Royal Enfield Himalayan (2024) - Review


Price: £5750 | Power: 40bhp | Weight: 196kg | BikeSocial rating: 4/5


The original Royal Enfield Himalayan was launched back in 2016 and was, as the name suggests, a bike built specifically for exploring the Indian Himalayas. Therefore, it had to be robust, simple, reliable and able to take on a wide range of terrain and work in all temperatures.

It was powered by a simple air-cooled four-stroke single pushing out just under 25hp, while the chassis featured a duplex cradle frame with a 21-inch diameter front wheel, a 17-inch rear, 220mm of ground clearance and long-travel suspension able to tackle almost anything.

The Indian market took to the Himalayan, and soon other markets followed. In the UK and Europe, we loved its rugged simplicity and bargain price tag, when launched, of under £4000. It was for many owners an antidote to the overload of modern living: a robust tool, a dependable all-weather, go anywhere bike. However, there was no hiding the fact the bike was a tad basic and, for European roads, underpowered.

But all that is about to change with the all-new Himalayan. Enfield has made some major changes, not least with the introduction of an all-new 450cc single-cylinder engine featuring, for the first time on an Enfield, water-cooling, ride-by-wire throttle and double overhead camshafts. A steel frame is all new, as is Showa suspension and new electronic tech such as riding modes, switchable ABS and a new TFT dash with connectivity and navigation.

These changes represent a giant leap forward in terms of both performance and technology for the Indian manufacturer. But Himalayan fans who appreciate the older 411cc machine for its durability and pack-horse endurance will also be reassured to hear that, despite this major injection of modernity, the new 450 is still built for the unpaved mountain roads of India. Enfield claim none of the previous bike's robust simplicity and reliability have been sacrificed in the name of progress, and to prove it flew Bike Social all the way to the Himalayas for two days of crazy testing at 11,000 feet (or higher). Two days travelling, three planes and a scary taxi ride to get there: could the Himalayan live up to the name?


Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable, simple, and easy to ride
  • All-new 450 engine has more of everything
  • Suspension and set-up work both on and off-road
  • Heavy for a 450 single when ridden off-road
  • New switchgear isn’t intuitive
  • No heated grips or cruise control options
Tested: 2024 Royal Himalayan
Where better to test the new Himalayan than the Himalayas, so we packed Chad off to see what the all-new machine is all about


Review – In Detail

Price & PCP
For and against
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy


2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Price


The UK price for the 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan has now been confirmed as starting at £5750 for the Base variant in the Kaza Brown colour. Both colours in the Pass model are £5850, while in the Summit variation, the Black is £6050. Tubeless tyre options are £6250 in White or £6300 in Black. The 2024 bike will be available in UK dealers from the Spring.

When the original bike was launched in 2016, prices started at just under £4000 in the UK which helped attract customers, it then increased to just under £4699 in 2022, and more recently passing £5k.



2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Engine & Performance

The introduction of a new engine is always a big deal, and the new Sherpa 450, which is actually 452cc in capacity, ticks a lot of first-time boxes for Enfield. It's their first water-cooled motor, first ride-by-wire, first DOHC... It is also a whopping 10kg lighter than before. Even more impressive is the performance gains compared to the old air-cooled engine. There is a 65% increase in peak power, a 25% increase in peak torque, and a 25% increase in max engine speed – so, yes, this an especially big deal for Enfield.

The 452cc single now pushes out 40hp at 8000rpm and 40Nm of torque at 5500rpm, with 90% of that torque available at just 3000rpm, so don't worry, Himalayan fans, they haven't turned it into a peaky little racer! The old engine would be all revved out by 5000rpm, but the new water-cooled version simply keeps going, impressive for a relatively long-stroke motor.

Fly-by-wire fuelling is also new for Enfield and allows the introduction of two riding modes, Performance and Eco. An increase in the fuel tank capacity, up from 15 litres to 17 litres gives a claimed range of 450km. The design team (based in both India and the UK, of course) have moved the airbox higher, to above the engine, meaning the air intake should now sit above even deepish water. This also allows the designers to narrow the seat towards the fuel tank. Much attention has also been given to ensuring exhaust routing keeps the narrow end can out of the way.

It's easy to think that it wasn’t going to be too hard to improve the 450's performance over the super-slow air-cooled engine, which by modern standards was only just about bearable on UK roads. But Enfield has nonetheless taken a massive step in producing a 10kg lighter power unit with a 65% increase in peak power. The problem, however, for this road test was the altitude of the route chosen to demonstrate the new bike's extra zip and go. Some 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas, the 450, like all of us, gasped for air. In fact, at these altitudes power output was estimated to be reduced by 20 to 30%. The other problem was that the test was conducted on one of the most dangerous roads in the world which wasn’t the ideal place to explore top speed performance.

However, it was obvious that Enfield has made a significant improvement in performance. The new ride-by-wire fuelling is easy going and for a single-cylinder engine low-down power is comparatively smooth from around 2000rpm upwards. It is possible to short-shift at 3000rpm and use that new spread of torque and still make reasonable progress. In fact, the grunty new motor suited the tricky switchback roads, trundling along fuss-free on only 25% throttle.

On the odd occasion it was possible to send the digital rev counter towards the redline and experience some of that top-end power that the bike never had before. The Sherpa unit certainly doesn’t mind revving, something the old air-cooled motor got very grumpy about. I had a few moments where the 450 accelerated up to 70mph and a little more with relative ease, again highlighting the improvement in performance, something that will boost the Himalayan's appeal to European riders.

Driving out of tight second gear hairpins, which came at us for hour after hour, you can use the 450's new-found revs and accelerate cleanly towards the next switchback. You couldn’t describe the Enfield's performance as spritely or thrilling exactly, especially at these ear-popping heights, but it does have a long useable pull of torque and fuss-free acceleration.

So while the views and roads were out of this world, some of the most spectacular I’ve ever ridden, the altitude didn’t do the motor any favours. I can only assume at sea level or normal altitude the new Sherpa 450 will be a revelation compared to the old bike. I’d certainly predict that you’ll no longer have to plan overtakes with surgical precision and that a degree of high-speed cruising will be achievable, something only accomplished on the old bike with brutal throttle abuse.

Those two riding modes, Eco and Performance, will be useful for riders in some world markets where the jump from a 100cc or 150cc machine might be intimidating, but I didn’t find the need for Eco. In fact, I expect most UK riders won't bother with it unless they are short on fuel.



2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Handling, weight and suspension

Nothing from the old Himalayan has been transferred to the new model, which has a completely new chassis and suspension setup. But Enfield has kept with the old bike's DNA, complete with 21-inch/17-inch wheel combination, long-travel suspension and impressive ground clearance. Non- adjustable 43mm Showa forks have 200mm of travel, and a completely new single shock on the rear has spring preload adjustment and 200mm of travel, up 20mm from the older bike.

This gives 230mm of seriously useful ground clearance, 10mm more than before. Despite the new water-cooled engine saving 10kg, the Himalayan is still weighty at 196kg, and only a few kilos lighter than before, but some of this is down to a larger fuel tank, bigger brakes and beefier forks, not to mention the new electronics. Enfield certainly didn’t want to lose any of the robustness of the old bike – after all, in India the new 450 will be used for everything, including three-up journeys (plus luggage).

The roads high in the Himalayas can be described as challenging, to say the least. Perfectly smooth paving that remind you of the Swiss Alps can instantly become a gravel track with potholes big enough to get lost in. Add a complete absence of crash barriers, 3000-feet drops, cow pats, meandering livestock, deep water running across the road and, the cherry on the top, traffic that can be anything from a horse-drawn cart to a monster truck that isn't slowing down for anyone, and you need a bike you can trust.

During two days of extensive testing, the new Himalayan took everything I and this exceptional riding environment could possibly throw at it, and I mean everything, to the point I started to feel sorry for my machine. The suspension endured a gruelling workout, and never faltered. When faultless asphalt, which conned me into upping the pace, morphed into a cratered moonscape without warning, it soaked it all up without any complaints. No tank slaps or topping out or bottoming out, just rock-solid stability and resilience.

The non-adjustable Showa forks and single rear shock with preload (not remote but easy to adjust) are very impressive, especially for this type of bike. The ride is smooth, the forks dive and rebound with the control of quality items, and the rear shock offers a plush, well-damped ride yet, impressively, doesn’t jolt you out of the seat when you drop into one of those enormous potholes.

Again, we couldn’t push the limits of the handling as the Himalayan roads and traffic were so unpredictable. Cattle rule the rural roads in India, not motorcycles, and tend to deter peg-down levels of lean. First impressions were extremely positive, though, and once back in the UK it will be interesting to see how the CEAT Gripp tyres perform when the speed and sportiness increase.

Given the frequency of landslides on Himalayan roads it's impossible to not experience some off-road up in the mountains, and the 450 just ploughed through whatever was thrown in its way. Like an old Land Rover, it remained completely unfazed and seemed to find traction no matter what. Stability and feedback are also excellent, it feels like the Himalayan could take on anything and methodically just keep plodding along.

The ABS is switchable ­– in off-road mode there is no ABS on the rear wheel –but can’t be switched off entirely. Unlike its main competition, there is no traction control but, and realistically it isn’t needed. The bike's low-down grunt, excellent suspension and wide spread of torque give the rear tyre an easy time, allowing it to find traction and power you up steep ascents without fuss.

Like the older bike, the 450 has its own way of doing things. It's simple, balanced and doesn't show off. On dirt this is particularly true and, with the rider stood up, feels relatively narrow and ridiculously simple to pilot over the debris that's fallen from the mountainside. The ABS setting isn’t bad either, and only in extreme situations did I feel some pushback via the lever. Most of the rugged terrain we took on was dry, and if you show the Indian 50:50 CEAT rubber any serious mud or slippery clay, they soon struggle. If you’re serious about off-road riding, I’d suggest something more off-road than on.

Personally, I’d want the bars a little higher (optional are available) when stood up on the solid wide pegs, and there isn't enough power (at the test altitude) to pop the front 21-inch wheel over obstacles or enough grunt to break rear traction and have some sideways second and third gear fun with ease.

But otherwise, the Himalayan is perfect for this sort of adventuring. When I attempted small jumps over rocks and jumped it into puddles, I felt guilty for asking so much of a road bike – but the Himalayan took the punishment without complaint. It feels like you could throw it on its side, crash it down a stone-strewn cliff and, like a bare-knuckle boxer with a toothless smile, it would still come back wanting more.



2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Comfort & Economy

After two long days in the Himalayan saddle, I can confirm that comfort is excellent, especially when you consider the terrain and brutal punishment the new suspension had to endure. The ride is so absorbent and calm that even after a long day of riding, I had no complaints. It's worth mentioning again that this wasn’t a road test conducted at the speeds we are used to in the UK and Europe, so areas such as high-speed vibrations and wind protection remain largely unexplored. I can say that the new screen isn't half bad and that the bike's much-improved performance should make it more versatile, and a much more effective real-world tourer able to maintain higher speeds for longer. Shame there isn’t a heated grips option nor cruise control, which in theory with the new ride-by-wire throttle would have been relatively easy to offer as an extra.

The easy-to-read, new full-colour TFT 'clocks' make the old bike feel and look prehistoric. There is full map navigation and turn-by-turn navigation, and phone connectivity should you want to listen to music or take calls whilst riding. However, to use the navigation you have to connect your phone, which has to remain unlocked and thus drains its battery. Yes, there is a USB charging point but now you have a cable connecting you to the bike – something I kept forgetting when stopping to take pictures. The switchgear is simple but not overly intuitive, and the joystick on the left bar is a little vague. You also can’t change riding modes or turn off the rear ABS while moving.

I like the look of the new clocks because, they work for me, but unsure about the connectivity – probably because I’m old. That said, I’d probably just fit my existing sat-nav system and forget about the connectivity. I also think the 450's stylish design make's the older 411 look very dated, especially the headlight, integrated indicators and brake light, and unique crash bars around the fuel tank. It’s a good-looking bike in the flesh.



2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Brakes

The Indian-made BYBRE calipers are all new for 2024, now grabbing larger discs, up to 320mm from 300mm. The rear has also increased in size from 240mm to 270mm. As mentioned, ABS comes as standard and can be switched to an off-road setting, with the rear deactivated.

The all-new stoppers do just about enough to haul up the relatively heavy Himalayan, are progressive and smooth, and ideal for new riders. I’d never describe them as sharp, but the ABS is actually good for this type of bike, not too intrusive for inexperienced adventurers. Annoyingly, the standard levers are not adjustable, but optional levers are available. I’d suggest a bike aimed at new riders, and shorter riders should have adjustable levers.



2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Rivals


Triumph Scrambler 400 X | Price: £5,595

Available in January 2024, the water-cooled Indian made single-cylinder Triumph has the same power, and less torque but is lighter. A smaller fuel tank and less off-road potential, 19-ich not 21-inch front wheel.

Power/Torque: 40hp/27.3lb-ft | Weight: 179kg


Honda CRF 300 Rally | Price: £6,549

The 300 is down on power and torque compared to the Enfield, but is considerably lighter, by 43kg which should make the Honda easier and more manageable off-road.

Power/Torque: 27hp/19lb-ft | Weight: 153kg


KTM 390 Adventure | Price: £6299

Arguably the closest rival to the Enfield, with similar power but more tech and less weight. More dynamic and exciting than the Enfield, and possibly more appealing to younger riders. Has a 19-inch front wheel.

Power/Torque: 44hp/27lb-ft | Weight: 161kg (dry)



2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Verdict

For Enfield to improve the Himalayan wasn’t going to be a difficult job as the out-going machine was looking and feeling dated. However, despite the relatively straightforward task, Enfield have excelled. Not only have they improved the performance, which was the easy bit, they have also improved the handing, ride quality, look and appeal – whist maintaining the original bike's rugged DNA. That was the hard part.

It's still an Enfield Himalayan, a bike so robust you can roll it on its side, throw into a ditch, bounce over the roughest of terrain and still it will keep plodding along. But now it's far more appealing and stylish, and its step up in performance should make all the difference once we test the bike somewhere near sea level.

Comfort is excellent. There's a larger fuel range, those handsome clocks and a long list of accessories which means you can personalise the new Himalayan to take on your personal Himalayas, even if that happens to be the North Circular. It’s hard to not to romanticise about riding the Himalayan in the Himalayas but, despite some of the most mind-blowing scenery I’ve ever witnessed, the location didn’t do the new bike any favours as the altitude sapped its power.

The big question mark is price. Below £6000, perhaps close to £5500, and it’s going to fly out of showrooms. Priced over £6000, and close to the competition, things may be more interesting without the bargain appeal of the original. But wherever it's priced the new Himalayan's qualities will appeal to many.



2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan - Technical Specification

New price

from £5750



Bore x Stroke

84mm x 81.5mm

Engine layout

Single cylinder

Engine details

4-valve, DOHC fuel injected, water-cooled


40hp (29.44KW) @ 8000 rpm


29.52lb-ft (40Nm) @5,500rpm


6 speed, chain final drive,

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

17 litres

Max range to empty


Rider aids

Two riding modes, ABS (Switchable)


Steel, twin spar tubular frame

Front suspension

Showa upside down forks, 43mm 200mm travel

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension

Mono-shock 200mm travel

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload only

Front brake

2 x 320mm discs, double piston caliper. Std ABS

Rear brake

270mm disc, one piston caliper, Std ABS

Front wheel / tyre


Rear wheel / tyre


Dimensions (LxWxH)




Seat height

825-845mm (low seat 805-825mm)


181kg (dry), 196kg (90%fuel)


3 years, 30,000 miles


First service: 300 miles then every 6,000

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated



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2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review Details Price Spec_42


What is MCIA Secured?

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As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.