A year with Yeti, the Himalayan – Ownership review

RE Himalayan - Ownership experience

A year has gone by, 365 days around the sun for my Royal Enfield Himalayan. Yeti, as I had named him, has been full of life in this one year. Though, it has seen more downs than ups than I would have liked, I am fond of this machine. It is piece de resistance for me.

My last update on Himalayan was when we had crossed 3000kms. And I really did not have the right frame of mind to send another update from then till now. Today we crossed 14,000 kms and felt it was the right time to do this. The anniversary update – Royal Enfield Himalayan and me having spent a year.

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So how is Yeti doing?

Yeti is doing fine now, but the road up till now was not an easy task. There were tons of issues, including the biggest scare I could not have imagined! Losing rear suspension when you are guzzing past vehicles on a busy highway.

It was not only the quality of parts, but also the time he spent in the service center. Yeti also made friends with the mechanic and fellow bikes in the service center – so well you can imagine! I stopped the mighty Himalayan from creating his own facebook account. Indiaomics‘s own facebook page sufficed.

And what were the Himalayan issues?

I know, you are in a hurry. We all are, but hear this first. I love the bike. Period.

The list is long, and it will make you wonder why I made the above statement. So lets get to it.

  • Engine Head replaced (three times because second change only made things worse)
  • Rear Mudguard broken all three units changed (at Ishna during the camp in February)
  • Rear mudguard broken again, changed it two weeks ago
  • Lock set changed due to faulty lock (change Tank lid as well, coz of it)
  • Now, tank lid was changed coz of fuel leak (changed lock set coz of it as well, again) after I insisted that be checked
  • Changed to new Oil Cooler suggested by SC for heating issues
  • Rear tires replaced under warranty (at Ishna during the camp)
  • Broken Center stand replaced (this was perhaps really weird, and I do not trust the new center stand yet fully to last longer)
  • T Stem changed due to rusting (after I pestered SC to take a look into it)
  • Clutch Center changed due to hard (I mean really hard) gear shift changes (at Ishna during the camp)
  • Changed to Avenger mirrors coz of poor quality RE ones at my own expense
  • Saree Guard broke got it changed
  • Saree Guard broke again after 4 months, pending to be changed
  • Clutch Cable started melting, got that one changed (rode with a melting clutch cable for 2000kms because SC did not have one in stock to replace)
  • Headlight went dim, got a new one and now is showing signs of going dim again!
  • New Headlight started to rust now in the rains
  • Exhaust nut came loose (and lost), rattled all the way to SC to get that fixed
  • Rear Break pad changed twice in 9000 kms
  • Oil changes every 3000-4000 kms in spite of RE claim of 10K Kms (got oil changed at Ishna during camp under warranty because it had turned too bad in only 1200~ kms since last oil change)
  • Exhaust started rusting, changed to a whole new unit
  • Oil leakage from Engine – fixed 4 times, finally worked after servicing at 9.4k
  • Heavy vibrations from the vehicle at 3rd, 4th and 5th above 70-80 (was fixed in the last SC visit but persisted after last service done at 9500~ kms, and finally fixed after 11k kms)
  • Rear suspension broke, got a new one installed after the bike was transported from Sakinaka service center – took the bike 10 days in service center to come out with new suspension
  • Wind shield replaced as old one had started being rickety. The problem has not gone with the new one either!
  • Switch gear changed, voluntarily from the service center
  • Tank pannier stands changed, as they were misaligned from the day I took delivery
  • Magneto changed, even though existing one was working fine – as precaution
  • Gear shift indicator sensor changed twice, now living with whatever it still shows and manages to get it wrong all the time
  • Rims and hubs on both front and rear wheel changed as paint peeled off them in a month’s ownership
  • False neutrals are still a reality, even after the best efforts from service center

And you say you love it still?

See, I now understand why the brand is able to lure people towards itself even though the quality that one should get and expect is not there. I rode the KTMs and Dominars of the world and trust me, I never felt as good riding as I did on the Himalayan.

Sure it lacks power, sure it is not the fastest or burns rubber like others do. Sure, it aint a mean machine made to have fun on a race track. It does its job beautifully, only whenever it does not have issues. Even then, you have a smile on your face plastered from left to right or right to left, depending on how you read it.

Having said that, this does not mean that Royal Enfield should continue to make products that do not meet the quality expected from a bike that costs upwards of Rs. 1 lac! They have to come around.

So, what do you think? Let me know about your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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