The owners of the Royal Enfield Himalayan are suffering through a royal pain in their lives as well as in their wallets due to the umpteen quality control and after-sales service problems.
Royal Enfield is a motorcycling company whose target customers are those who would love the feel of open road cruising on a macho looking retro-styled bike, but is often bought by customers whose definition of ‘macho’ is having ‘Sawari Jatt Di’ written in chrome on a black number plate and lane splitting in rush hour traffic while red-lining the thumping engine all the way to the next crossing – local traffic rules be damned. But a major chunk of Royal Enfield buyers do like to take their beloved rides to unknown hinterlands and travel vast paces of our huge country.
Rumours even say that if one buys the bike and does not take the machine to the Himalayas, the bike will leave its owner and go to the mountains on its own. Therefore, to target those hardcore travellers, Royal Enfield launched the Himalayan adventure motorcycle which looked awesome and ready to mow down any boulder one might encounter on his way to glory. But now in March 2017, after almost a year of its launch, the owners of the bike are having a harrowing experience dealing with extremely fragile build quality as well as frankly disgusting attitude of the sales and service department at Royal Enfield.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan has proved to be a nightmare for its owners who put their faith and hard-earned money on a product which seems to be more fragile than a house made of thermocol. Bikes as new as just 7 kms on the odometer are facing critical issues like gearbox failure and paint chipping from the insides of the fuel tank, thereby blocking the fuel pipe. Another customer had his cylinder head changed after just 200 kms.
Many owners complained of the motorcycle pulling to one side and feeling heavy, on disassembly of the front fork, components were found to be rusted and damaged. More issues like stalling, rusting, electrical failure, fogging of the instrument cluster and headlight, and rear tyre locking up have also been reported. The British brand is rectifying all the issues quietly under warranty. The plight of urban city riders is still better than those who dare to venture out into the slopes.
Take the story of this lady, who, along with her husband is a true-blue hardcore biker and was enjoying her India-Nepal trip on her KTM and her husband’s Royal Enfield Himalayan. Somewhere in the peaks of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, the damper of the ‘adventure bike’ Himalayan broke and the bike was bouncing up-and down like a pogo stick (sic). The electricals of the bike also went kaput and stopped charging when in use. All hell broke loose when the frame of the bike itself broke near the foot-pegs rendering the bike un-rideable.
So now, the bike won’t function over bumps, one cannot see in the dark and even if one dares, he can’t ride the Himalayan because the rear brakes don’t work anymore as the frame is broken. The ordeal of the couple doesn’t stop there only. When they reached Assam somehow, every service centre and Royal Enfield dealer said that parts are not available with them and will take at least four weeks. At one place, the locals even warned the lady to not to deal with the particular dealer due to his bad reputation with the womenfolk.
Frankly, this is not what a multinational automaker is supposed to do. For years, Royal Enfield bikes were notorious for vibrating so much while riding that the components would simply unscrew themselves and fall apart. The Himalayan was supposed to be an all-new beginning, with a new platform and powertrain and all the quality issues finally put to rest. But it looks like the company and its sales and service managers have not learnt any lessons whatsoever. Royal Enfield should change the bike’s name from Himalayan because going by the current trend, the bike is simply a disgrace to the mighty Himalayas, which have stood the test of times and have safeguarded our nation from countless threats.
When the Himalayan was being showcased in initial promotional videos before launch, one of the videos showed Dakar rally racer CS Santosh riding the bike and catching some air while going over a boulder. When the bike landed, its right footpeg broke off, leaving CS Santosh astonished. In experienced hands like those of Santosh, the situation was under control, but if it would have been any other ordinary rider, it would have been an epic disaster. When we were reviewing the Himalayan, our test bike’s saree guard came off after mild off-roading. The Lady whose Himalayan’s frame broke is yet to receive her bike back, and is righteously planning to sue Royal Enfield to the ground. Amid all of this, MotorBeam has only one thing to say to the Bullet maker – Royal Enfield, you had just one job.
Royal Enfield Himalayan Quality Issues
– The Royal Enfield Himalayan has been plagued with a number of quality control issues
– The firm has got to catch-up big time if it aims to be a global player in the true sense
– The number of problems in the Himlayan are so many, it is difficult to keep track
– Owners with bikes as new as a day are facing problems not just in the bike but also with the lacklustre attitude of the service station