The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan Is Still an Adventure Bike Bargain
Even amongst other affordable adventure bikes, the Royal Enfield Himalayan still strikes a bargain. True, it doesn’t have all the bells-and-whistles that pricier ADV motorcycles offer. But it’s an honest off-roader that can be had for less than the price of some used models. And for 20201, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is getting a few updates.
2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan: what’s new and what carries over
The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan isn’t drastically different than the 2020 model, Roadshow reports. It’s still powered by a 411cc single-cylinder engine, rated at 25 hp and 24 lb-ft. And it’s still linked to a 5-speed manual.
The 2021 Himalayan also retains the rest of the features which make it a great budget adventure bike. It comes standard with a skid plate, upper crash bars, front and rear luggage racks, and an adjustable windscreen, Motorcyclist reports. It also has 8.6” of ground clearance, 7.1” of rear suspension travel, and 7.9” of front travel, Revzilla reports. Plus, the Himalayan’s gauge cluster comes with a speedometer, tachometer, LCD screen, fuel gauge, clock, and a compass, The Drive reports.
Instead, for 2021, Royal Enfield focused on tweaking the adventure bike’s other components, RideApart reports. Disc brakes and ABS are still standard, but the rear brakes have been upgraded to decrease braking distance. Also, the ABS is now switchable in the rear, which is beneficial in off-roading situations. Other minor changes include a hazard light switch, a redesigned side stand, and more color options.
Pricing and availability
The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan will be available for pre-order starting on September 1st, 2020. However, RideApart reports deliveries likely won’t start until the beginning of 2021. And the number of pre-orders will be limited, though an exact number isn’t given.
Previously, the Royal Enfield Himalayan started at $4749. And luckily, the new paint and updates don’t raise the price too much. The 2021 model starts at $4999.
Is the 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan worth considering?
As before, the Royal Enfield Himalayan’s sub-$5000 price tag leaves it with only a handful of off-road bike competitors.
The closest affordable adventure bike in price is the KTM 390 Adventure. It’s also a single-cylinder bike, though its 373cc engine makes 38 hp and 23 lb-ft, Cycle World reports. And it’s had switchable ABS before the Himalayan. It’s $1200 more expensive, and it actually has slightly less suspension travel. But that extra money gets you adjustable traction control, a slipper clutch, a 6-speed transmission, and a TFT color display.
But there’s plenty to like about the Royal Enfield Himalayan. The 31.5”-tall seat is easy to get on and off of, GQ reports, and the seat itself is comfortable. And both the pegs and handlebar create a neutral, upright riding position.
It’s not exactly a highway bike, ADVPulse reports, and some of the gears are a bit widely-spaced. In that sense, the KTM is likely the better choice. But the Himalayan can handle dirt, sand, gravel, and even some rock-crawling without issue.
There are adventure bikes with more off-road gadgets than the Royal Enfield Himalayan. But they’re all noticeably more complex and more expensive. The Himalayan, then, is an appeal to simplicity. And if that appeals to you, the 2021 model adds just a little more refinement.
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