Royal Enfield has today commercially rolled out its first-ever grounds-up adventure motorcycle – the Himalayan – for Rs 155,545 (ex-showroom Maharashtra) and Rs 178,872 (on-road Mumbai).
The company had first officially unveiled the model in January, just before the commencement of the 2016 Auto Expo in New Delhi.
Royal Enfield began its journey in India decades ago when its motorcycles were used by the Indian army. The company is keen to leverage the image of its tough motorcycles.
Siddhartha Lal, CEO of Eicher Motors, says that Royal Enfield motorcycles have a deep association with the rough Himalayan terrain. "We wanted to build an all-new motorcycle which could go with the flow of the Himalayan terrain. Our thinking about this all-new platform back in the barren Himalayan terrains was very clear. We wanted to bring a motorcycle that can open up an all-new motorcycle segment in India. It’s a purpose-built motorcycle for the Himalayas, open to go anywhere," he said at the launch in Mumbai today.
The company is known to have been working on the off-road motorcycle project for close to five years that also included testing the prototypes in the rough and barren Himalayan terrain.
The low seat height of this model is understood to be one of the many unique characteristics designed specifically to boost the rider’s confidence while riding. Conventional adventure tourers are known to have high ground clearance, making it difficult for a regular rider to push such motorcycles in rough terrains.
"Our concept was that an average Indian must feel confident while sitting on this bike. The low seat height of just 800mm is the most important feature. While the Himalayan does not resemble any of our Classic motorcycles, it has a timeless appeal to it as we have kept the design very simple. Conventionally, companies use the tank area for branding purposes. But we focused more on the functionality. So we have that area as a tool to hang up the fuel tank," said Lal.
Recommended: Siddhartha Lal, "Other than India, the Himalayan could click in other emerging markets."
"We maintained the idea of a long-stroke engine, we wanted low and torque. This means that the rider will get a lot of torque in rough terrain when needed. In the band of 2000-4000rpm, the bike can give out more than 30Nm of torque, which we believe is very good performance in those conditions. It's a new, long-stroke 410 (LS410 as it is called) engine. Our idea was not to make any one part fabulous but the whole motorcycle a fabulous package," he further elaborated.
Rudratej Singh, president, Royal Enfield, said: “The Himalayan allows both seasoned riders as well as enthusiasts to do more with just one motorcycle. The Himalayan serves the purpose of a seasoned rider and at the same time opens the roads to many more people who will get the confidence that they can ride on and off the road less travelled, going beyond their day-to-day commuting needs.”
“Functionally, the Himalayan’s non-intimidating spartan design, a flat torque curve, accessible seat height and long suspension travel alongside the ease of ownership, make the Himalayan is an extremely versatile motorcycle that is adept for long rides while equally being the definitive choice to navigate our urban jungles," he added.
Bookings for the Himalayan start tomorrow with deliveries to start later this month.
Recommended: Boom time for midsize motorcycles in India