Finally the embargo has lifted on reviews of Royal Enfield’s new Himalayan. With BRM heading to the world launch in the Himalayas, below is a video of Paul’s thoughts on what has to be one of the most important new models of the Indian brand.

First, here are a few specs. There is literally nothing shared with the current model, with the new motor likely to become the base of a number of Enfield’s smaller capacity machines.

Himalayan 450

The powerplant in the Himalayan is a 452cc, DOHC, water-cooled, single-cylinder producing 40hp @ 8,000rpm and 40Nm @ 5,500rpm. We were riding at 3,500m above sea level so the power was down an estimated 28%, but even then it felt willing and fun. With very little in the way of vibration making its way through to the rider, it was happy to rev up to the 9k+ redline.

Showa supply the 43mm USD forks and there’s 200m of travel. The front wheel is 21-inch, the rear 17-inch and wear CEAT adventure tyres designed especially for this bike. The suspension was one of the standout features for me, with the forks doing an excellent job of offering sporty road performance while also soaking up the rough terrain we rode on later in the day. There’s no adjustment at the front and only preload at the rear, although it is great to see the rear linkage is kept high so there’s a very smooth profile underneath the bike with nothing to get caught when crossing logs or rocks and using up all the ground-clearance.

Himalayan 450

Enfield are claiming a world first with their round TFT dash which comes complete with Nav and connectivity. It is definitely worlds ahead of anything we’ve seen from RE so far and the navigation works really well, using a Royal Enfield app on your phone to run the navigation on the screen. One niggle is that the phone can’t have the screen locked for the nav to work potentially using more battery, although a USB-C mounted underneath the handlebars gives the option to charge. You also need to be in an area with cell coverage if you turn the app/nav off and then want to start the maps going again.

In the electronics department, there are 2 ride modes (Performance/Eco) and the rear ABS is switchable in both modes. There are LED lights all round, with the front the same we’ve seen on the Super Meteor. The rear has the rear light integrated into the turn signals to offer more travel for the rear wheel.

Himalayan 450

In another first for Royal Enfield, the throttle is ride-by-wire. The gearbox is 6-speed and the wet weight is 196 kilos. The tank is now 17-litres (up from 15l) giving a theoretical range of 450km.

The best bit for those shorter in the leg department is a standard 825mm seat height (which can be adjusted up to 845mm) or a low-seat option of 805mm (adjable to 825mm).