2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan FI BS4 Off-road Review: Many changes but any better?

Overall rating: 4

The Royal Enfield Himalayan BSIV picks up where the Himalayan BSIII picked up, and it gets a whole lot of refinement and a much-much better gearbox! Does it silence the demons of it's past?

By: | Updated: January 28, 2018 12:05 PM
Royal Enfield Himalayan BSIV Review What's important here is that the 18-inch rear wheel has enough grip even on the soft crest to get the wheel up! Also Wheelie!

Royal Enfield Himalayan BS4 Review

Royal Enfield has a history of building rough and tumble machines designed to conquer the open road and all imaginable conditions. For your average joe biker ,like you and me,this would mean the outer reaches of the Himalayas. A place where it has become almost ritual for all Royal Enfield fans and riders to go. The problem was Bullets, Classic and the rest of Royal Enfields motley crew, weren’t even remotely designed for the kind of terrain that one would expect in the Himalayas.  With the Himalayan that launched in 2015, they threw the old rule book out. And instead built an entry level adv-motorcycle that was designed to conquer the domain that made the Royal Enfield so famous, a first-time attempt for the Royal Enfield garage. It was exciting, new and fitted in with the agenda of the new generation, in its own rustic sort of way.  Like any first time exploration into unexplored territory; the Himalayan had issues. Refinement, parts that fell off and overheating, made both the Himalayan and Royal Enfield target for internet trolls seeking vengeance for what they thought was a botched product.

Royal Enfield Himalayan BSIV Design The BSIV Himalayan carries forward the standard Himalayan's minimalist design, not much has changed although we can't complain!

 

Commendably for Royal Enfield, they gathered each and every bit of negative feedback and then they got to work. The result is this, The Royal Enfield Himalayan BS IV, which now gets Fuel injection, to beat the pesky issue of the carburettor konking out at high altitudes  The 410 cc motor on the Himalayan does make the same 24.5 bhp at 6500 rpm of power and 32 Nm of torque @ 3250 rpm as the old Himalayan what Royal Enfield have focussed on instead, polishing their diamond in the rough. The result as Royal Enfield’s cool new-age CEO so proudly proclaimed earlier this year “There will be NO refinement issues on the Himalayan BSIV.” and there aren’t.

Royal Enfield Himalayan BSIV Review Dig your foot in counter clock, and pray that you don't end up with a face-full of dirt!

 

2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan BS4 Design

Royal Enfield Himalayan BSIV Review Even in the Cilodrome, with sand-banks the Himalayan BSIV felt planted and stable!

Now in terms of cosmetic updates, the 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan BS-IV looks no different from the original carb-touting Himalayan. And that’s a good thing! The Himalayan is no poser with a bunch of plastic slapped on the tank. It’s minimalist by theme and looks built to take a beating. Considering the way the chassis-skeleton extends around tank to form a guard,the entire bike was thought out with the intention of being able to pick it up and get it going again. The idea is function over form, and it works!

 

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The Himalayan won’t set your pulse racing but it’s charming nonetheless.  Overall the build does feel a lot better in comparison to the BSIII Himalayan. It feels a lot more production and a lot less prototype. And that’s a big win! The Himalayan is still great to ride standing up and holds its own even on long highway cruises.The BSIV gets a higher set headlamp to improve long range visibility while riding in the dark, something that seems to have been born of some painful R&D.

2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan BS4 Engine and Transmission

The single cylinder,  LS-410 Himalayan engine which now gets Fuel injection is a lot more refined straight off the bat. Although we still wish that Royal Enfield might have considered a tad more power for the Himalayan than the 24 hp/32 Nm motor, especially considering that the Himalayan does weigh a full 191 kgs. This means that riding it in the dirt can get a little tiring. An extra 5 hp would have fixed this. Don’t get me wrong the Himalayan is capable. A tad more power would have made it almost unstoppable is all I’m saying. The gearbox on the old Himalayan felt a little clunky and heavy. On the new one, Royal Enfield have seriously upped the refinement. The gearbox feels light and is almost effortlessly accurate, allowing you to push the Royal Enfield even further even on uneven surfaces.

 

2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan BS4 Riding Ergonomics

Royal Enfield Himalayan BSIV Review The Suspension:Damping ratio is soft enough to spare your wrists but is stiff enough to handle quickly undulating surfaces

The BSIV Himalayan continues the BSIII variants innate capabilities but with more refinement. It will cruise along the entire day at 80 kmph without the slightest bit of vibrations or feedback. Push the needle past the 100 kmph mark and you’d find a slight hint of vibration sneaking through the footpegs and the handlebars, but only slightly. Otherwise the Himalayan is smooth on the trott and is leagues ahead of its predecessor in terms of damping and refinement. In the dirt, is where the Himalayan really shines, the rear suspension gets a full 180 mm of travel and the front has an even higher 220 mm of travel. That coupled with 220 mm of ground clearance and knobbly 21 inch front and 18 inch rear tyres allow the Himalayan to conquer anything from rocks to mud and even some soft sandy dirt! The upswept exhaust means that Enfield is even good for some serious water wading although we decided to take that on face-value.

2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan BS4 Verdict

 

The 2018 Himalayan BSIV is everything that the Himalayan should have been in the first place. Its refined and purpose built. We tested the 2018 Himalayan at a track designed for MX-bikes and 4x4 Competition SUVs, The Adventure Park in Gurgaon. From jumps to steep inclines, declines and even sand lined cilodrome, the Himalayan did it all.  It did seem to tire out as we approached the peak of what is a 65 degree incline designed for more powerful SUVs, but it did make it and that’s a feat in itself !  No foot pegs broke, the engine was as refined going in as it was coming out; and what’s more the rider was comfortable enough to come home and write this review the same evening. To sum up, I like the Himalayan enough to consider owning one. It’s not perfect, but it’s got character and its willing!

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