Home » The 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Is Finally Fast Enough For A Comfortable Long-Distance Adventure

The 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Is Finally Fast Enough For A Comfortable Long-Distance Adventure

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Since 2016, Royal Enfield has offered adventurous riders an affordable and funky machine to take them into the sticks. The Royal Enfield Himalayan is an ugly duckling, but an endearing one with some real off-road chops. One thing the Himalayan hasn’t been that great at is getting anywhere with gusto. That’s finally changing as Royal Enfield has unveiled the Himalayan 450. The new bike gets fresh looks, chassis improvements across the board, and perhaps most importantly, an all-new engine delivering 39.5 HP, or more than enough ponies to gallop down a highway.

Royal Enfield has been teasing the new Himalayan for months. Rumors about the new motorcycle have also been swirling around for months. Why? The new Himalayan is a pretty huge deal. Back when the original Himalayan was launched in 2016, it was known as the motorcycle that broke in its own promotional videos. Royal Enfield has been steadily improving the motorcycle since then. Over time, it grew from the oddball riders laughed at to the machine I see riders not just riding, but enjoying. Now, the motorcycle is about ready for its biggest and baddest update yet.

Vidframe Min Top
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Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 2024 (3)

In decades past, Royal Enfields were used for off-roading. The Bullet earned itself a record for winning International Six Days Trial gold medals. When they weren’t winning in the dirt, Bullets found themselves out in the field in military service. Royal Enfield says its brand became known throughout India in 1955 when the military took Bullets into the Himalayas. Since then, the Himalayas have been a sort of Mecca for Indian motorcyclists. Yet, other brands would create dedicated off-roaders while Royal Enfield did not.

In 2010, Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal took his first adventure in the Himalayas. Lal was taken aback by the scenery, the fresh air, and the stars of the night sky. Flash floods cut the trip short, but Lal learned something new. Lal realized that the best motorcycles for the region weren’t ones that conquered the terrain, but ones that would go with the flow of nature.

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Screenshot (635)

Lal felt that the then-current crop of adventure bikes didn’t fit the bill. They were too heavy, too complicated, and too advanced to handle the Himalayas. Bikes that required high-octane fuel were especially inappropriate due to the lack of availability of such fuels. Lal also mentioned that so many of the existing adventure bikes out there were simply too tall for Indians and that if you happened to break one, there was no Indian equivalent of AAA to come and save you.

Thus, Lal kicked off development for his brand’s first-ever purpose-built adventure bike. Pierre Terblanche, formerly of Ducati, led development. A prototype was built in 2014 and by 2016, the Royal Enfield Himalayan finally hit the road. That bike was something different. While Royal Enfield commonly built new bikes using the bones and engines of the Bullet, the Himalayan had a new engine, its own chassis, and more.

Himmie

As I noted earlier, the Royal Enfield Himalayan had a rocky start when Enfield promoted the motorcycle with a video showing a peg breaking off after the motorcycle landed from a jump. The brand has been improving the bike since then and now, it’s worthy of Enfield’s “Made Like A Gun” slogan. Still, the Himalayan couldn’t shake off the 24.5 HP provided by its 411cc single. A Himalayan got you to highway speeds of around 75 mph, but only just.

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Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 2024 (1)

After months of teasing and speculation, Royal Enfield is finally showing off the new Himalayan 450, and it looks like the sort of adventure bike fans have been asking for since 2016.

The headlining upgrade with the new Himalayan 450 is its new Sherpa engine. It’s a 452cc single-cylinder unit rated at 39.5 HP and 29.5 lb-ft of torque. That’s a huge improvement from the old 411cc single’s 24.3 HP and 23.6 lb-ft of torque. More improvements with the engine include dual overhead cams and water-cooling. The old engine was cooled by air plus oil and was of a single overhead cam design. This new engine is a bit tighter and has increased gas flow. Compression is noted to be 11.5:1 compared to 9.5:1 on the old unit. All of this is commanded through a ride-by-wire system.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 2024 (8)

Connected to that engine is a six-speed manual transmission, giving the rider one more gear over the old Himalayan.

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That drivetrain is bolted to a steel tube frame with a body that has that familiar Terblanche-designed look. Royal Enfield says the new Himalayan was developed at its UK headquarters and product strategy and design chief Mark Wells led the project. So much of the new Himalayan shows evolutionary improvements. Up front, you’re getting 43mm inverted forks with 7.87 inches of travel. The old Himalayan had regular 41mm telescopic forks with 7 inches of travel.

Betterfasterstronger

Out back is a monoshock with 7.87 inches of travel. The old bike had a monoshock in the rear as well, with a slightly shorter 7 inches of travel. Continuing the theme of incremental improvements, the front brake rotor grew from 300mm to 320mm while the rear rotor grew from 240mm to 270mm. Wheels are the same size with a 21 incher up front and a 17 in the rear, though the rear tire gets slightly wider. Even the fuel tank grew from 4 gallons to 4.5 gallons.

Despite all of these improvements, the Himalayan actually lost weight. The old Himalayan weighed 439 pounds wet while this new one comes in at 432 pounds. Sure, that’s not a huge change, but it’s nice that the bike gets more of everything and didn’t get any heavier. Also notable is the fact that there are two seat options which will allow a total range of adjustment from 31.7 inches to 33.3 inches. The old Himalayan was fixed to a seat height of 31.5 inches.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 17

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Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 2024

In terms of technology, ABS carries over from the old bike. You’ll get to monitor your Himalayan 450’s instruments through a 4-inch TFT display. In addition to that, you get LED lighting, a USB port, and selectable ride modes. Like all Royal Enfield products, there will be an expansive catalog of accessories from bash bars and all sorts of guards to storage cases. Tubeless wheels will also be an option.

Img 0340Pricing has yet to be announced, but like all Royal Enfield products, I’d expect the 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 to remain pretty affordable. Royal Enfield also hasn’t released an exact release date. The brand has been running a video series teasing the new motorcycle and the final video is set to come out on November 7. We may know the full details then.

So long as the price is right, it sounds like Royal Enfield has a winner here. This is the Himalayan so many riders have fallen in love with, but at least on paper, it’s better in every way. I can’t wait to swing a leg over it.

(Images: Royal Enfield)

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LastStandard
LastStandard
8 months ago

That looks great. 432lbs is a bit heavy, my 690ER is about 60lbs lighter but also likely twice the cost.

CF-Moto is on the verge of releasing a new ADV bike using the 450 parallel twin that KTM abandoned. Should be a good match up between these two.

Keith Hunt
Keith Hunt
8 months ago
Reply to  LastStandard

Have had this Royal Enfield on my radar for a long while and happy with what I’m seeing. Always figured it would be heavier than the average, but with the standard farkles it’ll come with (center stand, tank guard, etc.) it probably carries 20 lbs of what would be aftermarket bits on another bike, so I can forgive some of the weight

But somehow hadn’t caught wind of the CFMoto 450 ADV rumors, thanks for sharing! A quick search and plenty of chatter online that it might be revealed soon at EICMA, very interested to learn more

Mechanical Pig
Mechanical Pig
8 months ago

I owned the prior generation (a 2019) for about a year. While a bit rough around the edges in some ways (ex- they decided to put the sensor for the ambient temp readout directly behind the cylinder- on an air cooled engine- so it’d read about 140* cruising around), the compass was more roulette than navigation tool, and the EFI tuning could have used another few minutes in the oven, but overall it was a pretty solid bike. Viewed in it’s native India, it makes a lot of sense, especially given that motorcycles are never allowed to legally travel more than about 55mph, even on freeways, makes the lack of power somewhat understandable. Fuel economy, durability, and ease of service are a lot more important than top speed.

Here in freedom-eagle-land, especially Texas where’s a 3 hour drive to the next town over, it ended up being why I sold the bike. 70 was it’s realistic top speed. That quickly became 65 or 60 with a slight grade or bit of headwind, or if you had panniers. Also meant to do that, you were holding it WOT at all times. The engine did it, and never gave any hiccup, even still returning 60mpg (more sedate riding could see it north of 70mpg- it didn’t make much power, but it was a fuel sipper).

Even on dirt roads and some easier trails- it’s definitely not a dirt bike- the lack of power was frustrating. You couldn’t just give it a handful of throttle and steer with the back. The engine reminded me of a diesel. It’s purely midrange. Too low RPM, it’s got nothing, just bucks and chugs. Too high, it runs out of breath in a hurry, and IIRC, redline was only about 6500rpm. It wanted to run between about 3000-5000rpm. Given it’s 5spd, wide ratio box, and narrow powerband, it was kind of annoying to ride off road. Constantly tap-dancing on the shifter to find some usable power since it went from “lugging” to “limiter” in an instant.

The 450 update is making a convincing argument to come back to it. The tach looks like it goes a lot higher, 40hp is enough to confidently hit highway speeds even with luggage, and it didn’t get any taller or fatter. Think they did a good job with the styling too- it looks a bit more modern and less “agricultural”, while still keeping it’s handsome lines and big round headlight, resisting the current trend to make everything look “aggressive” with lots of sharp angles and pointy bits. LED lighting, TFT screen with navi support, and the option to get tubeless wheels are further bonuses. If they can keep the price on this to about $6500- slightly undercutting the KTM 390ADV, while offering some more standard features, think this could be a pretty popular item.

CSRoad
CSRoad
8 months ago

I think the makeover is what it needed, good stuff.
The price is going to tell the story as there is quite a bit of potential competition in the segment.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
8 months ago

I hope that 6th gear help a lot at highway speeds as an old and fat guy my last single (650cc 5 speed) just was unfun at highway speeds and had no top end. I cannot wait to get a good look at one of these.

DadBod
DadBod
8 months ago

So is it pronounced HIM-A-LAYIN or HEH-MALL-YEN?

Last edited 8 months ago by DadBod
Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
8 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

HIM-A-LAYIN or HIM-AH-LAY-UN probably work best.

Matthew Skwarczek
Matthew Skwarczek
8 months ago

The graphic says the Himalayan is now harder, better, faster, stronger, and I agree. It’s good enough to go…around the world.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
8 months ago

Doin’ It Right!

A. Barth
A. Barth
8 months ago

That is a really nice bump in power!

I love dual-purpose enduro adventure bikes, though it’s strange seeing one with a low-mounted exhaust instead of the traditional high-mounted. The Himalaya’s is behind a skid plate, which is nice, but I’d be worried about hitting a big rock and crimping the pipe.

Fun fact: the 17″ + 21″ tire combo is the same as on my 42-year-old Yamaha adventure bike. 🙂

Keith Hunt
Keith Hunt
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Curious what Yamaha you have! I’ve an ’83 XT550 that has been tweaked a bit for better on-road/ADV use but it is 18/21 wheel combo

A. Barth
A. Barth
8 months ago
Reply to  Keith Hunt

It’s a 1981 XT250 🙂

As a yute I had one that originally belonged to my brother: he upgraded to an ’84 or ’85 XT600, which was something of a beast to start and to ride, and I got the 250. Several years ago I bought a fairly nice example on eBay and have slowly been getting it back into shape.

The 250 has the same suspension model as your 550, but instead of aluminum the swingarm is painted steel.

Keith Hunt
Keith Hunt
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Very cool, I’ve only ever read up on the XT250s but never came across one in person! I’m definitely a fan of the XTs, all pretty innovative bikes for their time

My bike was my dad’s since the later 90s, he stopped riding a number of years ago and it had been largely sitting. A complete bike though not pristine, I’ve been catching it up on various maintenance since laying claim to it two years ago. Still pretty favorable power (34 hp) and lighter than most modern bikes at around 330 lbs wet. Makes for a fun forest road explorer

Spence
Spence
8 months ago

I was sorely tempted by the previous iteration, but I’m a big guy and I worried the power wasn’t enough and the seat was too low. Problems hopefully solved!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago

“Connected to that transmission is a six-speed manual transmission, “
Meant to write ‘engine’ in place of the first transmission, I believe.

WR250R
WR250R
8 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

‘Yo dawg I heard you like transmissions so we put a transmission on your transmission!’

Jon L
Jon L
8 months ago
Reply to  WR250R

Your saying they went full 80s Corvette?! Early C4s had a 4 speed manual with a 2 speed auto.

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago

YouTuber / World Solo Motorcyclist Itchy Boots has been riding one all India for a month now including the namesake Himalayan Mountains. Seems to be working well. The multigauge / nav screen digital display is pretty cool.

Last edited 8 months ago by Chronometric
Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
8 months ago

I like it! The old one was tempting. This one will be even more tempting.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
8 months ago
Reply to  Shop-Teacher

It does have the highly sought after feature of being not on fire.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
8 months ago

You burn ONE scooter to the ground in spectacular fashion…

Matthew Skwarczek
Matthew Skwarczek
8 months ago
Reply to  Shop-Teacher

OK, I’m not privy to that bit of Oppo lore–if you feel comfortable, please, elaborate

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
8 months ago

Back in April, I was riding my scooter to work one morning, when one of the army surplus canvas musette bags I was using as a saddle bags came unstrapped and got tangled up into the exhaust. I pulled over because I felt warm when I shouldn’t (It was a chilly spring morning). The bag was on fire, and the back corner of the scooter was already melting. within 5 minutes it was fully engulfed. The pictures I took are WILD. Full story and pictures are here.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

For now…

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
8 months ago
Reply to  Shop-Teacher

Man. You burn ONE scooter to the ground in spectacular fashion …

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