The Himalayan

6 December - Rishikesh - Janneke

Ever since I started to gain interest in motorbikes, my eyes were always drawn to the Royal Enfield. Especially after the launch of the Himalayan I knew I had to ride this bike someday. Regardless of his humble specifications, as I designer I do judge by first impression. This machine is the ultimate combination of that raw vintage look, with a round headlight! Compact, not too big, and the ability to go offroad. Love at first sight. We are in India where I promised myself not to leave the country without a ride on this buddy.

To me riding a Himalayan was only worth it, if I could try a white one. A designer thingie. After spending a morning’s search we got ‘lucky’. This guy just swopped the tank for me within minutes! After that we waited quite a while because the fuel key was still with the black tank, which off course was taken somewhere else. In India anything is possible, but things never go as planned. Lets get riding!

After riding my black stallion, Africa Twin 750, the Himalayan feels like a playful puppy. Soo easy to handle, the difference in weight is nearly 100kg! Drawing eights are fun!

Due to the smaller size, my whole feet can touch the ground which gives a lot of confidence. Downside here is that my knees are too high up and bended too much which causes a nasty feeling after a while. I guess a true Indian posture bike, because the foot pegs are quite short, my boots hardly fit.

Offroad riding with the puppy was a joy, it ain’t the Wakhan but the Himalayan took the small path like a tank. Place it in first gear and it will just plough trough. Standing on the bike felt weird though, I had to wrap my legs in an o-shape around, not very stable.

Riding the Himalayan is pretty smooth, good sound, accelerates similarly as Salvador. Quite some power in the lower gears and pulls up fine until 80-90km/h. That’s all you need in India! Dashboard could be more symmetrical but that is my personal opinion, I like the build in compass though.

And yes, the bike looks badass. The perfect offroad scrambler. I would take off the lower fender, ugly! Yes, you get more muddy, but hey you need to suffer for aesthetics.