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Himalayan 5000 mile review

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Himalayan 5000 mile review
Started at 12:19am on the 9th October, 2018 by Jack the Lad
Jack the Lad Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review

Royal Enfield Himalayan Owners Review 5000 miles

I thought some of you may be interested in the experience of an owner now I have covered 5000 miles since January, mostly on my 2 or 3 times a week 75 mile round trip commute, with a few longer trips for pleasure.

Performance

Is 25 bhp enough? Of course, it's not the right bike for track days or if you want to cross continents in the fast lane at 100mph, but it is fast enough to exceed the national speed limits, cruise at the limit on motorways for at least 250 miles (my longest single day journey so far), get past slow moving traffic on A roads and have fun on B roads.  That's enough for me.

Reliability

I'm sorry to disappoint the sceptics, but I'm afraid that I've got nothing to report!  I haven't even had to adjust the chain yet. 3000 mile service intervals are mildly inconvenient, but it's a simple engine, so they are not too expensive.

Comfort, Handling, Roadholding and Brakes

Right from the start I found the Himalayan a really easy bike just to get on and ride.  I like the sit up and beg riding position, the screen works well for my height (6ft 1in) with no buffeting, but enough breeze to clear raindrops.  The seat was comfortable enough for that 250 mile trip and the return ride next day. 

It handles really well, no fuss no drama, no weaves, no wobbles, no brake dive, nothing remotely near touching down.  Smooth fuelling means there isn't the throttle off-on hiccup that could unsettle the 500 and well controlled suspension takes out any worry over mid corner bumps. 

The original Pirelli MT60 tyres stuck like glue winter and summer, wet and dry, but squared off by 3500 miles and were replaced at 4800.  I've put on Avon Trailriders, which get better reviews for tyre life - only 3 rides so far but on cold or wet roads they feel just as good as the Pirellis. 

Some road tests criticize the bike for weak brakes, one I saw was on the grounds that it needed all 4 fingers to achieve a stoppie!  Back in my real world, the brakes are just fine.  They are not 'brick wall' brakes, but I like that. A lot of my commute is on single track B roads with passing places. They are often wet, muddy, covered in leaves or strewn with inconveniently place manhole covers, so gentle brakes where I'm in charge of how heavy I brake are reassuring.  It will brake fast enough with a good squeeze and I have neither hit anything yet nor managed to trigger the ABS.

Other important things

I have averaged 75 mpg, with a high of 79 and a low of 68 (that motorway trip).  I can do 3 days commute on a tankful (225 miles) with over a litre to spare.  Best tankful was 238 miles with half a litre left.

I spent a lot of money and effort to improve the lights on my Electra without ever being really satisfied, but the Himalayan ones are good enough as standard to ride at pretty much the same speeds night or day. 

Looks are subjective - but I like the way that the Himalayan looks just as good dirty as clean.  That's lucky as I ride in all weathers and hate washing bikes, so I've only done it twice - but there is no rust or other evidence of misuse.

Summary

Overall I'm really pleased. 5000 miles is still early days but if I knew then what I know now I would still buy one and recommend it to friends.  For £4000 it's almost a no-brainer.  Like most motorcyclists as soon as I've got one bike I start thinking about the next one.  I haven't come up with a better alternative yet, even at twice the price - not least because, for me, not being able to do those 3 days commute on a single tankful is a total deal-breaker, which counts out at least 95% of bikes on the market.

Posted: 12:19am 9th October, 2018
Jamesy Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
Very good report and the only thing that put me off the Himalayan was that 25 bhp.However yourself and others have said it will cruise at motorway speed of 70mph.What was the running in period/miles for the bike.
Posted: 12:16pm 9th October, 2018
Wayne Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
Well done Jack and thank the Lord for common sense and honesty! I have had my Himalayan since March and have covered nearly three thousand miles as well, I agree with all of Jacks comments and results, have not had to adjust my chain either and love the bike as well. My GT sits forlorn as I will take the Himalayan every time. It is one of the best all round bikes for the money I have ever had.
Posted: 04:47pm 9th October, 2018
Adrian Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
That is a very helpful report. After problems with the early home-market bikes the factory seems to have got its act together, but it's a shame they haven't used that engine in more models besides the Himalayan, something retro roadster-ish in the CGT chassis would have been interesting.

A.
Posted: 09:45pm 9th October, 2018
Jamesy Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
I think that Enfield must be thinking about a 500/650cc 50bhp engine for a future Himalayan after reviews slating the engine size.Perhaps the engine from the new Interceptor?.
Posted: 06:57am 10th October, 2018
Presto Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
I’m with Jack and Wayne here. The Himalayan is by far the best Royal Enfield I’ve ever ridden – and I’ve ridden plenty! It feels like a fully integrated project. In every department it seems to excel for what it is and what it’s intended to be. It’s light, handles beautifully, inspires confidence off-road without being in the least intimidating. On road it’s comfortable for huge distances – and that’s a welcome first for RE! On the question of performance, sure it’s not by any means super-quick. But who needs that! I don’t. Certainly not for the type of roads where the Himalayan is most at home.

An Interceptor twin engine in the Himalayan frame? Not for me. In my view it’s just not needed; it’d ruin everything the Himalayan seems to have got right as it is.

On that subject I bet our hosts are already planning performance mods to pep-up the standard motor without ruining the character of the bike overall.
Posted: 09:16am 10th October, 2018
Jack the Lad Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
I'm not sure I've seen reviews that slate the Himalayan's power more of a minor regret that it doesn't have just a little more. Fitting the 650 twin would create a very different kind of bike, more like a vstrom or versus and probably cost half as much again. The Himalayan engine is a fair old lump - so there could be a bigger version in the pipeline. As long as they fit a bigger fuel tank, upgrade the brakes and keep the price rise to no more than £590, a 600 version with 35-49 bhp would be awesome!
Posted: 01:39pm 10th October, 2018
Jack the Lad Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
Too many 9s there! £500 and 40bhp.
Posted: 01:41pm 10th October, 2018
Jamesy Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
Maybe slating the engine size was a bit too harsh.The only real negatives reviewsI read said it was underpowered and should have had a bigger engine/bhp.That won't put me off though.I will eventually book a test ride and take it from there.
Posted: 05:27pm 10th October, 2018
PeteF Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
Just my opinion of course but what the Himalayan doesn't have is any retro appeal and that's just why a lot of us ride Enfields.
Posted: 05:43pm 10th October, 2018
Jamesy Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
It's nice to have a choice though which Enfield has given us.Whether it's Honda transalp and a CBR sitting in your garage or a Himalayan and a Bullet 500.
Posted: 09:19pm 10th October, 2018
Jack the Lad Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
PeteF - I think you are wrong about the Himalayan not having retro appeal. Obviously it's not proper old like a Bullet or pastiche like Bonnevilles, R nineTs,Interceptors or Z900s, but the long stroke air cooled engine gives it a more authentically retro feel than any of those modern styling exercises. Although it is a modern 'adventure' bike and the styling isn't consciously trying to ape any particular old bike, to my eye it still has a proper traditional bike look to it with a dominant engine and functional style. There is none of the juvenile transformers style of GSs and Japanese bikes or the explosion in a parts factory 'style' of Triumph Tigers. I see a passing nod to the Rotax engined military Armstrong's of the 80s and ISDT bikes of the same era
Posted: 09:07am 11th October, 2018
PeteF Subject: Himalayan 5000 mile review
As I said just my opinion.
Posted: 10:53am 11th October, 2018

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