In early October 2023, world traveling motovlogger Itchy Boots began sharing an extra-special series with the world. Thanks to her longstanding relationship with Royal Enfield, she had the chance to ride a pre-production 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 (or 452, if the rumors are to be believed) in its natural habitat, the Himalayan mountain range.
It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity, and one that plenty of riders with adventure in their souls are probably a little envious of and are also simultaneously enjoying through Noraly’s videos. While viewers have gotten a good look at the bike, including its new dash—which seems to be an all-new, single-gauge instrument cluster for the Royal Enfield brand—she hasn’t been able to share her full riding impressions just yet.
Instead, we’ve been treated to the smooth, single-cylinder sounds of the new, more powerful engine that’s present in the next generation of the Himalayan. In this particular episode, we’re also treated to even more eye-popping views of the beautiful mountain ranges in the Ladakh region of India.
For those unfamiliar with the geography, Ladakh is located very far north in India. Parts of the region share a border with China to the east, Afghanistan to the north, and Pakistan to the west.
Elevation ranges throughout the region, with villages in valleys from 9,000 feet to 15,000 feet (or 2,750 to 4,450 meters) above sea level. It can take some time to adjust, which is one reason why Noraly spent a few days in the village of Leh prior to ascending higher up into the mountains on her journey.
The roads are beautiful up here, but there aren’t many of them. As a result, even though it’s nowhere near as densely populated as any major city would be, you’re still going to encounter plenty of local people out and about on the roads. In fact, it’s while she’s out riding and just doing her thing on the pre-production Himalayan that Noraly gets invited to a Ladakhi wedding in the Zanskar valley.
This is a Buddhist area of the country, with a beautiful Buddhist monastery. The wedding she attends is also Buddhist, and the celebratory clothing and portions of the festivities that are shown in the video are beautiful. As always, one of the coolest things about watching Noraly and other travelers out on their bikes is seeing just how kind and welcoming a lot of people are, all over the world.
At one point, we also get a different view of the new Himalayan’s dash than we’ve seen in previous videos during IB’s time with this bike. Instead of showing the navigation screen up at the top and a small area at the bottom with speed and other useful bike information, this screen is a digital version of an analog dial. We see a digital needle gauge sweep from left to right, as most analog gauges tend to do. The digital speedometer is displayed proudly in the lower center portion of the gauge.
What do you think of the new gauge so far? To my eye, it looks clean, uncluttered, and like it’s a good and useful size if you’re riding the bike. I also like the idea of putting the navigation into the main screen, rather than having it located in a separate, smaller pod as it is on other Enfield bikes. Let us know in the comments what you think.