Quick Read: 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan

2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan
2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan. Photos by Kevin Wing.

Editor’s note: This Quick Read is part of our Mini-ADV Comparison Test Review of the Kawasaki Versys-X 300, BMW G 310 GS and Royal Enfield Himalayan.

Interestingly, of the three mini-ADVs we tested, it’s the Royal Enfield that seems to know exactly “who” it is, and it makes no pretenses otherwise. It looks like a tool because it is. It looks like it could claw its way up a gnarly, oxygen-deprived pass because it was designed to do just that back home in India. Point it where you want it to go, twist the throttle and utilize the broad, friendly torque curve to tractor your way forward. It’s unflappable and rock solid. If the G 310 GS is the hare, the Himalayan is the tortoise; patience is the name of the Himalayan’s game, and slow and steady wins in its world.

Read our in-depth First Ride Review of the 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan here.

Royal Enfield Himalayan
Screw-and-locknut valve adjusters simplify the 3,000-mile inspection interval, and standard centerstand simplifies chain maintenance.

The spec chart (see below) tells much of the story: a 58-inch wheelbase that’s more than 2 inches longer than the BMW, a big 21-inch tube-type spoked front wheel, 26.5 degrees of rake (the Versys-X 300’s is a steep 24.3) and 431 pounds carried low under a softly-padded 31.5-inch seat that compresses to put the rider even closer to the ground. Despite the low seat, 6-foot-tall, 200-plus-pound Senior Editor Drevenstedt found the ergos quite comfy, and declared he’d ride it across the country anytime.

Royal Enfield Himalayan
Small rear seat and rack might complicate luggage options; the best bet is to get Royal Enfield’s accessory side carriers.

If you prize confidence and stability over quickness, the Himalayan is the bike for you. Its air-cooled single, fed by a simple fuel injection system (there is a fast idle switch on the left grip), churns out the most torque of the bunch and sounds pretty good doing it. It’s got its own brand of coolness as well; as our photographer commented, “It makes the other two look like toys.”

Royal Enfield Himalayan
Front 300mm disc with 2-piston caliper is on the soft side, but the rear brake is quite sensitive and easy to accidentally lock off-road.

The best part? At $4,499, it undercuts the other two by $1,200—that’s a lot of dough to spend on accessories and gas for the adventures you’ll take it on.

Click here to read about the Kawasaki Versys-X 300.

Click here to read about the BMW G 310 GS.

Royal Enfield Himalayan
The coolest display of the trio: a mix of analog speedo, tach and fuel gauge with digital odometer/tripmeter, range to empty and…a compass!

2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan Specs

Base Price: $4,499
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: royalenfield.com

Engine

Type: Air-cooled single
Displacement: 411cc
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 86.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Valve Train: SOHC, 2 valves
Valve Insp. Interval: 3,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection, 32mm throttle body
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 2.11-qt. cap.
Transmission: 5-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive:O-ring chain

Electrical

Ignition: TCI, multi-curve
Charging Output: 220 watts max.
Battery: 12V 8AH

Chassis

Frame: Steel half-duplex split cradle, box-section steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 58.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 26.5 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 31.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 41mm stanchions, no adj., 7.9-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload, 7.1-in. travel
Brakes, Front:300mm disc w/ floating 2-piston caliper
Rear: 240mm disc w/ floating 1-piston caliper
Wheels, Front: Spoked, 2.75 x 21 in.
Rear: Spoked, 3.25 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: Tube-type, 90/90S21
Rear: Tube-type, 120/90S17
Wet Weight: 431 lbs.
Load Capacity: 372 lbs.
GVWR: 803 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gals., last 1.4 gal. warning light on
MPG: 86 PON min. (low/avg/high) 49.5/58.4/64.4
Estimated Range: 234 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH:4,500

3 COMMENTS

  1. Look for “ Itchy Boots” on U – tube, A 36,000 kilometers road test over 8 months from India to Holland. Over 100 episodes showing all types of terrain and many different countries. Am absolute test of any machine, and done privately by the owner, not a factory sponsored advertising film. Warts and all, good and bad bits shown. But very few warts .
    Oh yes, the owner is a blue eyed blonde young Dutch lady, did it all by herself and still had time to make excellent videos. “ ITCHY BOOTS” On u tube , start at episode one and hold your breath !

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