It’s not rare for a bike maker to offer a specific model with different engine and displacement choices. Think Honda CB, Kawasaki Ninja and Z, Yamaha R and MT, or Ducati Scrambler. One naming convention, multiple sizes.
Not Royal Enfield. Though for a while, the brand offered 350 and 500 variants of the Classic and the Bullett, it got rid of all that fluff in 2020. Now, every model comes with a specific type of engine. For instance, if you buy a Himalayan, the only choice of engine you have is the sturdy little 411cc thumper rated at 24 horsepower and 23.6 lb-ft of torque. As much as we’d love to see a 650 version of the rugged adventurer, Enfield doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to come up with a parallel-twin Himalayan.
That’s unless, of course, you turn to customization to change that, like Sehgal Autos’ Manpreet Singh did. He took the Enfield single out, replaced it with an early 90s Suzuki GS400e’s 400cc, DOHC parallel-twin paired with a six-speed transmission and two Mikuni carburetors, and voilà. We have what YouTuber Abhinav Bhatt, who took the bike out for a spin, considers to be the "perfect bike for India”.
With the Suzuki engine, the modified Himalayan produces 39 horsepower, which is a considerable power increase. However, the torque drops to 20 lb-ft. Bhatt explains how the new engine runs surprisingly smoothly, produces a steady power curve, doesn’t vibrate, and can withstand a sustained speed of up to 87 miles per hour. He compares the custom bike’s behavior to his own Interceptor—though, at 400cc, the Himalayan understandably isn’t as fast. Bhatt adds that Singh, the bike’s designer and owner, did test it on the trails and that the bike performed admirably.
Both Bhatt and a handful of users who commented on the video have but one question: what is stopping Royal Enfield from coming up with a comparable version of the Himalayan?
Though the Himalayan 400 has already proven its worth and ranks among the brand’s best-selling bikes abroad, we can’t help but agree that a Himalayan 650 could do even better. Think about it: You get the same off-road and adventure chops but with the bonus of a smoother-running, higher-performing engine for the highway—which we have a lot of in the U.S. of A. That sounds like untapped potential if you ask us.