Talking about the new Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 after having ridden it for 500+ kilometres.
If you’ve been musing over the all-new avatar of Royal Enfield’s popular ADV, then this 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan review is all you need to know the motorcycle in detail! We rode it extensively for 500+ kilometres, over 4 days.
Table of Contents
Royal Enfield launched the first generation Himalayan in 2016. The motorcycle has been selling with no major upgrade or facelift all these years. We’ve mostly loved it! Yes, it did get a few minor tweaks like a BS6 engine and some kit and practicality improvements, but the essence of it always remained untouched.
Fast forward to 2023, and we have this- the new RE Himalayan 450- which looks and feels like anything but the Himalayan we know! This motorcycle has been designed ground up. The R&D for this began in 2017. There could hardly be any connection with the previous motorcycle except for the moniker itself.
Also, for Royal Enfield as a brand, this motorcycle could be the most radical departure it’s taken from its own stereotype!
New Royal Enfield Himalayan Mechanicals
The hardware and technical specifications deserve the most praise. Everything from the chassis to the engine, brakes and the suspension, feels fresh and desirable.
A new platform underpins the 2024 Himalayan. It gets a new Steel Twin-spar frame. The engine, dubbed ‘Sherpa 450’, is a new 452cc, liquid-cooled DOHC ( a first in Royal Enfield) unit that produces 40hp and 40Nm- the most powerful single RE has ever made! It is mated to a new 6-speed transmission. The suspension and brakes are fresh too.
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Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Engine
The new Himalayan draws its juice from the newly developed Sherpa 450 engine. It uses a forged piston, has a higher compression ratio of 11.5:1, (the previous Himalayan’s 411cc engine (LS410) had around 9.5-ish), and comes with a bore that’s larger than the stroke.
The Sherpa engine likes to be revved and sounds unlike most Royal Enfield engines. The signature ‘Thumping sound’ is gone!
40hp and 40Nm suit the motorcycle’s character. The way these are delivered is interesting too. As much as 90% of the net torque (around 36 Nm) is available from around 3000 rpms. Going further up in the rev band, you get to enjoy a strong tug, till around 6000 rpms.
The peak power comes in only at 8000 rpms making this a very rev-happy engine! As you go up in revs, the motor sounds different too. The exhaust note is rather raspy at higher spins. This duality in its nature, makes the Sherpa 450 one of the biggest catches on the new Himalayan!
Despite its higher capacity and enhanced output, the Sherpa 450 engine is around 10 kilos lighter than the previous 411cc motor!
The new Himalayan comes with ride-by-wire and selectable ride modes. There are two different modes to choose from- Eco and Power- both offer the option to turn off the ABS.
The Himalayan 450 Gets A New Gearbox!
The motorcycle gets a new 6-speed gearbox. The shifts are smooth and precise. The lower four gears (1,2,3,4) are short and optimal for low-speed rides through the city, off-road or rough patches. 5 and 6 are rather tall, best for high-speed cruising or highway rides. The clutch feels comfortable to operate and gets slip and assist functions.
2024 Himalayan 450 Suspension & Brakes
The suspension could be one of the best things to spot on this motorcycle. The new Royal Enfield Himalayan gets 43mm separate function Showa USD forks at the front and a Showa monoshock at the rear. The preload of the rear spring can be adjusted.
The previous Himalayan had 200mm front travel and 180mm at the rear. The new motorcycle, however, offers 200mm at both ends! The rear travel has now gone up by 20mm!
The new Himalayan has disc brakes at both ends- 320mm front discs and 270mm units at the rear. Both these use sintered pads and feel quite sharp.
The new Himalayan’s twin-spar frame uses Steel (and not Aluminium), for added strength. It has a bolt-on subframe and uses the engine as a stressed member. There is thus no lower cradle- a fact that has liberated more ground clearance. This also ensures better mass centralization, bringing about more stability and better road manners.
Design & Dimensions
The design looks fresh but is also quite loud about being the ‘Himalayan’, with its silhouette. Notable highlights include a shorter windshield, LED headlamp that comes straight from the SuperMeteor, sleek tail, large 17L fuel tank, high-set beak, stylish LED tail lamps, 21-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear wheel.
CEAT partnered with Royal Enfield to design the tyres for this motorcycle. The rear tyre is a wide 140-section unit. These offer good grip and rideability.
The new motorcycle has grown in dimensions. At 1510mm, the wheelbase is now up by 40mm! The ground clearance is 230mm, and the seat height stands at 825mm. Yes, that’s 25mm higher than the Gen 1 Himalayan’s seat height. This could thus be slightly more challenging for short riders. Plus, the seat also has a higher setting that would increase the height to 845mm.
If these bother you much, Royal Enfield also has a ‘low seat’ accessory on sale, that would bring the seat height to 805mm. The new Himalayan weighs 196kg, a touch less than the previous motorcycle.
It is available in 3 different avatars- Base, Pass and Peak. The only difference between these is the colourway. The available colours are Kaza Brown, Salte Himalayan Salt, Slate Poppy Blue, Hanle Black, Kamet White.
Himalayan 450 Features
The new Himalayan gets a large 4.0-inch circular TFT screen as its instrument cluster. It displays essential rider and vehicle information, along with the speedo and tacho. It also offers Smartphone connectivity via the Royal Enfield app, compatible with both Android and iOS.
Once connected, the phone uses its internet to load and stream maps (using Google Maps data) and cast the same to the instrumentation unit. The rider thus gets to enjoy a full-screen map view. The screen also comes with an automatic Dark mode and various other features.
Other features on the motorcycle include a USB C charging port, selectable riding modes, joystick-based controls for the TFT screen and switchable ABS.
The new Himalayan differs from its predecessor in ergonomics and rider triangle. The placement of footpegs and handlebar is unlike what we’d seen on the gen-1 bike. The new tank design gives you a better knee grip. You no longer find your knees rubbing against the tank extensions or the pannier mounts like they used to on the previous Himalayan.
The Sherpa engine feels great to ride. It, however, has a soft low end. It doesn’t feel as tractable at extremely low rpms, as the 411. The torque starts to flow in at around 2700 rpm, and there is a strong tug upwards of it. The low-end grunt seems to have been replaced with a strong mid-range and beefy higher spins.
This doesn’t mean that you’d end up stalling the new Himalayan. There is ample character and capability in stock, to go off-roading or to attack trails. You will have to get used to more frequent gearshifts though. ( Tip: Treat this as another 400cc motorcycle, and not a Royal Enfield 400!)
The Sherpa 450 loves to be revved. It can get to high speeds without straining the powerplant. The motorcycle stays stable at 100 kph. 120 kph could be a good cruising speed for the new Himalayan.
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This engine might not feel as smooth, refined or vibration-free as the J-series engines. It has the vibrations you would usually associate with most 400cc engines. But these are never big enough to be intrusive. The engine being mounted as a stressed member also results in more footpeg vibes. To overcome this limitation, the new motorcycle has special dampers in these areas.
The suspension is brilliant. A good amount of damping is offered, and the motorcycle feels stable at high speeds. The ride and handling are great. The suspension doesn’t feel too soft, not too firm. There is no excessive nose dive either, and the rider feels very connected to the front wheel when negotiating fast turns. Potholes and rough patches never unsettle the rider.
The weight of the motorcycle hardly bothers you. It feels manageable and quite liveable. The braking performance is excellent as well.
Himalayan 450 Mileage
With the ECO mode in place, the Himalayan 450 has become more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. During our days with the motorcycle, it returned an indicated peak mileage of 29kpl, with the ECO mode engaged. In the Performance mode and with aggressive rider behaviour, the numbers dropped to 20 kpl.
Here are some popular questions about the new Himalayan.