We have discussed few teething problems for the Royal Enfield Himalayan in a previous article here – Royal Enfield Himalayan – Reports of Early Problems
In this article we will be talking about more serious problems that have emerged in the last few months. Some cases of the entire engine head assembly being replaced, complete electrical failure, front suspension problems and one case of the chassis cracking have emerged.
1) Engine Replacement – Some owners had complained about very noisy and inefficiently running engines. Initially, problems with the rocker arm and few other components in the engine head were diagnosed leading to the recall to replace the faulty parts. (Read – Royal Enfield Recalls the Himalayan for Engine Problem) But despite this, some owners continued to have engine problems. So as a last resort Royal Enfield replaced the complete head assembly for these Himalayans. We got reports of at least 4 such cases.
2) Cracked Chassis – One case has been reported where the chassis of the Himalayan had cracked. It happened on the left side of the bike, between the engine and the battery next to the engine mount. We don’t know the conditions due to which this has happened, whether the bike met with an accident or it was dropped on the road or off road. So it won’t be fair to blatantly blame Royal Enfield’s build quality. The whole frame was replaced at the service centre.
3) Front Suspension Issues – A few owners had complained about the handling of the Himalayan getting very heavy and also of the bike swaying to one side. The effort required for turning the bike was very high and the handle felt very stiff. On disassembling the front fork assembly it was found that the front forks, cone set, bearings or other components were either rusted or damaged. Royal Enfield replaced all these problematic components under warranty.
4) Complete Electrical Failure – A few owners complained of the bike suddenly shutting off completely while riding. The bike just died and refused to start again. The neutral light, horn or indicators also did not function even after turning the key off and on. After waiting for a few minutes, some bikes started again while others did not and had to be towed to the service station. The whole electric system and wiring loom had to be replaced for some owners while some required just changing the faulty dashboard and lock assembly.
5) Stalling – Many owners complained of the bike stalling a lot, especially at signals and low speeds. But most owners reported that after proper tuning and servicing of the bike this issue was resolved.
6) Rear Tyre Locking up – Almost all owners have complained and experienced this. The rear tyre does tend to lock up very easily on the Himalayan. It happens even at low speeds or sometimes while downshifting. We can blame the hard compound of the dual purpose tyres for this. It is not extremely dangerous but one surely has to ride carefully keeping this in mind. The only solution is replacing the tyre with a premium tyre with more grip. (This? – Michelin To Introduce Off-Road Tyres in India)
7) General Rust Issues – A few components have been found to rust quite easily. A few cases of the headlight assembly and petrol tank cap rusting have been reported. All rusted components were replaced by Royal Enfield under warranty.
8) Fogging of Speedometer console / Headlight – A few cases of the meters (speedometer, tachometer etc) and headlight fogging up have emerged. Again Royal Enfield has replaced the whole console / headlight for the owners who faced these issues.
These issues are rare and not very common. We know for sure that Royal Enfield has replaced all faulty parts under warranty for each owner facing these issues. So I would not blame Royal Enfield about sub-par quality and I definitely appreciate their efforts to correct any faults discovered. We would have loved a completely trouble free bike, but we have to accept the issues are rare, even though some are quite serious.
I too own an Himalayan and love it to bits. I have not faced any major issue with my bike ever. I did have small issues like the bike stalling once in a while, but that problem vanished after the second service. Go through this article for more – Is Himalayan A Problematic/Unreliable Bike? – FALSE!
Disclaimer – These are not my original photos. I got them from the internet and the Facebook group – Royal Enfield Himalayan Owners Group