Since its introduction to the market almost four years ago, the Royal Enfield Himalayan has become one of the maker’s best-selling models outside of its local market, alongside the 650 Twins. With its small, sub-$5,000 price tag and high versatility, the model is now a staple of the mid-size adventure motorcycle landscape.
With a few years of worldly experience on the market, the Himalayan was ripe for a few updates. Sure enough, RE announced at the end of 2019 that it would add a few features to the bike’s minimalistic list for 2020. The company confirmed that these changes introduced earlier this year in Asia will become available on the 2021 model-year in North America.
So, what’s new? The list is pretty short but the elements on it will have an important impact on how customers get to use the bike. The model receives an upgraded rear braking system meant to improve feel and engagement to decrease the braking distance. The side stand was redesigned and a hazard light switch was added, as per customers’ feedback. Perhaps the most important change is the new switchable ABS which allows the riders to lock the rear wheel when required in off-roading situations.
It will also be offered with a slightly more exciting choice of colorways—a nice change of pace from the very neutral white, black, and grey camo-ish liveries offered until now. For 2021, Royal Enfield adds Lake Blue, Rock Red, and Gravel Gray paint colors to the selection.
There is no say yet when the 2021 Himalayan will become officially available, however, interested customers will be able to reserve theirs starting September 1, 2020. Interestingly, the Royal Enfield North America press release states that “quantities will be limited”. We’re assuming it means that there will be a limited number of units available for pre-order, prior to the model officially landing in the showrooms, likely sometime in early in the new year. Pricing for the updated Himalayan increases by $200 to $4,999 for 2021.