Royal Enfield’s Himalayan might be its most interesting motorcycle. The relatively light and incredibly inexpensive adventure bike for on/off road trekking has been attracting new and experienced riders alike into RE dealers for a few years now. The biggest downside of the Himalayan is its 24-horsepower thumper mill, which barely has enough power to spin up the rear wheel on a sandy desert trail, let alone keep up with highway speeds. That’s about to change as the brand has confirmed it will build a two-cylinder powered version of the bike in the near future.
The 650cc engine found in the Royal Enfield INT 650 and Continental GT will be migrating over to the company’s ADV platform between now and 2024, which will be awesome. That engine’s 47 horsepower is more than enough to get up to speed and stay there for great lengths of time, which is something an adventure bike sure should be able to do. That motor will absolutely spruce up the Himalayan experience to the point that it should be a really good bike.
There are added benefits to jumping from a 411cc single to a 650cc twin, too. Having two power pulses for every rotation evens out and smooths out the power delivery to the rear wheel, making it easier to keep things rolling when the terrain gets rough. That means you’ll have an easier time in the slick stuff, you’ll get stuck less, and you’ll have a smoother ride on flat terrain. All good things.
According to a report from Bike Wale, there will be two variants of the Himalayan 650. One that’s more of an on-road touring machine, and one that is more oriented toward getting out in the dirt. As with most adventure touring bikes, however, this bigger and heavier Himalayan will be more of a “soft-roader” which seems to be where the market is headed right now anyway. And it’s possible that the new twin variant of the Himalayan may find itself with another nameplate altogether.
Royal Enfield is expanding its lineup quite rapidly, so expect to see these bikes unveiled in the near future. With extra power and comfort on tap, they’re sure to be a hit with the American audience. There’s no word yet what the 650 will do to the single version currently on sale, whether they’ll be sold concurrently, or one will die to make room for the other. Either way, I’m excited to test this new bike when it drops.