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Ever since Royal Enfield introduced the Himalayan back in 2016, the motorcycle has been receiving a number of timely updates and revisions. A significant update came in 2020 when the Royal Enfield received a revised engine to meet the latest BS6-emission norms, which came into effect from April last year.
Keeping the trend going, the Chennai-based brand introduced yet another update to the Himalayan at the start of the year. The new (2021) Royal Enfield Himalayan now comes with a few new cosmetic changes, along with a number of added features as well. The 2021 update also brings with it a price hike of Rs 10,000, translating to a revised price tag of Rs 2.01 lakh, ex-showroom (Chennai).
We recently rode the 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan around the streets of Bangalore to find out what the exact changes were and if the updates justify the price hike. Here's what we found out.
Design & Style
The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan carries forward the same overall design and styling as before. However, there are a few subtle changes made to fit the addition of the new features on offer.
Starting with the most important cosmetic change, the colours. The 2021 Royal Enfield now comes with three new colour schemes. This includes Pine Green, Granite Black and the Mirage Silver as seen on the model we had with us.
The 2021 Himalayan continues to feature the same set of halogen headlamps. The motorcycle continues to get a windscreen. However, Royal Enfield has reshaped the visor slightly, making it taller and wider than before. This, according to the company, is said to offer better wind protection, even for taller riders out on the highway at high cruising speeds.
Other cosmetic updates also include a redesigned tank guard. The reshaped rack solves the problems of taller riders who complained about not having enough knee room. Then there is the tail rack at the back, which now sits lower and in-line with the pillion seat.
The rack also comes with a metal plate, which has allowed the load-carrying capacity to be increased to 7kg from the previous 5 kilograms. Also having the tail rack sit lower, also allows for easier mounting of the luggage carriers.
Apart from the above-mentioned changes, no other cosmetic updates have been made on the 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan.
Features & Equipment
The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan comes packed with the same set of features as the previous BS6-compliant model. The only major change on the motorcycle is the addition of the Tripper Navigation.
This feature first debuted on the brand's all-new Meteor 350 cruiser. The Tripper Navigation function comes with a separate pod, mounted alongside the main instrument cluster.
It is powered by Google and comes with smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth and a dedicated app. The new pod once connected to the smartphone offers the rider turn-by-turn navigation while missing out on message and call alerts, among others.
Apart from the additional pod for the Tripper Navigation, the 2021 Himalayan continues to feature the same semi-digital instrument cluster as on the BS6 model.
Moving on to the seats, the 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan now comes with updated seats, which offer better cushioning and have been slightly contoured, improving the comfort levels. However, even with the improved cushioning, the seat height remains to be at 800mm.
While the overall fit and finish on the 2021 Himalayan have been vastly improved from its older BS4 models, there are still certain areas where Royal Enfield could have done a better job. However, most of it isn't seen and is noticeable only on closer inspection.
Coming to the mechanical equipment on offer, the 2021 Royal Enfield remains completely unchanged. It carries forward the same frame, suspension setup, brakes and tyres as before. The suspension comes in the form of 41mm telescopic forks at the front with 200mm travel and a mono-shock setup at the rear with 180mm travel.
Braking is handled via 300mm and 240mm disc brakes at the front and back, respectively. Royal Enfield introduced the 2020 BS6 Himalayan with switchable ABS, which is carried forward on the 2021-iteration as well.
The motorcycle also continues to ride on a set of 21-inch wheels at the front and 17-inch wheels at the rear. It comes with 90/90 and 120/90 tyres profiles. The Himalayan features tube tyres with spoked rims, aiding its off-roading capabilities.
There is also a good ground clearance of 220mm and the motorcycle weighs in at 199 kilograms (kerb weight). For those who like to tour long distances, the motorcycle continues to offer a relatively large 15-litre fuel tank and has a claimed fuel efficiency of 28km/l.
Engine Performance & Handling
The motorcycle even offers the same performance and handling characteristics as the BS6-iteration we rode last year. The engine continues to be smooth and well refined. The long-stroke arrangement offers a relaxed riding with the power building up in a linear manner.
While there is a slight amount of lag initially, power does build up well with the motorcycle feeling right at home in the mid-range. Post the 1500rpm mark their plenty of power on tap across all gears and the motorcycle pulls cleanly all the way to the rev-limiter.
The motorcycle is capable of sprinting all the way up to 120km/h, however, it feels better off while cruising at 80 - 100km/h speeds. The five-speed gearbox on the Himalayan is also smooth and slots into place easily.
Out on the highway, the motorcycle feels planted and feels well balanced. The Himalayan is also extremely capable off-road as well, allowing the rider to push the bike hard and to its limits.
The long-travel suspension at both ends and the 220mm ground clearance, further add to its capabilities. Having said that, the ride is slightly hampered by the 199 kilograms weight of the motorcycle which does become noticeable, especially in tricky off-road conditions.
Back on the road, the braking on the motorcycle is decent, to say the least. The brakes do feel a bit dull and the rider will have to yank the lever hard to get a good bite to bring the motorcycle to a halt.
The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan comes with a number of subtle updates and revisions over the previous model. However, the main changes are the new colour options and the introduction of the Tripper Navigation.
The motorcycle continues to offer the same level of performance, refinement and have the same off-road capabilities as before, which isn't a bad thing. However, is the 2021-iteration worth the Rs 10,000 price hike? Probably not, but given its capabilities on and off the tarmac, we feel it still remains the best adventure-tourer offering in its category.