This is going to be the most technologically advanced Royal Enfield motorcycle to date
The excitement is real. We have managed to get our first sighting of the next-gen Royal Enfield Himalayan, which might just be called the Himalayan 450LC; and boy, is it everything that Indian adventure enthusiasts need. It isn’t a cosmetic upgrade from the older bike but rather a complete overhaul of the adventure bike that we have come to love.
And the biggest talking point has to be its engine. The test mule was running a brand new, never seen before, liquid-cooled mill, which should be displacing around 450 cee cees. This will be Royal Enfield’s first liquid-cooled mill, the retro bikemaker finally stepping into the 21st century. We expect the engine mannerisms to improve with more power and torque on hand now. However, we wish the core essentials of a good adventure motorcycle, which the current 410LS motor has to a certain extent, like strong bottom-end torque, don’t go missing. It might just be running a six-speed gearbox as well.
A new trellis frame arrives for this new motor, with every single piece of hardware seemingly upgraded as well. The front suspension is a USD fork. The front disc is significantly larger, perhaps running a radial brake caliper. Switchable ABS is already present on the current Himalayan but might get different modes.
Even though the majority of the parts and design elements are shrouded in a black camouflage wrap, the new Himalayan doesn’t carry over the functional look of its current iteration. It looks rounder and larger, especially the fuel tank area. A round headlamp continues to exist but it might just be an LED unit, considering the prominent heat sink present. What we can also spot on the 450LC is the circular cluster from the Scram 411/Meteor 350. There would be provisions for mounting the Tripper pod and, hopefully, also a tachometer. We expect RE to give this a very Dakar rally bike-esque tower system.
Although the arrival of this motorcycle does whet our appetite, it wouldn’t be until mid-2023 that we might see it on our roads. This new Himalayan 450LC is expected to give a tough time to the KTM 390 Adventure and the BMW G 310 GS, and pricing here is going to be the key. Currently, the two European ADVs are priced at Rs 3.28 lakh and Rs 3.05 lakh respectively. If Royal Enfield were to match the Beemer’s price or even arrive at a slight premium and still undercut the Austrian bike, it would do a fantastic job.
But that’s not the only reasonably-big ADV coming in next year. Hero’s larger XPulse 350/450, if it is going to be called that, is also under development for the past couple of years and it was touted to arrive in 2023. The adventure space is just about to get even hotter.