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EVOLUTION OF THE HIMALAYAN

2 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Royal Enfield, Tom Fossati

Back in 2016, when Royal Enfield released the first 411cc, air-cooled iteration of its now revered Himalayan model, the company’s designers made the point that, back then, they “were designing a bike that people didn’t know they wanted”. And it’s fair to say that Royal Enfield did a bloody good job of that because, in the years since, that original Himalayan has gone on to become an unmitigated success for the British-born brand now domiciled in India.

In other words, the bulk of the hard work and foundations had already been laid for Royal Enfield’s subsequent Himalayan 450 model – the much-evolved and soon-to-be-released new Himalayan model that has created quite the stir since its unveiling in late 2023.

“Since the whole adventure category has evolved – be it the riders, their way of riding and the terrain they go through – then of course the motorcycle also needs to evolve,” explains the brand’s Product Strategy Lead, Anand “Andy” Raj.

For more revealing insights into the 2024 Himalayan 450 – from its design philosophy to component spec to durability testing in the Himalayan Mountains – tune into this revealing podcast with Anand Raj as he talks candidly about the development process behind both the original Himalayan and the all-new, much-evolved Himalayan 450.

Making this podcast even more fascinating is the fact that Raj’s journey with Royal Enfield’s Himalayan model started back in his college days, when he was asked to build a motorcycle specifically for touring the Himalayas.

For more design team insights into the Himalayan 450 – what inspired the model and interesting details about its development and testing process – check out this podcast with fellow Royal Enfield designers, Steve Everit and Ed Cobb.

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