Royal Enfield Himalayan sees minor updates

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Royal Enfield has given its Himalayan adventure bike some updates that, while modest, will ensure its lifespan continues, at least for the near future.

The Himalayan adventure bike is powered by an air-cooled 410 cc single-cylinder engine—just the sort of powerplant that’s falling from popularity these days, as tightening ant-pollution rules make thumpers obsolete. That’s especially true in India, where the government unexpectedly ramped up its tailpipe emissions rules, meaning many of that market’s motorcycles required modifications to meet the new standards.

That included much of Royal Enfield’s lineup, including both the older 350 and 500 single-cylinder machine, as well as the 410 Himalayan.

Well, the 500s are rumoured to be cancelled for 2020, but not the Himalayan. It’s getting revisions to make the engine compliant to India’s new BS-VI emissions standard (no word on Euro5 certification, but if the bike doesn’t meet it, we’d expect that to happen soon).

Royal Enfield also updated the ABS system to be switchable, so the rear brake’s antilock system can be deactivated for off-pavement riding. There’s a button on the console to de-activate the ABS, and also a button to activate hazard lights (this had been present on earlier models, then removed).

Whether the engine updates make any difference to the bike’s performance is unclear. However, the incremental changes are typical of Royal Enfield’s constant updates to the Himalayan, most of which are done without fanfare as the company discovers areas that need improvement, and fixes them.

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