Essential Highway Companion
Almost a year to my date of purchase, with some significant interventions on behalf of RE, a few tweaks on my part and general good luck, I can say that my Himalayan is running just fine, thank you very much. The bike’s still heating up on my regular commute, but is much more bearable at highway speeds. Reckon 500k more on the odo should do the trick. Until then, it will be slog through traffic on weekdays and breakfast rides over weekends.
I must admit- I have not really tested the bike to perhaps half its potential, if the marketing campaign around its launch, is to be believed. Part of the reason was lack of time and opportunity, the other part was an unresolved trust issue with the bike, given scary reports every other day of some bugger tortured by his Himalayan- quality woes, parts falling off, engine trouble and what not. What’s interesting to note though, is while there’s a lot of hue and cry on the internet, with junta screaming war against Royal Enfield for handing them a generally dodgy item, there’s also less popular stories where hard core riders have ridden the bike in territory its supposed to excel in, with no issues.
So some days ago, surfing through motorcycle videos on YouTube, I was pleased to find some nice commentary on the machine by three Australians who have all acknowledged its true dual sport nature and have understood its advantages and limitations.
One of the Aussies, who’s done the stretch from Ladakh to Sikkim on the bike, took the fight right back to our desi boys cribbing their heart out. His take on the machine is heartening. And it helps that the motorbike was awarded Motorcycle of the Year by more than one automotive media house.
There’s a good report by this rider from Philippines as well.
It seems, the Himalayan is ticking all the right boxes with international riders, with many pegging it to be a great mini adventure bike or a comfortable everyday machine for both new and old motorcyclists. As I write this, the company has already launched Version 2.0, with EFI and ABS. India launch should be just round the corner. Would be a better buy, in my opinion, as both make a world of difference.
Now with all updates done to my machine, all I need is that one solo odyssey, where my bike and me come to terms with each other. One year’s almost done and I think the time is ripe.