‘The new Himalayan can potentially shake up global adventure touring bike market’: Siddhartha Lal, Eicher Motors
Since the launch of its first-generation bike seven years ago, Royal Enfield has sold over two lakh bikes globally.
Siddhartha Lal, MD of Eicher Motors believes the new Himalayan motorcycle is a ‘world beater’ and it has a potential of ‘shaking up’ the global adventure tourer segment.
Speaking to analysts earlier in the month Lal said the new Himalayan is setting the standard and it is ‘head and shoulders’ above the rest. He believes the new Himalayan has a potential of changing the adventure touring segment.
“Should one really be buying a bike that is three or four times more expensive, when every single attribute of an adventure tourer is met by Himalayan? It is in fact better off road, yes in a certain scenario like while riding on an Autobahn in Germany it is an aspect of margins. But other than that peculiar scenario, Himalayan is a better bike than the bikes three times its price and size,” reasoned Lal.
Since the launch of its first-generation bike seven years ago, Royal Enfield has sold over two lakh bikes globally. Lal claimed the new Himalayan can be a “huge growth driver not only in terms of numbers but also in stature and in many other ways.”
“The first Himalayan, seven years ago was really a domestic market product, meant for India, meant to test the market, we were all in on the segment that did not exist, it was a stab at the segment. With this new one, we have a huge confidence that people will love it. We have put all the learnings of the previous generation Himalayan into the new one on the spec side,” added Lal.
The new Himalayan which is priced Rs 2.69 lakh for the base Kaza Brown colour and reaches upto 2.84 lakh for the Hanle Black colour (prices are introductory and are valid till December 31, 2023), has a water-cooled engine, it revs higher, the power has gone up by 65 percent and the torque has increased by 25 percent. While the large part of ergonomics has remained the same, the company has got a lower seat configuration to ensure accessibility to a larger customer group.
Royal Enfield claims that while the previous generation Himalayan was excellent off-road, the new Himalayan has better on-road performance. Royal Enfield took feedback from the explorers, globe trotters, athletes before developing this bike.
“The new Himalayan has a super refined engine with ride by wire technology, the chassis is a next level, it has superior suspension well-tuned for off-roading and the bike also comes with the TFT screen with google maps. We have pulled out all stops to make it a fantastic bike,” asserted Lal.
Developed on a J platform, with a 452-cc water cooled engine, Royal Enfield is exploring multiple form factors on the same platform, which will be revealed at a later date, assured the company.
In fact, Royal Enfield showcased a test bed of Himalayan Electric at the recently concluded Motorcycle Show EICMA in Milan, Italy. An EV version of Himalayan developed in-house has already been tested across terrains and the learnings based on the platform may prove critical in the final EV product meant for commercial launch in 2025, the company said. It also clarified that the Himalayan EV was just the test bed and there is no decision taken on the launch of the same.
On the persistent concerns on the rising competition, Lal re-iterated that he is not focused on competitors and is instead focused on the company's own path, which is strong on the back of “an exceptional brand, wide distribution, new products and a strong community,”
“We are not worried. In fact, we are very bullish on the future. The increase in competition will mean growth in market size, it will benefit us, though we may lose a bit of market share, but we will continue to grow,” Lal said.
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