Royal Enfield Himalayan BS IV is now available to buy at your nearest show room. I am here to help you ascertain, is it worth the buy and all the hype? Welcome to Indianomics!
Many of the regular readers here do know that I own an RE Himalayan, named Yeti and also the list of issues I have had with it. So it is natural for me to be skeptical about the new Himalayan avatar.
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Along with my friend Shiv, I paid a visit to the Royal Enfield Showroom recently to test the new BS IV Version of Himalayan. BS IV or Bharat Stage IV (4 in roman numbers) is the latest emission norm adopted by India to keep a check on the pollution levels. The next stage is BS VI (BS 6) because India has decided to accelerate the emission norms to curb the ever increasing pollution levels in India. It sure is a welcome step.
So what is new with Himalayan BS IV Avatar?
For starters, the BS3 version that launched last year came with the carburetor; the BS IV version comes with Fuel Injection. FI, as it is often abbreviated, helps channel the fuel flow into engine much better thus producing better performance.
Royal Enfield already uses FI system on its Classic and Thunderbird bikes, Himalayan gets it for the first time. Using FI system was the best possible approach for a motorcycle that was launched last year since this would mean the manufacturer does not have to redo the entire engine, while still conforming to the BS IV norms.
So apart from the FI system, there are many changes under the hood but hardly noticeable (for me at least). Almost all of the components have seen an upgrade. Most of them are on my BSIII bike due to various issues that I faced, and Service Center has replaced (updated) them. Of course not the Fuel Injection.
The company claims to have sorted the quality niggles that the first lot of Himalayans saw. One of the reasons the company delayed the launch of this BS IV avatar. Apart from these, the choke moves to handlebar on the left-hand side and the head lamp switches no longer exist thanks to the AHO norms. Read more about AHO (Always Head Lamp On).
On the snow white (color) Himalayan that I test rode, few panels saw a color change to Black. This shift has made them more visible. However, the subtle gray that we saw earlier looked better. Visible appearance is subjective, and I am sure many will love the new black accent tones.
Anything I wish my Yeti had from Himalayan BS IV Model?
Of all things, I will love to have the breaks from BS IV model. The breaks are not the best but are an improvement over the previous model. So, yes I would like to upgrade to the new breaks.
Apart from that, the FI system helps the bike in perform better overall. I am not sure if I wish for the FI system, except for the top end range – you can freely rev upwards of 6k rpm. I am also not sure if it is only the FI system that helps or is there a change in the engine as well? Well, I will wait to figure out.
If the parts on the BS IV are of much better quality, I will hope that Royal Enfield gets them to my bike as well. For the owners of BS3 version, they felt like guinea pigs, who paid to own a product only to find out about the issues it possessed. No better way to pay forward for those suffering than to help upgrade the parts.
This review was primarily comparing the Himalayan BS III v/s Himalayan BS IV model. Hence it omits a few prominent areas like the ride quality and suspension. The shocks on Himalayan are purpose built, and they work to perfection. They do their job brilliantly that the pathetic roads of Indian subcontinent can be a piece of cake, as you can see in the video above.
Another noticeable change is the exhaust note and saree guard. Saree guard has been a joke with Himalayan – pathetic quality. Hope the new design provides a better finish and works well with existing BS3 Himalayans. The exhaust note, on the other hand, sounds much better. Personal choice though this one, but I like it.
As I visited the show room, saw that Himalayan BS IV is the busiest test bike. I happened to meet Vikram, who returned from his test of the BS IV to discuss his experience and out of the blue, asked him if he could get me a review byte, and that he did.
For me, it was important to get another perspective from a non-Himalayan rider. It is easy to get to love the bike if you own it. I felt it will be right to share with you, my dear readers and viewers, a perspective that is unbiased just because I own a Himalayan myself.
Vikram felt the bike was much smoother than the earlier version of the motorcycle he tested. I also offered him to ride the Yeti, and he came back impressed. He wondered if BS IV was better than BS3 model I own! Of course, it is, but the margin is small. Is it worth? Of course yes.
How much for the Himalayan BS IV Version then?
BS IV version costs Rs. 1,98,000 on-road, Kalyan. Now the cost varies across the country, but in the city as well. That is because the dealers sometimes offer three years insurance as part of the deal instead of the standard one. So Rs. 1,91,000 as on-road is correct as well – because it includes only one-year insurance.
Verdict: How good is Himalayan BS IV version?
It is as good as the BSIII version, but better in many departments. Breaks, Fuel Injection, and overall better quality help a great deal in narrowing down the choices. Honestly, there are no choices to be made. If you are looking for an adventure tourer in the sub-two lacs market, look no further. Himalayan is the best option.
Alternatively, if you are looking for more of a tourer and a faster bike, then Dominar may just fit the bill. It is not as sure footed and has the same appeal as the Himalayan, but it will do the job pretty well.