After a slight delay due to unforeseen injury, moto traveler and YouTube chronicler Itchy Boots finally made it to Ladakh, way up in the northernmost part of India. She took a break from her travels in Africa to go do a few other mysterious things, including riding a few bikes that manufacturers had offered her the opportunity to test. As a seasoned moto traveler who shares her journeys with the world consistently online, sometimes the math just makes sense.
Why is she in the Himalayas? If you’ve guessed that it has something to do with a bike that has a very similar name to that famous mountain range, you’re correct. It turns out that Royal Enfield invited Noraly (that’s the woman behind the Itchy Boots channel and web presence) to test ride a pre-production 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 or 452. There’s some conjecture still about the exact naming convention, because it hasn’t officially launched yet—but that should all be laid to rest at the beginning of November.
In any case, while she was invited to ride it, like the rest of us, she hasn’t been given any official specs yet. In fact, she’s agreed to not share her full riding impressions of the bike until later in her series with the bike, when sufficient time has passed for that to be allowed. For the moment, we get to hear and see the bike, and she shares a few important observations along the way.
We do get to see the whole bike in this video. Although Enfield released those teaser images of it just a few days ago (at the time of writing, anyway), seeing video taken outside on a sunny day shows us more than a couple of static images ever could.
The graphic scheme on this pre-production bike is the same one seen in the photos. Such things are always subjective, but I think it looks quite nice. The tank is noticeably curvier and a bit chunkier than the previous Himalayan, which was more squared off and had a lot of rounded angles.
In the cockpit, we get a good look at the single large, round gauge where all the important rider information is now displayed. While Enfield has kept its Tripper Navigation system siloed off in its own dedicated gauge on previous bikes, here the navigation is integrated into the main gauge.
In other words, the rider is looking at a single screen for everything. Up top, the navigation takes up about two thirds of the screen. It appears bright and clear, but it’s also worth noting that Noraly was riding in direct sunlight. Below the navigation display is the other pertinent information. The lower right shows the bike’s current speed; there’s a gear indicator gauge in the lower middle, and there’s a tachometer display down below that looks rather small.
Now, it could be that the gauge is configurable, so you can display information where you want it on the gauge—we don’t know yet whether that’s the case. On some bikes, that’s definitely a thing—and it comes in handy, because riders can be very particular about how they prefer their information to be displayed while riding.
In any case, the single-cylinder engine in the new Himalayan sounds pretty great. While Noraly can’t say anything about its exact power, she does say that it feels more powerful than the previous one. She’s a great person to test out the new bike not only because of the type of riding for which she’s world-famous, but also because the first two seasons of her YouTube channel travelogue were all done on a first-gen Royal Enfield Himalayan.
She also mentions that the suspension does feel a bit better handling the weight of herself and her luggage as she rides the mountain roads. There’s a lot of paved riding here, with some off-road portions. Gravel, sand, muddy potholes, and more are all dealt with handily on the back of the new Himalayan.
We look forward to seeing more of Noraly’s adventures with this bike, as well as hearing her thoughts on its real-world performance once she’s free to share them. In the meantime, enjoy the sound of the engine thumping away that you can hear very clearly in this video.