Just like anyone else who loves bikes, we love digging into rumored future models here at RideApart. While riding the bikes we already have is of course great fun, it’s always interesting to put the pieces together from things OEMs have said or hinted at, as well as any other supporting evidence we can gather. Of course, it’s always important to temper that wishful thinking with the simple fact that just because we wish very hard, it doesn’t necessarily mean the thing we want will ever happen. 

Today, we’re going to talk about the long-rumored Royal Enfield Himalayan 650. To a lot of enthusiasts, the math simply makes sense—take the well-loved but slightly underpowered and heavy Himalayan, and pair it up with that great 650cc parallel twin that currently powers the Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650. We wrote eagerly about how much sense this would make back in April, 2020—and we definitely weren’t alone, as plenty of other moto pubs saw the writing on the wall, too. 

Where did this rumor originate, though? It comes from a July, 2017 interview that Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal did with moto journalist Alan Cathcart for Australian Motorcycle News. At the time, Cathcart asked Lal point blank if Royal Enfield had any current plans to make a larger capacity version of the Himalayan.  

Lal responded, in no uncertain terms, “Yes, we will.” Just three little one-syllable words. However, Lal didn’t give any further specifics, except to say that Enfield’s plans at the time were to stick to building bikes in between 750cc at the top end and 350cc at the bottom end. That simple interview back in 2017 spawned an increasing swirl of rumors that have been circling the globe well into 2021, which is when I’m writing this.  

Here in June, 2021, UK publication VisorDown is fanning the flames once more. While it doesn’t appear to have any new concrete details about the long-rumored bike, it made the astute observation that the UK-based Royal Enfield Technology Centre, which opened in 2017, would be an extremely good place to develop a bike away from prying eyes. As you’ll recall, when Royal Enfield takes new models out to test on Indian roads, the extremely bike-happy public is only too eager to shoot ample spy videos and photos to share with motorcycle enthusiasts online.  

Again, we must reiterate that we currently have zero evidence to support this. So far, the only hard fact we have in this mystery dates from that 2017 interview with Royal Enfield’s CEO saying that a bigger Himalayan would happen at some unspecified future date. Back then, he didn’t say what displacement, or specify an engine, or talk about anything else regarding that future model. Fast-forward to June, 2021, and any further details at all about a larger-displacement Himalayan still have yet to officially be made public. No leaks, no test images, and nothing but fervent hope.

For enthusiasts, waiting can be the hardest part—and 2020 certainly threw everyone well off course, with all kinds of industry-wide delays. It could be that Enfield had plans it couldn’t accomplish due to pandemic-related delays and restrictions. We’ll likely never know, but since everyone else faced similar problems, it’s probably a safe assumption.  

While we’re all hoping for a shiny new Royal Enfield Himalayan 650, for the time being, all we can really do is wait to find out more information.  

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