Second-gen Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 is here

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It was the launch of the Himalayan adventure bike in 2015 that marked the start of Royal Enfield’s remarkable transformation from anachronistic oddball to retro tastemaker in the space of a few short years.

Breaking away from the company’s usual fare of sepia-tinged 1950s throwbacks, it provided a rugged all-roader that would get you slowly from A to Anywhere.

But it’s this, the second-generation Himalayan that really completes the job by bidding adieu to the dainty air-cooled single of the original and slotting in a modern, DOHC, four-valve, liquid-cooled single that nearly doubles its output.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 - off-roading

We first spied the model as long ago as 2022, but now it’s finally ready.

Measuring 452cc and with a nearly square bore and stroke of 84mm x 81.5mm, the new engine still puts its focus on tractability and torque but manages to make 39.5bhp at 8,000rpm, up from 24bhp at 6500rpm for the old 411cc air-cooled, SOHC single.

Torque rises, too, from 23.6lbft to a more robust 29.5lbft, peaking at 5500rpm, and better still the new bike – despite the addition of a radiator and larger engine – manages to be 3kg lighter than its forebear at 196kg ready-to-ride, with the 17-litre fuel tank 90% full.

The extra performance comes in part from the liquid cooling, giving better temperature control to allow tighter tolerances in the engine, but also from the improved gas flow of the four-valve head and the much-increased 11.5:1 compression ratio, up from a mere 9.5:1 on the old, air-cooled bike.

Power goes through a six-speed transmission, one ratio more than the previous model could offer, and the engine breathes through a ride-by-wire intake, allowing multiple riding modes, and catalysed exhaust to meet the latest Euro5+ emissions rules.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 - off-roading

The look is still instantly recognisable as a Himalayan, with that high-mounted round headlight set below a stubby screen and tubular racks on each side of the tank, a signature of the Pierre Terblanche-designed original.

However, the new model, developed largely at Royal Enfield’s UK development headquarters under the guidance of product strategy and design boss Mark Wells, looks sleeker and much more modern. Underneath, the structure lives up to that promise. There’s still a steel tube frame, but up front it’s fitted with upside down 43mm forks in place of the old bike’s 41mm right-way-up versions, offering 200mm of travel that’s matched by that of the rising-rate monoshock at the rear, bolted to a swingarm that’s curved to clear the neat exhaust silencer.

Despite its off-road style and long-travel suspension with 21-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, the 2024 Himalayan manages to retain an accessible seat height of 825mm too – adjustable to 845mm.

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 with rider

A low seat option brings the minimum setting down to 805mm, just 5mm higher than the original Himalayan, despite an impressive 230mm of ground clearance, 10mm more than before. Even with the back-to-basics nature of the bike there’s full map navigation and phone connectivity on the dash – a circular, colour TFT that puts some more exotic rivals to shame – and new bar controls including a joystick.

Spotted again

First published: 03 July 2023

Previously spotted by an eagle-eyed MCN reader at a petrol station in Lutterworth in August 2022 – not far from Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Centre R&D headquarters – the latest images reveal more obvious branding and further refinements, plus road-going necessities such as mirrors.

The liquid-cooled single is a first for Enfield and likely to produce in the region of 40bhp. It won’t set any speed records, but it’s bang-on for the A2 licence class and a step up from the existing Royal Enfield Himalayan 411’s 24bhp output.

Royal Enfield Himilayan 450 spy shot left side

Sources tell us the engine will feature a displacement of around 450cc, with twin overhead camshafts and four valves. It’s further suggested that we could see the finished bike revealed at the end of September and it is likely to sit alongside the current model, rather than replace it entirely.

The styling has come on since we last caught a glimpse – doing away with the homemade drinks bottle overflow system and adding the reflective strips needed for homologation, plus a more pronounced beak to sit over the wrap-around mudguard.

Much like the existing Himmy, there’s a round headlight and short screen, with the latest riding shots revealing full LED lighting.

Royal Enfield Himilayan 450 spy shot rear

Lurking behind the stubby screen is what’s expected to be a TFT dash sitting in a circular housing. It should display vital stats plus navigation but given Royal Enfield’s typically frugal approach, it’s unlikely we’ll be getting riding modes.

The bike rolls on 21- and 18in spoked rims, with a single disc and what looks to be a four-piston Bybre front caliper. Expect ABS at the front and rear in accordance with Euro5 standards.  

Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 in detail

Royal Enfield Himilayan 450 test mule on the road
  • More to come: The existing Himalayan 411 has a Scram naked counterpart, so it’s expected that a larger 450 version will follow shortly afterwards.
  • Practical fun: The selection of cornering shots reveals the inclusion of both a side- and centre-stand, which will come in handy for maintenance on big trips.
  • Carrying capacity: The latest shots show luggage rails around the petrol tank (as seen before) plus racking behind the rear seat – meaning plenty of places to store luggage on tour.
  • Rugged build: Unlike the bike seen before, this development mule contains a bash plate to keep the underside safe when venturing off road.
  • Manageable size: Although no official details are present, the rider appears large on the bike – giving the impression it will remain relatively low and manageable for a wide range of customers.

Hotter Himalayan incoming? Royal Enfield boss teases new bike on social media

First published 31 August 2022 by Phil West

Royal Enfield Himilayan 450 social post

Royal Enfield’s bold new adventure bike, thought to be a 450cc liquid-cooled Himalayan, has been spotted again – this time on Instagram.

And before you dismiss it as another example of social media fakery, the teaser video was posted by none other than
Royal Enfield boss, Siddhartha ‘Sid’ Lal. The charismatic CEO is no stranger to social media leaks, having posted a similar teaser of Enfield’s 350 Hunter hours before its official world launch in Bangkok earlier this month.

This time, under the caption ‘Testing, 1, 2, 3…’, there’s a short, five-second head-on of a bike traversing a river. The round LED headlight, short screen and slim dimensions all match the prototype recently spotted by an MCN reader in the UK.

If we’re seeing the same bike in this film, it’s expected to be an all-new, liquid-cooled (Enfield’s first) 450cc single-cylinder adventure bike with off-road 21/17in wire wheels, long travel inverted forks (another RE first) and a single rear shock.

Expected to be called the Himalayan 450, the new bike is being developed at Enfield’s UK Technology Centre (hence
being spotted near their base, in Lutterworth) and will be built in India. It is expected to rival the likes of KTM’s 390 Adventure and Honda’s CRF300 Rally and could be officially unveiled at both EICMA and Royal Enfield’s ‘Rider Mania 2022’ event in Goa in November.

Enfield’s new dawn: Rally-raiding prototype spotted filling up in the UK

Full Royal Enfield Rally 450 spied

Published: 11 August 2022

Royal Enfield are gunning for the A2 adventure bike top spot in 2023, with a new rally-raiding 450 single spied in the UK just last week. The image was captured by an eagle-eyed MCN reader at a petrol station in Lutterworth – not far from where the Indian firm’s UK Technology Centre is based. 

The bike can be identified as an Enfield via a faint outline of their badging on the nearside engine case. Outside of that, it shares little with anything else in their range – with only the rear 17in spoked rim appearing to be taken from the popular Himalayan

Unlike other singles in RE’s model range, this engine is liquid-cooled, with the head angled forward, rather than directly upright. Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s unlikely the soft drink bottle overflow system will make it to the finished machine… 

Royal Enfield Rally close up of wheel

Although there are no clues on capacity, spy shots reported in India back in March suggest it will be a more aggressive 450 – moving away from the sedate performance of the 411cc Himalayan and into the snappier realms of KTM’s 44bhp 390 Adventure and Honda’s 27bhp CRF300 range. 

Alongside the new engine is a stubby exhaust, with a chunky heel plate disguising the large catalytic converter to help it meet the latest Euro5 emissions regs.  

But it’s not all about the engine. The new model clearly means business off-road, thanks to chunkier upside-down forks (a first for Royal Enfield) with plenty of travel, plus a large 21in front wheel. There’s currently no bashplate on the prototype, but that could be added on a finished machine.  

Sticking with the suspension, there’s a right-side-mounted rear shock, which appears to extend from the slim swingarm to the frame beneath the large petrol tank. It’s difficult to make out adjustment, but we’d expect at least options for preload. 

Royal Enfield Rally Close up

And speaking of that fuel tank, not only does this one appear to have a large visible capacity, it also looks to extend beneath the riders’ seat – indicated by an additional compartment floating just above the unusually long shock. A relatively small single-cylinder engine and a hefty fuel load could be just what’s required for long periods of adventuring off the beaten track, without the need to awkwardly strap on emergency cans of fuel or cut short the fun due to lack of gas.  

Should you want to fasten anything to the bike though, there are stubby Himalayan-inspired rails located just beneath the short fly screen, these wrap around the single headlight and rounded singular clock unit.  

Although we can’t see that front light unit, the indicators do not appear to be LED. The switchgear and dash also appear to be quite basic, so don’t expect too much in the rider aids department.  

Outside of that, the bike sports a split rider and pillion seat. Despite its off-road credentials, the rider’s perch doesn’t appear to be all that tall, either. Combined with the slim nature of a single-cylinder engine, it should remain manageable for short riders and novices alike. Enfield declined to comment.