Twenty-four horsepower and five speeds. These are two metrics that, despite many of its other charms and benefits, have defined Royal Enfield’s current-generation adventure bike. It may be under six grand to buy, it may be easy to service, it may have excellent ergonomics, and it may be highly approachable as an ADV platform for beginners, but its lack of grunt and barely useable top-speed have honestly hamstrung the current Himalayan. This all changes for the 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450. With a reported 40 horsepower from its liquid-cooled 452cc single and a six-speed transmission, the new Himalayan promises to get down the road with a little more urgency.
Water cooling and a bump in displacement are not the only major updates to Royal Enfield’s flagship dual sport. The all-new engine also features dual overhead cams, along with ride-by-wire throttle control. The fresh electronics allow for the introduction of four riding modes, along with two different ABS modes (including completely off), all controlled through a round 4-inch TFT multi-function dash. RE still keeps things uncluttered in the cockpit—part of the brand’s trademark simplicity—but adds useful rider features like its Google Maps-powered Tripper nav interface. Things also get bigger in terms of the brakes and suspension. The inverted 43mm Showa UDC fork is 2mm larger than the prior version, and the front brakes grow to 320mm in front and 270mm in the rear (+20mm and +30mm, respectively, over the old model).
The wheelset remains tube-type on the base model, but a tubeless cross-spoke option will be available. Those rims will be 21 inches on the front and 17 inches on the rear. Fuel capacity grows to 4.5 gallons for a theoretical 280 miles of useful range. Yet, despite all the upgrades (including an entire water-cooling system!), the new Himalayan weighs 7 pounds lighter than the 2023 model at just 432 pounds wet. Early testing has the Himmy rolling well past 90 mph in fifth gear, so those inevitable long highway transit sections on your adventure rides will feel less fraught.
The Himalayan has always managed to punch above its weight in terms of value and off-road capability, and these carefully considered upgrades seem to have boosted its on-road and touring chops as well without sacrificing Royal Enfield’s commitment to building straightforward bikes that anyone can ride. We’ll look forward to putting the 2024 Himalayan through its paces.
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As a quick—but not insignificant—sidebar, Royal Enfield also rolled out an electric version of the Himalayan at EICMA that they’re dubbing the HIM-E. Details are sparse, but this is the brand’s first stab at an e-motorcycle. It has a chain drive, which suggests they are committing to remote adventure riding with the prototype.
Read more: Royal Enfield to the Dig Tree
Images: Royal Enfield
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