In a world with hundreds of different motorcycle models, very few stand out as truly original – motorcycles that defy comparison and demand that they define themselves. The Royal Enfield Himalayan 2022 is such a motorcycle. Marketed as a homecoming adventure bike, there’s a little more to the Himalayas than that, and it’s a fascinating ride. Royal Enfield has updated the Himalayas slightly this year, so we’ll cover the changes as well.
- The heart and soul of the Himalayas is its 411cc engine, and that hasn’t changed in 2022. It’s easy to classify the air-cooled SOHC two-valve engine as low performance. It barely spins over 6500 rpm and never develops up to 25 horsepower. However, you have to ask yourself: does a tractor engine perform well or perform poorly? If you develop amounts of torque, that’s performance, and that’s what the Himalayan does. It pulls nearly 24 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, producing more torque throughout its operating rev range than the DOHC, 4-valve KTM 390 Adventure. Let the KTM run and its power will take it away from the Himalayas, but when it comes to growling, the Royal Enfield Mill performs very well.
- The torquey, low-rpm engine defines how the Himalayan works. You’re not going anywhere fast. You won’t skip the Himalayas, and you won’t drift more than an inch or two around corners. There are no power modes, and you won’t need traction control or wheel control. Driving the Himalayas successfully is all about maximizing its positives and not forcing it to embrace what might be your way of thinking. While this is true for any motorcycle, it is vital on a motorcycle as idiosyncratic as the Himalayas.
- Like a tractor, you can take it almost anywhere, as long as you’re not in a rush. Long-stroke engine power pulses are good for traction, so you never have to worry about spinning the rear tire. You direct the Himalayas where you want to go, step on the accelerator and let it work its magic, which it invariably does. Of course, with 8.6-inch ground clearance, you won’t take it on nasty black diamond single-track trails. Remember this is an adventure bike, with a bit of the old boondocking style of the 1960s track bikes. Think of it as a big brother to the new Honda Trail 125. Patience and expectation reasonable will be rewarded, just as irrational exuberance brings retribution. As Dr. Suess enthused, “Oh, the places you’ll go! “
- This year, Royal Enfield replaced the Pirelli MT-60 tires with Ceat Gripp-XL rubber. Ceat is an Indian manufacturer that sells 165 million tires per year; of course, Royal Enfield buys local. You might be skeptical of a popular tire being replaced with something from Ceat, and so are we. It turns out that Ceat tires work great. Gripp-XL tires didn’t put huge demands on them and found off-road traction in tough conditions – rocky, silty, sandy, hard – and were completely predictable and usable on the pavement. Yes, the 21-inch front tire can get rudimentary off-road, which is not unusual for a street-friendly ADV design tread pattern, so you have to deal with the front. Oddly enough, Royal Enfield did not mention this change in its press release.
- The Himalayan suspension works great both off-road and on the road. Royal Enfield engineers properly set the semi-adjustable suspension for the lower speeds encouraged by the Himalayas, and the action is decent and balanced. It’s soft, which has a few advantages. It takes the edge off the inevitable knocks on rough roads, and the softer suspension settings allow the 439-pound chassis to settle into the terrain even more easily for better traction. Once you get to the sidewalk, the feeling is mellow and welcome. The power delivered does not encourage driving hard in the corners, so the flexible suspension is not a handicap.
- Royal Enfield added ABS last year, and it’s semi-defeated. The front and rear brakes are in line with the performance of the engine – yes, the engine is the defining characteristic of the Himalayas. A single 300mm disc with a twin-piston caliper gets the job done, although a bit more engine compression braking would be welcome. The 240mm rear disc setup slows things down adequately and with a good feel. Deactivating the rear wheel ABS requires stopping the motorcycle. Then after turning it on, you have to press hard on a painful button on the LCD / analog combo dashboard, time it right and hope for the best. Sometimes it turns off the rear ABS, sometimes it doesn’t. It turns out that ABS is not that intrusive, even off the road. So I usually ended up not caring. However, this switching function needs to be improved.
- Speaking of the dashboard, Royal Enfield has to pay attention to detail. There is a seemingly non-functional Mode button on the dashboard. Plus, the digital compass is notoriously unreliable – when I was heading due east, it pretended I was traveling southwest. A navigation feature like this has to either work all the time or be removed – this is a safety concern, as it could send someone in the wrong direction at the wrong time. Plus, clocks are hard to read, as graphic designers won out over those interested in practicality – too many squares and red circles. The fit and finish is decent, but not up to traditional Japanese or European standards. That’s more of a problem, as the Himalayan price has risen from $ 4,499 in 2018 to $ 5,299 for 2022, an increase of almost 18%.
- The Royal Enfield Himalayan 2022 gets some successful updates to keep long-distance runners happy. The windshield is new and offers more protection. When you hit the Himalayan top speed of around 70 mph you will notice the change. Fortunately, that doesn’t make the ride too hot at slower speeds. Plus, the seat foam has been updated for more comfort and it feels great. The seat step still hits your rear if you are standing on rougher roads.
- Royal Enfield has made improvements to the rack system for both taller and smaller riders. The rear rack is now lower, making it even easier to get your leg over the bike when mounting. The 31.5 inch seat height is low for an ADV motorcycle; that’s over two inches lower than the KTM 390 Adventure, for example. Cyclists with long seams will appreciate the small vertical front racks on either side of the fuel tank. They could interfere with more advanced knees in the past, and that’s much less likely now. The signature racks are still large enough to mount freight hauling products, such as the Giant Loop Possibles pouch we recently reviewed. The neutral ergonomics of the Himalayan will appeal to a wide range of cyclists.
- The Himalayan is also a wonderfully unorthodox urban motorcycle. As long as you can live with the leisurely acceleration, the Himalayan will get you around town well. It will still be faster than a small scooter, but not as handy. However, it’s a non-strenuous ride that will competently weave its way through traffic, and it hits around 60 mpg with a four-gallon fuel tank. In addition, the racks add to its urban functionality. Above all, when you stop by the local craft brewery, you will look incredibly exotic.
- Urban cyclists and rural runners alike will appreciate the Royal Enfield Trip Navigation module on the dashboard. Download the Royal Enfield app on your smartphone and pair your phone with the pod – we were easily successful with this, and we all know how it can be. From there, select your route in Google Maps. The RE app will send the information from Google Maps to the pod for step-by-step directions. We didn’t have much success with the device on the Royal Enfield Meteor, but it worked very well in the Himalayas. It is a very practical little gadget.
- Every ride aboard the Royal Enfield Himalayan 2022 feels like an adventure. Due to the unique experience it offers, you feel ready to tackle the road from Kishtwar to Keylong every time you press the start button. You also understand why a slow, stable motorcycle is preferred on these extreme roads. The Himalayas are incredibly forgiving of all passengers and make an extremely cordial mount for a new rider. This Royal Enfield is not for everyone – no motorcycle is – yet it will be a valuable partner for a rider with a matching mindset.
Photograph by Jen Muecke
Specifications of the 2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan
- Type: Single vertical
- Displacement: 411cc
- Bore x stroke: 78 x 86 mm
- Maximum power: 24 horsepower at 6500 rpm
- Maximum torque: 24 ft-lbs at 4000 rpm
- Compression ratio: 9.5: 1
- Valve system: SOHC
- Supply: EFI
- Cooling: Air
- Starting: Electric
- Transmission: 5 speed
- Final drive: Chain
- Frame: half-duplex split cradle
- Front suspension; travel: 41mm non-adjustable fork; 7.9 inch
- Rear suspension; travel: shock absorber adjustable in preload with spring assisted by linkage; 7.1 inch
- Tires: Ceat Gripp-XL
- Wheels: metallic spoked
- Front tire: 90/90 x 21
- Rear tire: 120/90 x 17
- Front brake: 300mm disc with 2-piston floating caliper
- Rear brake: 240mm disc with single piston floating caliper
- ABS: dual channel; detachable rear wheel
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 58 inches
- Rake: 26.5 degrees
- Seat height: 31.5 inches
- Ground clearance: 8.6 inches
- Fuel capacity: 4 gallons
- Curb weight: 439 pounds
- Black Granite
- Gravel gray
- blue lake
- Mirage silver
- Pine Green
- Rock Red
Royal Enfield Himalayan 2022 Price: $ 5,299 MSRP
2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review Photo Gallery