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ADV NewsRoyal Enfield Himalayan 650 On Its Way To Market

Royal Enfield Himalayan 650 On Its Way To Market

A more powerful version of the popular 411cc adventure bike in the works.

Published on 10.28.2021

Himalayan fans have long been hoping Royal Enfield would bring its newer engine, the 648cc parallel twin used in the Interceptor and Continental GT models, to the Himalayan platform, and now, according to an exclusive on India’s BikeWale website, it appears that wish is on its way to come true. 

When the Himalayan hit the scene back in 2016 it quickly gained a passionate following, and with good reason. Here was a rugged, easy to ride, adventure-ready model with a 21-inch spoked front wheel, that was also low seated and best of all, a bargain ($4,599 when introduced to the U.S). A sore point, however, has been a lack of power from Himalayan’s 411cc single, which at full thump, delivers a scant 24.3 bhp.  

According to BikeWale’s sources, the Himalayan 650 project has actually been in the works for 18 months, though its debut isn’t planned until the 4th quarter of 2024. Yup, that’s a sadly long wait time for those eager to own a more powerful Himalayan, and there’s also no guarantee the new models — not one, but two to start — will even be off-road worthy adventure bikes. 


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Evidently there will be one model with alloy wheels, which will be pointed at sport touring, and the other, with spoked wheels — which may or may not be called a Himalayan — will be marketed as an “adventure tourer” or “soft roader.” Mkay. Gone is the hallmark 21” front hoop, replaced with a 19” wheel, telling us this bike is destined to be more street oriented, something fans of the current round-the-world-ready Himalayan were probably not envisioning.

The more powerful Himalayan will reportedly use Royal Enfield’s 650cc parallel twin from the INT650 & Continental GT which pumps out 47 ponies and 38.3 ft-lbs of torque.

The 650 adventure touring version will have a higher seat than the current bike’s 31.5 inches, and a “decent amount of ground clearance,” in part due to the exhaust being mounted higher. There will also be upgrades to the braking system as well as a TFT screen with bluetooth connectivity, ride modes and at least one switchable level of traction control. 

Of course, with these new models being two years away, we might see some of this technology implemented on the Himalayan 410 in the meantime. Just last year Royal Enfield upgraded the little adventurer for 2021 with switchable anti-lock brakes, an improved side-stand design and hazard lights, and even more sophisticated upgrades for the 2022 edition are on the way.  

One bit of solid good news is the adventure-touring 650 will retain “80-85%” of the current bike’s rugged, utilitarian good looks. 

The Himalayan’s popularity in North America – and the calls for a more powerful version – seem to have caught Royal Enfield by surprise. Sources confirmed by BikeWale make it clear the manufacturer had no plans to utilize the new 650 twin for an adventure-oriented bike, at least until the demand became too much to ignore.   

If you find yourself wondering why Royal Enfield wouldn’t instinctively want to build an adventure bike with enough power to keep up with big rigs on the interstate, just remember this is India, where according to AutoCar India the 10 best-selling motorcycles in 2021 were under 350cc — in fact 9 bikes were under 200cc, with Royal Enfield’s Classic 350 looking like a behemoth in comparison. 

Royal Enfield Himalayan getting more power

And of course it’s not just India’s market, but many in the wider world also prefer efficient, affordable bikes over power and prestige.

And that’s a big part of why the Himalayan caught on so fiercely in the U.S. and Canada. It turns out we do appreciate an accessible adventure bike that’s rugged and friendly to work on and ride.

So while we’re waiting to see how the Himalayan-based 650 shapes up, we might as well enjoy the trusty 410 of today. A bike that’s already hooked many new riders, carried adventurers to Everest and on trips around the globe and will very soon be headed to conquer a world first during an expedition to the South Pole

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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5 thoughts on “Royal Enfield Himalayan 650 On Its Way To Market

  1. Please, just please put the 650 motor into the existing Himalayan chassis. There is only one competitor on the field: the newly revised KLR.

    You can do this. Otherwise, I guess I will continue soldering on with my DR650, and wait.

  2. I like the sound of higher seat height. Current Himi too small for me at 6’3”.
    I also prefer the idea of something more dirt friendly with the 21” wheel.
    Looks like the DR still the go…

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