Royal Enfield has offered a first official glimpse of the incoming Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 as it undergoes rigorous testing ahead of its anticipated launch later this year.
Coming hot on the heels of the new Royal Enfield Hunter - the third model to spin off from the 350 platform that already underpins the Meteor and Classic - the Indian firm is now turning its attention back to the Himalayan line with the ‘450’.
Though Royal Enfield itself has given precious little information away about the new model, it is widely expected to be a more capable and honed off-roader compared with the original ADV model with which it shares its lineage.
In the meantime though, Royal Enfield CEO, Sid Lal, has shared a short video on Instagram showing a motorcycle similar to the Himalayan splashing through mud. However, a closer look reveals a different headlight arrangement and a beaked nose, enough to suggest that even with the natural camouflage the ‘450’ will be a very different proposition to its namesake.
Indeed, the decision to introduce the ‘450’ comes on the back of the Himalayan becoming a surprise success story for Royal Enfield with the hardy, utilitarian model finding a loyal audience charmed by its low cost, honest mechanicals and rugged aspirations.
However, the current model does demand compromises with its ageing ‘411’ platform and underpowered 24.3bhp engine, which in turn limits its abilities in the rough stuff.
As such, Royal Enfield will answer calls for a more focused variant by introducing a more powerful 450cc version that will produce around 40bhp, according to various Indian publications.
Pitched as a rival to the KTM 390 Adventure, the Himalayan 450 is expected to adopt similar kit levels to the recently-launched 350 models - such as the clever Tripper navigation option - and be designed with more ADV-friendly features, such as a larger fuel tank, bigger wheels and higher-tapered exhaust.
The 450 will become the third Himalayan-inspired model in Royal Enfield’s range, following on from the sportier Scram, which perseveres with the existing 411 platform. Moreover, they may all be joined by a 650cc twin-cylinder version, which Royal Enfield has indicated is in development for launch in 2024.
The Himalayan 450 isn’t the only fresh model Royal Enfield is currently working on as part of a major range expansion over the next couple of years.
Having established a foothold in the mid-capacity market with the popular Interceptor and Continental GT 650 twins, they will be joined by two more spin-offs in the coming months: the Super Meteor cruiser and Shotgun bobber.