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2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Global Launch

The Himalayas set the perfect scene of motorcycling heaven for Royal Enfield to reveal the latest edition of their most recognisable and most iconic motorcycle, the Himalayan 450.

We were lucky enough to be the invited along to the very special global launch held just before the official unveiling at Eicma to test the new bike in the unique and picturesque conditions of the Himalayas to find out if it was truly worthy of the Royal Enfield Himalayan nameplate.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 launch
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 launch

We were introduced to the Himalayan 450 at a specially designed and curated product immersion experience set up at a purpose built base camp in Manali. There we would press the flesh with the new model and learn from the design team in detail about all parts of the motorcycle and the thoughts and processes in bringing the Himalayan 450 to life.

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Interestingly the planning and design of the motorcycle had taken place over many years since the initial Himalayan launch back in 2016. Through design and testing, the design brief was not to take away from the soul or character of the original Himalayan, but to simply make the bike better in every possible way.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 launch
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 launch

Listening to Royal Enfield supremo Sid Lal speak on the opening night of the event, the key message delivered was clear, that the Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 was a bike specifically developed and built for the Himalayas, however it’s purpose was not to dominate its landscape but to flow with the energy delivered by the very special motorcycling utopia.

It is always a pleasure to hear from the designers and engineers behind the motorcycle and one of the clear things that always leaves a lasting impression on us when we attend a Royal Enfield event such as the global launch of the Himalayan is the passion and love from the people who make the brand.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Visually the Himalayan 450 sports clear upgrades over the outgoing model, including a 17 litre fuel tank (increased by 2 litres over the outgoing model), 21 inch front wheel and 17 inch rear and an all new tripper navigation unit – more on that in a moment.

There are also a range of new colour schemes which include Kamet White, Kaza Brown, Slate Himalayan Salt, Slate Poppy Blue and Hanle Black which our test rig wore with great splendour.

bridge
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

The 452cc Sherpa power plant is a first for the brand and is the only liquid cooled engine mass produced on a Royal Enfield motorcycle. Producing 29.5kW and 40Nm of torque the Himalayan proved punchy and willing even at higher altitudes.

Compared with the previous 411cc Himalayan which produced 18kW and 32Nm of torque, the 450 is miles ahead in performance and we look forward to riding in Australian conditions where it should see even further performance increases at sea level.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Excitement was brewing several days before we had even arrived, and as soon as we hit the first few corners twisting our way out of the tourist town it was evident that the pace was on.

Our initial ride on the first day would see us leaving our digs in Manali and heading out upwards twisting our way out of the city environment for the main stretch of tunnel that would see us enter the foothills of the Himalayas upon exit.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Ergonomically the Himalayan 450 was a good fit for yours truly. The bike did not feel small or cramped sitting down, peg position was comfortable and the speedo featuring tripper navigation was positioned in exactly the right spot for easy reference whilst riding without being distracting.

Adjustable seat heights are a nice feature and sure to be a hit amongst taller and shorter riders alike. There are also different seating options available and accessory packs to customise your Himalayan to your personal preferences and needs.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Taking into account yours truly is 180cm tall and 95kg, the Himalayan 450 was a good fit, however we did find our selves reaching down for the bars a little when standing up off road. All controls were easy to reach and uncomplicated and functioned well.

Our route had been programmed into our TFT tripper navigation unit so we could test the functionality of the unit on our ride. It was easy to programme via smartphone compatibility, for the record we were using Android, however others in the group were utilising Apple phones.

water crossing
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Simplicity was key with clear directions and speed functions being able to be utilised at the same time, there was even the capability to use Spotify and music streaming with basic control being driven from toggle switches on the handlebars.

Back to the important part the riding, our first destination was about 45km away from our starting point. A Royal Enfield shop with the most beautiful mountain backdrop would provide the setting and set the scene for the superb and majestic surrounds we were about to experience.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 launch
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 launch

The Highlight of the 2024 Himalayan 450 was for us the solidness of the front end and the overall chassis performance. Like all Royal Enfield motorcycles Harris performance frames are the masterminds in providing obedient and dependable well mannered and easy to use motorcycles which is a common characteristic not only on the new Himalayan but across the entire Royal Enfield range.

Both on road and off road the bikes handling was predictable and up to task we may have even scraped the footpegs cornering on one or two occasions. Off Road the front end handled water crossings and rocky terrain and trails with the trustworthiness of a mountain goat.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

We would see our first proper off road test at the completion of our lunch break after an approx 120klm stretch of mostly tarmac – the tarmac was replaced by dirt and rock in a few sections where road previously existed.

This off road section would see us hit postcard Himalaya conditions. Trails would have steep drop off’s on one side with majestic blue rivers, whilst to the other side would be overarching rock cliffs and walls, stunning is an understatement to describe the beautiful riding conditions.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

The Himalayan performed well, by no means is it a top of the range big cc adventure bike, nor is it a full on dirt bike, but in the current marketplace it is in its own category with the newly released CFMOTO 450MT shaping as its main competitor.

Suspension was up to task and performed well in the Himalayan conditions. Up front 43mm upside down forks are fitted which allows 200mm of front wheel travel, whilst on the rear a linkage type mono shock is utilised again allowing for 200mm of rear wheel travel. Add to this the 230mm of grand clearance and the Himalayan 450 cements its off road credentials.

river
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

It was time to call it a day and we headed back to base camp through a flurry of scenery, cows pedestrian, oncoming vehicles and changing road conditions much faster than we should have been, but it was a motorcycle adventure right.

We were in the Himalayas to test motorbikes and that is exactly what we did on first day navigating the Himalayas. We headed back to base camp and to enjoy some hospitality, food and some beverages and swap stories of the days riding and thoughts on the new Royal Enfield Himalayan.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

The second day would see us head out of town in the same direction winding our way up to the tunnel and heading in the opposite direction when we exited. Again there was a lot of enthusiasm for more riding in this bikers paradise and it was evident that so far everyone was pretty impressed with the new model and how it performed in its natural habitat.

However there was one downside to the morning for this with  the rider potentially over indulging in some chicken dumplings and chilli for breakfast and having a little Delhi belly, but thank god they now have tablets to stop that sort of carry on and he was on his way even if it was a little gingerly for the first hour or so of the morning.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Some more twisty roads adorned in beautiful mountain scenery awaited us to ensure we had great images for our stories. From there we would head off road again down a mountain side trail to again test the off road metal of the Himalayan 450.

A few more photo opportunities and a play around in an off road playground was a lot of fun and left us wanting to spend a lot more time playing in the Himalayas with the new Himalayan, It also peaked our interest to want to get the bike into local Australian conditions and explore with it more.

2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

It is that last line that cements the design of the Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 for us. “we want to explore with it more”, that is exactly the point Sid Lal was making in his introduction speech the Himalayan is a touring companion whether on road or off road.

Forget the marketing jargon and babble, Royal Enfield had not only launched a very important model for the brand in a very special motorcycling paradise, but have conveyed and executed the brief perfectly with what lies at the soul of the motorcycle – and that is exploring.

group ride
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

The Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 is due to arrive in Australian dealerships toward the end of January/ early February 2024 with pricing to be announced closer to the local launch date. If you keep your eyes peeled you may be able to sneak a peek at the new motorcycle at dealer launch events happening soon.

Our test bikes were provided by Royal Enfield as part of the Global media launch. To find out more about the 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450, contact your local Royal Enfield dealer. Pictures courtesy of Tom Fossati.

mountainside
2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

 

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkinhttp://twowheeladdicts.com.au
Andrew Jenkin is the founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, a contributor to BikeReview and Drivetribe as well as being a panel judge of Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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