New Bikes

Royal Enfield Himalayan spotted again

KTM take note: this is how to disguise a prototype

WE’VE seen the prototype Royal Enfield Himalayan on test before but this new shot – caught by Indian website GaadiWaadi.com – reveals more detail of the bike.

Powered by a new single-cylinder engine, believed to be around 410cc, the Himalayan is Royal Enfield’s take on an adventure bike – although it’s unlikely to appeal to buyers shopping for a BMW R1200GS. The new shots show the bike’s shape fairly clearly, and aside from its tatty appearance this is actually not far from what the production version will look like.

And on that subject, we reckon Royal Enfield has taken the lead here in showing how a prototype bike should be disguised if you really don’t want to be spotted. Forget eye-catching black-and-white ‘camouflage’ that actually works to draw attention rather than evade it. The Himalayan prototype has a rust-streaked tank, asphalt-scraped exhaust and it looks like someone has taken a hammer to the rear indicator. In other words, it looks like a knackered old hack. But on closer inspection, that engine, those brakes, the frame and the wheels all look rather new – this bike has been intentionally built to look like this.

Okay, so the disguise didn’t work on this occasion, but you’ve got to wonder how many months the Himalayan has been out testing for, in plain sight, without anyone batting an eyelid.

We reckon other manufacturers could learn a thing or two about ‘disguises’ from this example. If they really don’t want to be seen, that is.

The Himalayan is one of at least three new Royal Enfield models expected next year using two new engine platforms, the other being a 750 twin.   

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