The Royal Enfield Himalayan is a dual-sport motorcycle that reflects the ethos of its Indian manufacturer. It’s a low-cost, basic, no-frills ride and its performance won’t leave you gasping for breath. But it’s comfortable, handles well and is a good fit for a particular mission.

That mission would look something like what its riders in India might expect it to execute; crowded city driving, with more adventurous riders perhaps escaping the sweltering heat with a ride into the Himalayan mountain range.

You won’t be hanging on for dear life under acceleration — the 411 cc, air-cooled single cylinder makes just 25 horses at 6500 rpm with a claimed 23.6 lb.-ft. (32 Nm) of torque at 4250 rpm. Acceleration is on the gentle side, making freeway on-ramps an exciting exercise. Dual ABS comes standard, with disc brakes front and back.

Himalayan in Granite color — photo courtesy of Royal Enfield

Famed British company Harris Performance (now owned by Royal Enfield) designed the chassis and its heritage shows in the compliant off-road handling. Combine an upright seating position, a comfortable seat, a manageable 31.5″ (80 cms) ride height, a docile powerband and brakes that don’t grab and you have a ride that makes off-roading a fun day for anyone who’s not in a big hurry.

Some more numbers: the Himalayan weighs 421 lbs (191 kilos) and has a tank capacity of 4.0 gallons (15 liters.) It comes in three colors — Snow (uh, that would be white,) Sleet (that’s gray) and Granite (black, to you and me.)

And one final number, a number that might sway a lot of potential buyers — the Royal Enfield Himalayan comes with a shock-free price tag of $4499 in the United States. It’s a functional, well-behaved, relatively inexpensive entry point into the world of dual sport riding.

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