UPDATED: The new Royal Enfield Himalayan mid-sized adventure bike was banned in the capital of India because it doesn’t meet new emissions standards, which could have been good news for Australia.
However, at the last minute, the government lifted the ban because the bike was launched on March 16, which was before the new emissions standards apply from tomorrow April 1, 2016.
Australian importers of the Indian brand, Urban Moto Imports, had said the ban may ease demand on the bike which could push Australia further up the waiting list.
Even though the ban has now been lifted, UMI boss Joseph Elasmar still says Australia will be one of the first countries to get the 411cc adventure bike because our emission laws aren’t as strict as Europe and America.
That doesn’t mean the bike will be more polluting than other bikes in our market at all. It will still have to pass the same emissions standards as all other bikes in Australia.
However, it does not meet the new stringent Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) emissions standards which take effect from April 1, 2016. They seem to be similar to European and Californian standards, which are the strictest in the world.
Joe says he still has not estimate on the arrival date or price in Australia.
“We’ve been pushing the point with India at the moment, asking when our first homologation unit will be available,” he says.
When it arrives, it will undergo tests to ensure it meets various Australia standards, including emissions.
The Royal Enfield stand at the World Superbikes was besieged by customers asking about the new model, Joe claims.
“Inquiries have been high and there is lot of interest. It’s certainly opened the door to a whole other market.
“We’re not taking deposits until the price is finalised, but we are taking expressions of interest and those people will be the first to know the price.
“We’ve would have had over 50 expression of interest so far.”
Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal announced the bike would cost Rs. 1.55 lakh in India which is about $3500, but with various freight, taxes, duties, dealer delivery costs etc, it should be closer to $7000. It will come with a with two-year warranty and roadside assist.
That still compares favourably with other budget adventure bikes such as the Kawasaki KLR 650 ($8099 +ORC), Honda CB500X ($7599+ORC) and Suzuki DR-Z400 ($7990+ORC), as well as many of the 300cc motorcycles.