The Royal Enfield has faced a fair amount of flak for quality issues as soon as the bike was launched. But now, news of the rear wheel breaking off a Himalayan during the National Rally Championship in Coimbatre has surfaced. The media as well as owners are casting doubts on the quality of the Himalayan yet again. We have discussed the previous issues in the following articles – Royal Enfield Himalayan – Reports of Early Problems and Royal Enfield Recalls the Himalayan for Engine Problem.
The Himalayan in question was a stock bike that was rally prepped complete with off road knobby tyres as well as a semi fairing. The rider was the bike’s owner Shahrukh Mohammad, who was participating in the rally. The rider himself revealed the truth about the situation. The bike was being ridden quite hard on an extremely tough rally stage which had thorns at some places. Due to this the rear tyre suffered a puncture. As there was no option to safely tow the bike, it had to be ridden with a punctured tyre all the way back. Due to the extreme nature of the rally stage and the puncture, the wheel broke off by the time the bike reached a safe place.
If anything the rider, Shahrukh Mohammad, seems thankful that the bike brought him home without leaving him stranded in the middle of nowhere. He also said that its not the bike that let him down but the harsh rally conditions led to the failure.
So it seems yet again Royal Enfield has dodged a bullet amidst the negative media frenzy. The Himalayan is quite a high quality product and most problems the bike has had, have simple solutions. We have discussed the same here – Is Himalayan A Problematic/Unreliable Bike? – FALSE!. In any case it is not fair to judge a product in harsh race or rally conditions. Our road bikes are not really built to handle such tremendous punishment a track or rally puts on the machine as well as the rider.