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Brian McKenzie

Brian McKenzie

To motorcycle17/03/2016

Getting Dirty - In the Five Bikes to Have, a new ride has just hit the market.

Royal Enfield has just burst onto the spring season for riding with a new steed. Chiming in at 411ccs for Displacement, the Himalayan fits the needs of the rider that wants to ride down back country lanes, or follow a forest service road just to see where it goes. This is my favorite type of riding - a full tank, a direction and all day to get there, by any means I feel.

This is a new model from the ground up, and not a reworking of the Bullet. The frame and suspension are a mono-shock set up, and the tires / ground clearance make it a capable ride for the dirty and unpaved. The weight of the bike is about 400 lbs, putting it in the class of a mini-adventure bike.

This ride will obviously not compete with the bigger and more sophisticated BMW / KTM adventure platforms, and it is not really intended to steal that thunder. The bike shuns fuel injection and digital farkles. But if you want a great entry bike for commuting, just put more street worthy tires on it. An upright seating position and tall seat height of 31.5 inches makes it perfect for seeing through SUVs on the paved things that must be ridden to get where things are fun.

Pricing in India is less than $3,000 USD - and there are a number of accessories to dress it out the way you want. Most notable of those are the hard case side panniers and front frame mounted extra gas cans. What the price-tag will end up when it finally lands to US shores is still up in the air. A great ride - I can't wait to demo one.

Brian McKenzie