2016 Royal Enfield Himalayan Revealed

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Indian manufacturer Royal Enfield revealed its much-awaited adventure bike, the Himalayan. Powered by a new 411cc Single, the Himalayan was designed to be a lightweight, uncomplicated motorcycle that can go anywhere, including the rugged terrain of its namesake.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Trademarked

In fact, the company’s chief executive Siddhartha Lal proved it for himself, taking some friends and colleagues on some prototypes for a week of riding in the Himalayas last summer. Last month, Lal took a production-ready model on another long trip, riding 500 miles from Goa to Bangalore, mostly on back roads and off-road trails. How’s that for a hands-on CEO?

“Himalayan is the culmination of Royal Enfield’s 60 years of enduring history in its spiritual home – the Himalayas,” says Lal. “Our single biggest insight in all these years of riding has been that the best motorcycle for the Himalayas is not one that tries to dominate its landscape, but one that is able to go with its flow. Large adventure tourers that currently define this category do not fare well in the Himalayas as they are very heavy, extremely complicated, intimidating and not really designed for this environment. With its purpose-built ground-up design, the Himalayan is a simple and capable go-anywhere motorcycle that will redefine adventure touring in India.”

Pierre Terblanche and the Royal Enfield Himalayan

The Himalayan is a complete departure from the rest of Royal Enfield’s retro-styled standards and cruisers. Every part of the Himalayan is new, including the air- and oil-cooled LS410 engine which boasts an overhead-cam design and a counterbalancer – both firsts for Royal Enfield. With a long 86mm stroke to its 78mm bore, the engine is designed to offer strong torque and usable power at low revs. Royal Enfield claims a maximum output of 23.6 lb-ft. at 4000 rpm while power peaks at 24.2 hp at 6500 rpm.

The engine is mounted to a duplex split cradle frame developed by Harris Performance, a British firm acquired by Royal Enfield last May. The 21-inch wire-spoke front wheel is suspended by a 41mm telescopic fork offering 7.9 in. of travel. At the rear, the Himalayan uses a monoshock suspension – a first for a Royal Enfield – offering 7.1 in. of travel. Braking duties are handled by a two-piston caliper with a 300mm disc up front and a single-piston caliper with 240mm disc at the rear.

Visually, the Himalayan is rather spartan, with a focus on function over form. Rear luggage mounts can hold either hard or soft panniers while mounting points up front are designed to carry jerry cans, in case you’d like to extend Himalayan’s claimed 280-mile range. The flat seat is 31.5 inches from the ground – fairly low, for adventure bike standards – and the positioning of the footpegs and handlebars allow for an upright riding posture that can easily transition to a standing position for off-road riding.

The 2016 Royal Enfield Himalayan will be offered in two colors, Granite and Snow. At the moment, Royal Enfield has only confirmed it will be sold in India, but we’re hoping to see it come stateside.

2016 Royal Enfield Himalayan Specifications

Engine TypeAir-cooled, SOHC Single
Bore/Stroke78 x 86 mm
Compression Ratio9.5:1
Maximum Power (claimed)24.2 @ 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque23.6 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Fuel systemCarburettor with throttle position sensor
Final driveO ring chain
ClutchWet, multi-plate
Gearbox5-speed constant mesh
FrameHalf-duplex split cradle frame
Front Wheel21-inch wire-spoke
Rear Wheel17-inch wire spoke
Front Tire90/90-21
Rear Tire120/90-17
Front SuspensionTelescopic 41mm fork; 200mm travel
Rear SuspensionMonoshock with linkage; 180mm travel
Front BrakeSingle 300mm disc; two-piston floating caliper
Rear BrakeSingle 240mm disc, single-piston floating caliper
Length2190 mm
Width840 mm
Height Without Mirrors1360 mm
Seat Height800 mm
Wheelbase1465 mm
Kerb Weight401 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity4.0 gallons
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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3 of 8 comments
  • Daniel Benjamin Daniel Benjamin on Mar 05, 2016

    I'd like to see how the carburetor holds up to markets outside of India. Honestly, I feel this is the most interesting bike RE has made in forever- even more so than the Continental GT which frankly was trying to be something it isn't imho.

  • Major tom Major tom on May 23, 2017

    OK, where is it? I'm still waiting. Surely after a year fuel injection will be used. The rest of it passes muster, fenders, center stand, air cooled, SOHC with screw adjusters, reasonable fuel mileage. Japan wont do it, Yamaha could with the SR400 but this is too niche. So, go India!

    • Denchung Denchung on May 23, 2017

      Royal Enfield says it's due to arrive in the US this summer. RE actually had it at a stand in Daytona at the Flat Track but we're still waiting to hear exactly when we can see them in showrooms. The Indian model now has fuel injection to meet the latest emissions standards so expect the North American version to get it as well.