It’s been a long, long road, but it’s here. Many months after we saw the first blacked-out, grungy test mules appearing in spy shots, Royal Enfield has launched its Himalayan 450 adventure bike.
If you’ve got the time, you can watch their “final test ride” above. Of course that title is silly, the bike was obviously finished development long before this ride, but it’s really fascinating to watch that and see all the people involved, from India to Europe. This ain’t your grandpappy’s Royal Enfield. It is a modern-day bike built for the global market.
In fact, you might even say it’s the first modern engine Royal Enfield has built for decades; it’s their first liquid-cooled engine, at least, and it’s a big upgrade over the previous air-cooled Himalayan 411 powerplant. It makes just over 40 hp, and 29.5 lb-ft of torque, both significant gains over the previous engine. Most of that torque comes at the 3,000 rpm mark, so this bike will have the grunty power curve that all of us want in a dual sport/ADV.
Four riding modes come standard. Other new electronics include an LED headlight, switchable ABS and Royal Enfield’s circular Tripper GPS-enabled dash.
Front and rear suspension travel is 200 mm. The front end uses a Showa USD fork, but we’ve seen no indication that it or the shock is adjustable. The seat is adjustable, though, from an 825-845 mm height on the standard seat to a 805-825 mm height on the accessory low seat.
The frame is a sensible old-school twin-spar steel frame, and fuel capacity is 17 liters. Add it all up and you get a bike that weighs 196 kg at the curb.
We expect this bike in Canada at some point in the next year, with three paint choices available: Kamet White, Slate Poppy Blue or Hanle Black. We hope to know an MSRP soon. Will this be a KLR killer? We’ll see what the price tag ends up at, but there’s definitely room in the market for a reliable, low-cost travel bike next to Kawi’s low-priced 650.