As you can see from that video clip above, the Royal Enfield Himalayan prototype seems to still be alive and well, testing on the streets of India.
Although the bike’s release has been delayed until the 2016 Delhi auto show, we’re still seeing hints of information about the machine popping into the Indian press. Some of the rumours seem to be duds; for instance, we’ve seen one source claim the motor (supposedly 410 cc) is just a bored-out version of the 350 cc engine that Royal Enfield has been using for years. It’s certainly possible, but the photos we’ve seen indicate they’ve done much more than just playing with cylinder capacity.
There’s also talk of two variants of the Himalayan — a street-biased City version, and the Adventure version we’ve seen plenty of talk about. This sounds fairly likely. We’ve also seen talk that Royal Enfield plans to add two new models by end of 2017, so we’re interested to see what else they could be working on — possibly a variant with a larger engine in the same chassis?
There have been months of rumours about the Himalayan. While it won’t generate interest in North America and Europe like the Honda Africa Twin did, this is a bike that could revolutionize the riding scene in Asian motorcycle markets.
A few weeks back, we told you about Royal Enfield’s plan for a “destination dealership” in Milwaukee. We’ve also seen talk that they’re planning to follow this model around the world. If they can escape past perceptions about quality, the company’s progress will be fascinating to chart, as they’re perfectly placed to capture the current motorcycle cultural fascination with the stylings of the past.