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ADV News2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan First Ride Review

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan First Ride Review

The budget-friendly adventure bike from India gets a fresh round of updates.

Published on 11.08.2021

Ever since the Himalayan came to North America in 2018, it has exceeded our expectations with the capability, versatility and style it offers in a $5,000 adventure bike. Over its brief life, the bike has received incremental updates like switchable ABS, improved rear brake and revised kickstand, among others. For 2022 the upgrades continue, and this latest batch of changes is arguably the most extensive yet.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

What’s New for 2022?

One of the more subtle changes we’re getting is a new top rack that is now more streamlined. While it has a smaller surface area than the previous unit, the new rack does increase max load carrying capacity from 11 pounds (5kg) to 15.4 pounds (7kg). Royal Enfield states that this was an important upgrade for many Himalayan riders who’ve been requesting additional carrying capacity for top boxes.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

The crash bars along the side of the tank also have a new design that yours truly can definitely appreciate. One of the gripes I had when first testing the Himalayan was that its crash bars occasionally contacted my knees when seated. Bikes aren’t always engineered for a 34” inseam like mine, but thankfully that’s now been addressed with a reshaped design that offers more leg room.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

The windscreen has also been reshaped for 2022 with a wider base and skinnier middle. The new more-flowy shape is said to improve wind protection on the highway, and it appears its additional width also helps make room for what may be the biggest change this year — the new ‘Tripper Navigation’ Pod on the dash. The Tripper Navigation is something that was previously made available on Royal Enfield’s Meteor model and now it’s been added to the Himalayan. With the Tripper Nav, you can hook up your phone via Bluetooth to get turn-by-turn directions on the dash, along with audio commands to your helmet intercom.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review
2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

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Beyond the new aerodynamics and navigation feature, long-range riders will appreciate the new seat design. The updated saddle offers a more angular look and a more-cushiony seat foam to help improve comfort on those multi-day rides.  And wrapping up the changes are a few new color schemes this year: Granite Black, Mirage Silver and Pine Green.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

Performance Updates?

As far as the engine and chassis, not much has changed for the Himalayan since its introduction, other than the addition last year of switchable ABS and a better rear brake. It still comes with the same 411cc single-cylinder engine pumping out 24.3 horsepower @ 6500 rpm and 23.6 ft-lbs of torque at 4000 rpm. The Himalayan sports 7.9 inches of suspension travel in front, 7.1 inches in the rear, and rides on a dirt-friendly 21” front / 17” rear wheel combo. Seat height and ground clearance also remain the same at 31.5 inches and 8.6 inches respectively. The fuel capacity is 4 gallons, giving it a range of roughly 200 miles, and it also comes equipped with a set of crash bars, a top rack, plus a simple little digital compass on the dash.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

We’ve done a number of challenging rides to test the Himalayan in the past, so we won’t rehash all the details on how it performs in this story since not much has changed. For now we’ll focus on evaluating newer features, including ergonomic and travel updates, to see if they’ve made a noticeable improvement.

On To The Test

We got a chance to ride the 2022 model for a day in the hills around Temecula, California. I’ve ridden through this hilly desert area on several previous occasions riding larger adventure bikes. The terrain can get fairly challenging in spots, but it’s mainly flowy and fun. Perfect terrain for the Himalayan, and it reminded me how nimble and capable the machine feels. Its size and surprisingly good suspension for a budget bike, make it confidence inspiring and easy to control on sections that can be a bit of a handful on a larger adventure bike.

This was the first time I’ve had significant seat time testing the switchable ABS on the Himalayan. The operation is pretty standard with a push button on the dash that you hold for 3 seconds to turn off. Once you begin moving, an orange ABS light continues to blink letting you know it has been disengaged. The continuous blinking is a bit much if you are spending a whole day off-road and I could see how it could be confused with a turn signal indicator, but that is for safety reasons I suppose. Perhaps a change in color from green to red would be a better implementation though.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

With ABS disengaged, it only turns the rear wheel off, leaving it free to slide. The front wheel continues to use ABS, although it is an off-road-friendly system. On loose descents, it never got confused or started chattering and I felt no apprehension about it being left on in the front. The updated rear brake system also provided good control in off-road settings and didn’t have a tendency to lock up prematurely. While the brakes aren’t the most high-performance, ABS performed flawlessly on the street, ensuring safe and composed stopping under hard braking. For newer off-road riders, the ABS system will definitely be appreciated either on street or dirt.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

As far as the changes on the 2022 Himalayan, I definitely noticed and appreciated the new leg room available. The new slanted crash bar design allows taller riders to scooch all the way forward to the front of the seat. My knees never came in contact with the crash bars even when I tried. This is also nice on the highway where you can spread out and change your seating position, without worrying about your knees rubbing on the crash bars.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

As for the new windscreen shape, it’s hard to tell if there is a significant improvement in wind flow. It seems slightly taller, a bit thinner up top and wider at the bottom. Styling-wise, it’s an improvement in my opinion. But the old screen already did a pretty good job of shooting the air over my head (at 6’2” tall), so I wouldn’t be able to say if it offers a significant change in airflow without testing them back to back.

However, comfort is noticeably improved with the new seat design. It appears the new seat is the same as the ‘Touring Seat’ option that was previously offered in Royal Enfield’s accessory catalog. I’ve used that saddle extensively and my behind is telling me it’s the same one. The only change being that the new unit does not have any Royal Enfield emblems engraved in the cover.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

The most notable change this year has to be the addition of the Tripper Nav device on the dash. The main benefit this device offers is that you don’t have to bolt your phone to the handlebar if you want turn-by-turn directions. And unlike a phone, you won’t be distracted with text messages you might feel tempted to reply to while riding. The round gauge-shaped unit fits nicely into the dash and offers a small TFT-style display. It includes a large direction arrow to tell you which way you’ll be turning next, along with the distance to the next turn and total trip distance remaining – a simple but effective design.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Tripper Navigation

The Tripper Navigation interface is controlled through a Royal Enfield app you download to your phone and it uses the Google Maps software, so it’s familiar, refined and has an extensive database of locations you can search for directions. Like Google Maps, its usage is limited to mostly the street and primary dirt roads. If you decide to take the long way home, it will try to redirect you to a more-direct route. Also, it relies on your phone having an internet connection when you initially load your directions. Although once loaded, you can continue getting your turn-by-turn navigation instructions even when wandering away from a signal.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review
2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

There are more Tripper Nav features than I had time to test, like the ability to incorporate up to 20 waypoints into your route, but we’ll have to delve deeper into it another time. Playing with the basic functionality, I appreciated its simple, utilitarian design. I also liked the big, bright flashing arrows that warn you when your turn is coming up. With the addition of the audio directions on your Bluetooth headset, it offers a nice, distraction-free way to navigate that lets you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the bars, while you enjoy the ride.

New Colors Schemes

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

Aesthetics are a big part of what makes the Himalayan such a cool little bike, and I was definitely digging the new Mirage Silver livery with the brown stripe and brown seat cover, which gives it a more premium appearance. The new Granite Black also looks classy with its mix of matte and glossy black out. I wasn’t a big fan of the Pine Green at first, but it’s much better in person and has a sort of camo vibe.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

Royal Enfield was able to pull off the design changes to the windscreen, crash bars, seat, and top rack without messing up the look of the bike. In fact, to me it looks even better than before. It’s a little disappointing that we didn’t get any performance improvements for 2022, but for now, this latest round of upgrades are welcome changes.

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

2022 Royal Enfield Himalayans are now arriving on US showroom floors with an MSRP of $5,299 USD. For more details on the new Himalayan, go to the Royal Enfield website.

 2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan Specs

Engine Type:Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, SOHC,Air Cooled 
Displacement:411cc
Bore X Stroke:78x86mm
Compression Ratio:9.5:1
Max Power:24.3 bhp (17.88kW) @ 6500 rpm 
Max Torque:23.6 ft/lbs @ 4000-4500 rpm 
Clutch:Wet, Multi-Plate 
Gearbox:5 Speed, Constant Mesh 
Lubrication:Forced Lubrication, Wet Sump 
Fuel System:Electronic Fuel Injection 
Engine Start:Electric
Frame Type:Half-Duplex Split Cradle Frame 
Front Suspension:Telescopic, 41 mm Forks, 7.9 inches (200mm) Travel 
Rear Suspension:Monoshock with Linkage, 7.1 inches (180mm) Wheel Travel 
Wheelbase:58 in 
Ground Clearance:8.6 in 
Length:86 in 
Width:33 in 
Seat Height:31.5 in 
Height:53 in (Flyscreen top) 
Curb Weight:439 lbs 
Fuel Capacity:4 gal 
Front Tire:90/90-21″
Rear Tire:120/90-17″
Front Brakes:300 mm Disc, 2-Piston Floating Caliper 
Rear Brakes:240 mm Disc, Single Piston Floating Caliper 
ABSDual Channel ABS (Switchable to Single Channel – Rear Wheel ABS Control Deactivation) 
Electrical System:12V – DC 
Battery:12V, 8 AH MF 
Headlamp:12V, H4-60/55W 
Tail Lamp:12V, 4/1W 
Turn Signal Lamp:12V, 10W X 4 Nos. 

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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One thought on “2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan First Ride Review

  1. Nice to see some analogue gauges on the dash. There are times, looking at my KTM 1290 SAR iPad-ish thing that I really miss the old-school stuff.

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