Is Himalayan A Problematic/Unreliable Bike? – FALSE!



The Himalayan has recently come under a lot of fire for teething issues and the recall for replacement of a few engine components. Lot of our readers as well as many other forums are asking whether they should steer clear of the Himalayan. I agree I was one of the writers who wrote about these issues in the following articles – Royal Enfield Himalayan – Reports of Early Problems and Royal Enfield Recalls the Himalayan. But does the Himalayan deserve this negative image? Is Himalayan really an unreliable/problematic bike causing much grief to its owners? The answer is simple – No.

The Himalayan had extremely minor issues initially like a slightly hard gearshift, minor oil leak and a slightly noisy engine (tappet noises). Did owners really have major breakdowns or were they left stranded on the road or needed repeated visits to the service centre for repairs? – No.

So why the negative image? What caused the first spark was the accident of a test-ride bike immediately after the bike’s launch. The front forks sheared off and really scary images were released of the same. Then what fueled the fire were reports of issues faced by new owners and the news of Himalayan’s recall. A bit of a social media frenzy was caused due to all this.


That accident did put a huge question mark on the sturdiness and quality of the Himalayan. But it was discovered that the rider was riding at very high speed and hit a Honda Dio and/or hit a divider head on (We’ve heard reports suggesting both). We really don’t know the exact details, but any major frontal accident involving a bike, domestic or exotic, can cause front forks to shear off or wheels to break in two (as we have seen for another bike before). I am not trivializing the incident, but I doubt anything apart from a truck can escape such an accident unscathed. But as I don’t have any proof or exact details of the accident, I will not claim any definitive judgment on the issue. The above comments are my personal opinions (shared with many fellow bikers) and I will not deny that I could be wrong.

Initial few owners did face teething issues but Royal Enfield immediately contacted each owner of their own accord and got each and every issue fixed. They changed the clutch assembly to fix the hard gearshifts, replaced gaskets and torqued the nuts and bolts to fix the oil leakage and replaced entire rocker arm assembly to fix the excessive engine noise. Most importantly – it was all done completely free of cost for all owners.

I own a Himalayan. I bought it a month ago. Did I face any issues? NONE! Never did I have any gear shift issues or excessive engine noise nor a drop of oil leakage. And the same is true for all owners who have purchased the bike since. My bike is probably from the second batch of production. The proof is in the pudding that Royal Enfield has fixed all the above issues for the Himalayan on the production line itself. Owners of the second batch and beyond did not have to visit the showrooms at all except for taking delivery of the bike! This is definitely a sign that Royal Enfield has upped its game and is striving for quality and customer satisfaction.

Another point to note is, one should look at the initial ownership reviews of extremely reputed bikes like the Honda CBR250R and the KTM Duke twins – 200 and 390. You will realize the owners of these bikes too faced quite a few issues when these bikes were launched. Honda and KTM needed almost 6 months or more to get these issues sorted. So we can cut Royal Enfield some slack.

Is the Himalayan a perfect bike and owners will never face any problem ever again? – No. Is the Himalayan the highest quality bike you can buy in India? – No. But right now the bike is the best that Royal Enfield has to offer and the quality and reliability is up there with the best in the business.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan does not deserve the bashing one sees on social media and definitely deserves a more positive image. Long term reliability is yet to be proven and I will reserve comments for at least another year or more.


21 thoughts on “Is Himalayan A Problematic/Unreliable Bike? – FALSE!

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  1. I have to agree i ride a Himalayan from the first batch and there were a few teething issues, but post the replacement of the parts rocker and cluth assembly the bike is running well and i must say the Himalayan is on of the reliable bikes from the RE stable…the comfort and good mid range torque is amazing…waiting to complete atleast 3000kms before a long ride…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nicely written. I own a Himalayan since 4th April 2016 and clocked 5500kms. Completed Ladakh trip which includes Sach pass and trust me it is a fantastic machine. Superb off-roading capabilities and good handling makes it a great touring machine. i was the most comfortable and confident person on the trip. I also got rocker pins and clutch assembly changes done after completing the trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Amit thanks for your contribution. It’s awesome, you’ve completed the maximum amount of mileage of any Himalayan owner i know. Good to hear it was such a happy companion on your Ladakh trip. That too before getting your engine recall done. It’s just proof how good the bike is. Keep riding! Cheers. Let us know in the comments how much difference the recall did to your bike.


      1. I totally disagree with that comment. I hired a Himalayan for the journey from Manali to Leh return. I road it hard… Like I would any dirt bike apparently designed for dual sport riding. The monoshock almost totally collapsed and the aluminium swing arm smashed where the linkage attachment on the swing arm is welded in place. I’ve had a Honda XR650L for many years and it can take a beating(the XR600R with the same prolink rear end as the XR650L won the Baja 1000 5 times!) .. and this sort of breakage does not occur in a bike of any sort of quality. The Himalayan has a cheap and nasty rear end… From now on I’m sticking to the 500 bullet carburettor version. You have been warned about this piece of cheap rubbish!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for your comment Richard! None of us have probably rode the bike as hard as you. Lack of talent and experience may have something to do with it. It’s great to have your insight! If what you say it’s true then Royal Enfield definitely do need to improve the quality of the bike. No excuse for that.


  3. “Did owners really have major breakdowns or were they left stranded on the road or needed repeated visits to the service centre for repairs? – No.”
    I’ve seen so many people having the issue of visiting the service center every now and even getting stranded is something that happened to two there. You can see posts from owners from the Himalayan Owners group in Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vaisakh. Thanks for your contribution. Initially a couple people did face issues leaving them stranded. But mostly all other problems seem very minor. I too own the Himalayan. I haven’t faced a single issue till date. Gears might be hard on some bikes but I’ve noticed that if you are riding with slippers or change gears too low in the rev range some owners face this problem. With shoes and proper rpms nobody i know has this problem. I personally don’t have it even while wearing slippers or changing at wrong rpms.


  4. Hi,
    I own a HIMALAYAN snow. I have clocked more than 4500km on this machine. While having a perfect place to go home to, I live in the royal Enfield service centre.
    The motorcycle has so many problems that I have lost count. Almost everything on the engine has been replaced, from piston barrel to engine head and it still sounds like a tractor mounted on a lawn mower strapped to a jack hammer. While I may be exaggerating the sound of it, trust me, it conveys my annoyance with it perfectly.
    Royal Enfield has some of the most untrained mechanics / support staff and they released the bike a bit too early.
    I am praying for the time to turn back and stop me from booking this absolutely worthless machine.

    You are lucky and God bless your stars for that. Honestly happy for you. But, my relationship with the motorcycle and RE has turned sour.
    I hope they replace the motorcycle or do something about it. Or I might just shift to the nearest service centre permanently.


  5. Hi the Himalayan is coming to England and Europe in-may.having read the problems you had with early models are they sorted out now? I quite like the look of them but don’t want to buy a problem bike ! any comments please

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David. Most of the problems seems to have been resolved by Royal Enfield. But one cannot be 100% sure. Although, chances are the UK/Europe versions could be much higher quality due to more stringent laws than India. Personally, I have not had any issues with my bike, touch wood. I have bought the bike in June 2016.


  6. Thanks that’s what I wanted to hear : ) bike looks great good size engine could be a good all rounder….without having to buy a 1200cc that you don’t need thanks again. Dave

    Liked by 1 person

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