There’s no shortage of expensive, big-displacement, powerful Adventure-Touring motorcycles. Then there’s the mid-displacement segment that is oftentimes only marginally less expensive. Further down this segment, though, exists a sub-category of lightweight, affordable, small-displacement models that are oftentimes overshadowed by their aforementioned counterparts. It’s here where the 2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan resides along with BMW’s G310GS and CSC’s RX4 Adventure among others.
Introduced stateside just a few years ago (2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan First Ride Review), the Himalayan has proven popular enough to receive a few upgrades for the 2022 model year. These changes include a shorter front rack, a lower rear rack with increased carrying capacity, a wider windscreen, revised seat cushioning, and a new Tripper navigation system. All of this for a $300 price increase from $4,999 to $5,299.
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The fact that Royal Enfield reduced the length of Himalayan’s front rack by 3.5 inches leads me to believe that the rack in its original dimensions bruised a lot of knees. Being that this was my first ride aboard this particular model of Royal Enfield I can only report that I, at 5’ 11”, suffered no such issues. The seat-to-footpeg ratio was a little tight and the rear hump doesn’t allow for much movement on the seat, but otherwise, I found the Himalayan to provide reasonably comfortable ergonomics.
Producing a claimed 24.3 hp and 23.6 lbs/ft of torque from its 411cc Single puts into sharp focus that this motorcycle is no fire-breather. But the Himalayan gets the job done in the dirt with notable efficiency while its streetability is solely utilitarian in purpose. Bombing down a moderately technical dirt trail of rocks, sand, and water ruts I was at first throttle-to-stop banging off the rev limiter using revs to maintain forward thrust. Then, after upshifting, I realized that even though it doesn’t feel like the diminutive engine is even spinning, riding its torque curve is how the Himalayan prefers to be ridden. Of course, every few degrees of incline necessitates a downshift, but for the most part, torque wins over revs.
For its price point, I found the Himalayan’s suspension to be nicely balanced, never once bottoming out during our ride. A low claimed curb weight of 439 pounds helps the Himalayan to not overwhelm its suspension components, while its low center of gravity makes the bike feel lighter than it is. There was a lot of mushiness at the front brake lever, but stopping power in the dirt was sufficient. However, street speeds meant planning early.
The Himalayan comes outfitted with ABS, which is switchable for the rear wheel. The process of turning it off, however, is learning how to manipulate a single button on its dashboard that can prove frustrating to the uninitiated. “Push it ’til your finger hurts for five seconds,” is what I was told. But even that didn’t seem to work half the time, and the same can be said for trying to reset the trip meter using a similar button.
I have to admit to being skeptical at first, but after using the Himalayan’s Tripper navigation system, I found it to be the simplified form of navigation I prefer. Gone are any unnecessary prompts or graphics, just easy to digest distance and turn information that can be ascertained in a quick glimpse. Once downloaded to your smartphone, the Tripper app syncs with the navigation pod mounted on the instrument cluster. I’m told you can download your chosen route, so navigation continues even without cell service. Unfortunately, I was unable to verify that during our ride. Also, there’s no USB outlet on the Himalayan to charge your phone, making navigation only as good as your phone’s battery.
A couple other observations about the Himalayan were that while the seat-to-tank is narrow enough to be comfortable while standing, I found that the frame bows outward pushing on my calf muscles and resulting in some discomfort after being on the pegs for a while. And, speaking of pegs, the stock ones do have removable rubber inserts; they are on the small side, which, again, was mostly notable while standing.
In addition to these changes and upgrades, for 2022 the Himalayan is arriving in dealerships in November in three new colors: Mirage Silver, Pine Green and Granite Black. The new colors join the previously available Lake Blue, Rock Red and Gravel Gray, but whichever your preference, the Himalayan remains a subjectively handsome, and objectively good performing motorcycle for $5,299.
|2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Specifications
|Air-cooled, SOHC Single, 2 valves
|Bore x Stroke
|78.0mm x 86.0mm
|24.3 hp @ 6,500 rpm (claimed)
|23.6 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm claimed)
|5-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
|26.5 degrees/4.3 in.
|439 lbs. (claimed)
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