A rifle company is coming out with an adventure motorcycle

A rifle company is coming out with an adventure motorcycle

Posted by Mike Werner on Jan 26th 2016

Okay, I’ll admit, the title is a bit misleading. With a rifle company, I mean Royal Enfield, and with adventure motorcycle I mean the Himalayan. But let me explain a thing or two about history.

Back in 1893 in the United Kingdom, the company that made the famous Enfield Rifles, created a company called Enfield Cycle Company, later renamed into Royal Enfield. Royal Enfield made bicycles and motorcycles, their first motorcycle was launched in 1901.

In 1970 the British company went belly-up. It stopped manufacturing and stopped altogether, but their dealers in India, who since 1949 also manufactured Enfield motorcycles for the local market, bought the rights to the name and models and continued making motorcycles.

And to date they continue making the same motorcycles, over and over. It’s a bit like Ground Hog Day. Not only is Royal Enfield one of world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers, but it is also making the oldest motorcycle model; the Bullet.

The Royal Enfield 350 cc Bullet (and later 500 cc) was initially developed in 1949 AND IS STILL BEING MADE. Albeit it has had some technical and legal enhancements, however the bike is still more or less the same as it was a few decades ago. See the two photos below:



Royal Enfield has had a few new models, all based on the Bullet, but now, after almost a century of making the same model, they are about to release a completely new motorcycle; the Himalayan.


The Himalayan name is based on the Himalaya mountains in that part of the world (world’s biggest mountains), and the bike is an adventure motorcycle, i.o.w., a motorcycle that can go anywhere.

Royal Enfield has released a lot of photos, teasing the market, but has not released much technical information (yet). But so far, the bike looks good.

The bike has been made to be as simple as possible, with the least bits that can be broken. The motorcycle needs to be able to be repaired under any condition, anywhere in the world. No sophisticated electronics, no fairing, no laser lights, no keyless ignition, no built-in GPS, no remote adjustable suspension, and no built-in coffee machine. Frame, engine, wheels and a minimum of instruments; that’s it! In other words, a real adventure machine.


The general consensus on the internet is that it’s a 500 cc oil cooled engine, probably already Euro 4 compliant, outputting some 25 to 30 bhp. There is good hope that this bike will make it to the North American market, probably for around $5000. The only issue will be build-quality, since its predecessors are know to break down and loose parts while riding.

Here is a video presentation of the Royal Enfield Himalayan when it was being tested in all sorts of road conditions. You’ll get the idea what an Adventure motorcycle will be seeing when used properly:

You can click here to access the Royal Enfield page on the Himalayan and see many more photos and video of the beast.

Do you like it? Would something like this interest you?