What would make a Royal Enfield Himalayan into a better bike? Unkind readers might say “quality control, and a dealer network.” Errrr, maybe, although the company has come a long way in the past few years. But what about a turbocharger? That sounds like a lot of fun, too.
The Himalayan could use a little more jam, after all. The air-cooled 410cc single-cylinder engine is understressed, making around 24 horsepower. For perspective,the Honda CRF250L dual sport makes almost 23 horsepower, with a far smaller engine.
So, the designers at Royal Enfield’s UK-based R&D center went to work, cobbling together a Frankensteinian monster out of cast-off parts. Take some unused pieces from another project, raid the carcass of a wrecked test bike, bolt it all together, and see what happens when you bring it to life!
In this case, Royal Enfield’s crew put a Garret GT 125 turbo on the Himalayan, with 1 bar maximum boost. Bike EXIF also says the builders raised the bike’s redline, so maybe they reprogrammed the ECU? Whatever tricks they used, the result was a huge horsepower boost. Supposedly, the new custom (they call it the MJR Roach) makes 50 horsepower now.
The rest of the bike got a funky paint job, lowered seat, stretched swingarm, quad-beam headlight, Renthal handlebars and TKC 80 knobbies. Looks like someone in the Royal Enfield R&D centre has been watching too many Mad Max movies? Whatever the case, it shows what you can do with even a humble, underpowered motorcycle, if you’ve got the time to tinker.