Well, we have all been reading about this for a while now. The Himalayan from Royal Enfield.
Here is a very nice story by Siddhartha Lal the CEO of Royal Enfield and a really inspirational motorcylce rider.
The RE website also has a few pics and videos of the bike. Here are 3 representative images from there. You can look up the videos too.
As a kid growing up in India there was always a dearth of exciting motorcycles. Those days there was the Java, the Yezdi and the Bullet. All big badass type of machines not your off road all -terrain types. Then came the 100 CC onslaught and there were numerous 2-stroke 100 CC machines from the good old Yamaha RX-100 to the Suzuki Samurai. These were noise sub-par on power and fuel guzzlers but we loved them all the same. This was followed by 4-strokes from the Hero Honda combine. I owned and rode one of these – The Hero Honda Sleek it was called. But if you look back they were all mostly similar, urban commute vehicles and nothing else.
In more recent times the Pulsar (from Bajaj – Kawasaki technology at some point) and Karizma have been a little exciting to see though still largely urban vehicle albeit more powerful.
It is only in the last 4-5 years that we have had an influx of motorbikes from all over the world vying for the Indian customer and those with aspirations of buying something different have been able to access the Triumph-Tiger or the BMW off-roaders.
Though there is still a singular lack of a good Indian off-road bike.
Ladakh / Leh the mecca of all Indian Bikers and wannabe Bikers is best accessed on a Royal Enfield bike, most importantly because you can find a mechanic for a Bullet in most parts of India. If your purpose built tourer had a problem in a remote corner, well you will be truly stuck. So, a glaring hole in the market for a reliable tourer / off-roader.
Finally, the guys at RE have decided to plug it. I do believe that it has been in the pipe for a while and maybe it does take a while to design and delivery a reliable motorbike but now we cannot wait to see it on the roads.
These few glimpses of the Himalayan have certainly whet the appetite and I for one am totally excited about this launch. AutoExpo 2016 is when it is expected to be.
Wait…..just a little more !