ground if you say that the all-new Himalayan looks like a bigger Xpulse because to me, it doesn’t. To me, it looks like a more sophisticated yet true in its intent, bulbous from some angles, sleek from some and the perfect fusion of elements of the past and a peek into the future. The new Himalayan 450 will remind you of the 411, thanks to certain elements like the shape of the headlamp unit and the cage that surrounds the new, 17-litre fuel tank. Then there are attributes hinting at the long voyage it has traversed in terms of transformation. These attributes include all-LED lighting setup, Showa-sourced long-travel USD forks up front, switchable ABS, ride-by-wire and an all-new round TFT instrument cluster which is a major triumph in itself but more on that later.

With every new motorcycle on the bright horizon, it seems like Royal Enfield is leaving its dark past behind which was riddled with build quality issues. Even in terms of fit, finish and feel, the all-new Himalayan is a generational upgrade. It gets the same switch cubes as the latest crop of RE motorcycle, albeit with a few changes in the layout and quality. To toggle through the ride modes (Eco and performance), there’s a button on the right hand side and to meander your way through the TFT screen, there’s a tiny joystick tucked beneath the indicators, alongside the horn switch. Although we were thoroughly impressed by the TFT instrument cluster and its widgets, the joystick could have been slightly bigger and with better tactile feedback because on umpteen occasions, my hand hindered with the joystick even when I didn’t want to.

That being said, the instrument cluster showcases Royal Enfield’s trajectory in term of technology. A decade back, even a basic readout like fuel gauge was absent and now? RE seems to be in a different league altogether. In its standard setting, the instrument cluster showcases all the necessary readouts and then some more! Long press the mode button and see magic unfold in front of your own eyes as the connected features layout appears on the instrument cluster. Connecting the phone is as easy as it comes and once that unison happens, the integration of Google Maps will sweep you off your feet. Despite being from this day and age, I am not someone who considers these intricacies as a dealbreaker or dealmaker but I wouldn’t mind looking at that round gorgeous thing the whole day. Strictly talking about the motorcycle here. Five colourways are on offer here: Hanle Black, Kamet White, Slate Himalayan Salt, Slate Poppy Blue and Kaza Brown. If I had enough money, I will get the Himalayan in all these shades. But then again, if I had enough money, I wouldn’t be talking about having enough money. Makes sense?



TopGear Magazine July 2024