The Royal Enfield Himalayan Might Be the Best Motorcycle for Beginners

Retro is back. Aside from that sentence being a bit of a paradox, cars, motorcycles, and SUVs are leaning heavily on the past. We see the motorcycle market doing extremely well with these retro bikes like the BMW RnineT series and the Ducati Scrambler. But, before it was cool to this, there was Royal Enfield. Now the Royal Enfield Himalayan is here to claim the retro adventure bike crown, but also it might be the best motorcycle for beginners, period. 

The Royal Enfield Himalayan riding course in India. Shows that this is the best motorcycle for beginners
A Royal Enfield biker shows off-road capabilities of new motorcycle “Himalayan” | PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images

Is the Royal Enfield Himalayan really the best motorcycle for beginners? 

Motorcycle preference is heavily dependent on the style of riding you plan to do and your taste. What makes the Royal Enfield Himalayan such a great choice for a new rider is that it technically falls into the category of Adventure bike. 

This means that the bike is made for both on-road and off-road riding. The taller suspension, dual-sport tires, versatile riding style, and lightweight package make this bike one of the best motorcycles for beginners. 

Everyone always screams about how the Honda Rebel is the best motorcycle for beginners, but it is simply too limiting and gets outgrown quickly. Many seasoned riders have bought and loved the Royal Enfield Himalayan because it is unique, versatile, and friendly. Even our friends at Roadshow reviewed and loved the Himilaya for being so versatile and fun, even for experienced riders. 

What makes the Himalayan so good? 

A true adventure bike would likely be tough for many new riders to learn on. However, the Enfield isn’t really a full-blown adventure bike. It looks like one, rides kind of like one, but is just a softer, sweeter verison. 

Part of what makes this one of the best motorcycles for beginners is that it has plenty of power without being too powerful. Royal Enfield’s 411 cc single-cylinder engine makes a cute 24.5 hp. If the decimal tells you anything, it’s that this isn’t a fast bike. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s underpowered. This single-cylinder banger is also paired with a five-speed transmission. 

The Himalayan is pretty tall 

The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalaya cruising through the mountains
2021 Royal Enfield Himalaya | Royal Enfield

The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan Just Got a Killer Upgrade

A tall bike can be intimidating to many riders and especially beginners. As Roadshow puts it,  the 31.5-inch seat height makes this an unusually accessible adventure bike. For example, that’s about 3 inches lower than the standard seat height on BMW’s F 850 GS Adventure, despite the Himalayan only coming up 1.2 inches short on front suspension travel. 

This means that you get a taller, more versatile bike without having to worry about touching the ground when you stop. However, some shorter riders may still struggle with this seat height. 

How much does a 2021 Royal Enfiled Himalayan cost?

This is, without a doubt, the best part of the Himalayan. Royal Enfield’s first proper adv bi starts at only $4,999. That is about half the cost of a Ducati Scrambler, a third of the BMW RnineT, and about half or less than the bottom-barrel Harley. 

The Himilayan has quirks; it vibrates, it has silly little brakes and doesn’t have the best maintenance track record, but for the most part, nothing even comes close to being this cool and versatile and being this cheap in the motorcycle world. 

The last part of what makes this the best motorcycle for beginners is that it passes the vibe check. Just look at it. It is a marvelous-looking thing. Learning to ride a bike can be hard and scary at first. Having a machine that you love can truly help get some riders over the hump and on their way to tearing it up on their bike without fear or unease.