Royal Enfield is on a tear these days, setting sales records and seeing astronomic growth. Now, the rumour mill says they’re about to debut a new machine that’s likely an adventure bike.
According to trademark documents filed in Europe, Royal Enfield is trademarking a motorcycle dubbed the Himalayan. The logical leap taken by many in the industry is that this means Royal Enfield is building an adventure bike, because an adventure bike is what you need to ride in the Himalayas, right? Right?
At this point, anything’s possible – this bike could be anything from a fully-faired crotch rocket to a moped. However, to be fair – rumours floating around last fall did have the Indian company working on an adventure bike built around a new 385 cc motor.
It certainly would be logical for Royal Enfield to introduce a new motor in that size range, as their existing 350 cc is certainly long in the tooth, and having a 385 cc engine would be more competitive with KTM’s 390 cc mill, which is being built in India and certainly catching plenty of attention there.
In the big picture, it seems Royal Enfield is looking at motorcycle history in North America and trying to learn lessons from Harley-Davidson. When H-D was threatened by British and then Japanese marques, the MoCo relied more on marketing, chintzy racing regulations and eventually government interference to survive. It worked for the MoCo, but Royal Enfield seems to instead be trying to improve their machinery and debut models that play on their brand’s strength, but still offer a sporting experience to youthful end users (like the Continental GT).
With that in mind, perhaps Royal Enfield is indeed building an adventure bike, but one with scrambler styling, instead of modern beaky lines. Scramblers are hot right now in both the custom scene and manufacturer’s showroom floors, and Royal Enfield has actually sold a pretty nice-looking scrambler kit in the recent past (see above).