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Enfield Teases With Himalayan | News

New bikes are a big deal for Royal Enfield – its range has barely changed in decades and the new Himalayan marks a significant departure from its usual retro style of its other models.

While the official launch of the Himalayan is scheduled for early February the firm has already put a selection of videos and pictures on its website showing prototype versions of the bike under test.

Powered by a new 400cc single, it’s designed to be a rugged, go-anywhere bike that arguably encompasses the idea of ‘adventure’ more than a hefty, 1000cc-plus dual sport ever could.

Although official information is scant, the videos published by Enfield give some insight into the bike.

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Like the Continental GT, the chassis was designed in England by Lester Harris. His company, Harris Performance, was bought up by Enfield early in the bike’s development. In one video, clearly filmed quite some time ago, he says: “Our part of this program is to design, develop and prove the chassis and suspension but what we’ve proved so far is that the fundamental geometry of the bike and the ergonomics of the bike are in the ballpark.”

A bit more insight into the bike comes from Royal Enfield’s former head of product strategy, Sanjay Tripathi. He explains: “We are using the new LS400 engine in this, which is an overhead cam engine, and in this guise it’s producing 25 horsepower.

“The service intervals are about 10,000km on this engine. You have to change the sparkplug once every 25,000km.”

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Speaking about the bike’s off-road ability, Sachin Chavan, head of rides and community at Royal Enfield, says on video: “We’ve tried to get the right compromise between seat height and ground clearance. We took a call to go with the 21-inch front wheel instead of the 19, which a lot of soft roads and on-off roaders are doing, and that was primarily to make it go over the rougher sections more comfortably.”

Although a 25 horsepower (18.6kW) engine might not sound like a recipe for excitement, there’s more emphasis on economy and reliability in the Himalayan than on outright
performance. In its native India and also worldwide among riders who want to venture far from the beaten track, both are coveted far more than outright power or speed – after all, a powerful bike is useless if it’s broken down or out of fuel.

We’ll bring you more on this intriguing machine when it’s officially revealed in full.

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