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Royal Enfield Himalayan 650cc twin rumours getting stronger

The noise in the industry is that a new 650cc twin-cylinder Royal Enfield Himalayan is getting closer to a reveal

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WHILE the Royal Enfield Himalayan has proved to be a successful model since its launch in 2016, pitching it against the established middle-weight adventure competition is a bit of a mismatch.

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With its 411cc SOHC engine producing just 24bhp, the ADV-spec Royal Enfield reminds us of a two-wheeled version of the original Land Rover Defender – it can really go anywhere, just not very quickly.

Launched a year after the Himalayan, the Continental GT and Interceptor models quickly moved the conversation on to what looked like Royal Enfield’s next sensible move – plonking that peppy 46bhp engine into the rugged adventure chassis.

It seemed like a deadest, nailed on winner, although actually carrying out the transplant seems to have taken quite a bit of time. Now though, the noise is that a bike is definitely in the works, with Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal fanning the flames for good measure.

Oddly for Royal Enfield, we haven’t yet spotted the bike out and about on Indian Roads undergoing some testing, but we might have an answer for that! In bike mad India, it’s fairly easy for eagle-eyed (or possibly tipped off) bike fans to wait around at the gates of the factory, waiting for some new metal to roll out onto the road. One explanation for the lack of scooped images could be that the new Himalayan (if that is what it is to be called) is being developed at Royal Enfield’s UK technology centre.

R-E has an expansive UK design and tech centre, located at the now private Bruntingthorpe testing facility. Previously bike’s being developed at the site, by Triumph, Royal Enfield, or any other manufacturer, could be snapped in the early stages of development out on the course. Since the site closed to the general public at the tail end of last year (boooooo!) anything that goes on there is effectively done behind closed doors, closing the loophole and possibly hiding the development of any potential new machines.

The final question that remains for the 650cc adventure machine is what it will be called. We’ve referred to it as the 650cc Himalayan, although in truth, there are a few names it could adopt. Some of the names being touted are Sherpa or Hunter. For confirmation of that though, we’ll have to wait for the official announcement.

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