Some of my dearest motorcycling friends got to experience the all-new, limited edition Himalayan Sleet + Explorer Kit in Jaipur recently. I barely managed to concentrate on my deadlines due to their continuous updates on the fun they were having with the bike. Now, it might be easy to say that the BSIV version is a regulatory move and the ‘Sleet’ as just another colour option on the Himalayan. But there’s a lot more to it than just that.
So much so that, even after clocking 20,000 kilometres on a BSIII Himalayan since August 2016, the Sleet, with the pre-fitted ‘Explorer Kit’ made me wish I had cash to spare.
The BSIV compliance meant that the Himalayan comes factory-fitted with a Fuel-Injection (FI) system. So I automatically feel a lot better on the emissions-vs-environmental impact front. I’d also not have to worry about ‘setting’ the carburettor each time I ride across changing altitudes. The FI system would automatically adjust the air-fuel ratio as per the conditions, letting me enjoy the throttle more, while not having me worry about whether my tinkering is hurting the engine. The ‘F-trip’ on the fuel-gauge would make a lot more sense too.
Bash Plate: The changes to the mounting of the aluminium bash-plate (side-bolts) vs. the bottom-mounted ones on my BSIII Himalayan (they’re a pain to get to, and to fix when damaged), are another plus. Not to mention beefier construction, together with the various improvements in the parts & build quality over the BSIII version.
As for the colour, I’d wanted the ‘Snow’ while she wanted the ‘Granite’ when buying our Himalayan and we ended up choosing the latter. So, with the ‘Sleet’, I’d get my White and she’d get her camouflage finish that she’s been wanting for a long time. The ‘Sleet’ would also look cooler on my ‘White Spiti’ trip, but don’t judge me on that 😀 It is however, that ‘Explorer Kit’ though that makes the offering that much sweeter.
Offered only to the 500 lucky ones who register and book it online (that sold out on the first day itself) – this Limited Edition ‘Himalayan Sleet + Explorer Kit’ got me most excited (outside of a performance boost and the availability of some necessary add-ons). This is because, there’s finally a pre-fitted solution to what was earlier, either a dealer fitment option, or an aftermarket one.
Off-road friendly Handlebar:
The cross-braced handlebar is a good way to drive home the point. The market is filled with handlebars at multiple price-points. From cheap overseas knock-offs and custom-built jobs, the market is filled with handlebars at multiple price-points. Barring a few, most of them have no information on their quality (build & design). Which is why, the thick tubed construction and the cross-brace offered on the handle-bar, as part of the limited edition ‘Explorer Kit’ on the Himalayan Sleet makes better sense. As do the CNC machined bar-end weights that are designed to reduce the vibrations further. Pricey to source it independently, but great VFM as part of the ‘Explorer Kit’.
Better Engine Protection:
Larger engine guards help provide better protection to the vital heart of the motorcycle. Fixwell Motors, Zana Motors, Donowyn Customs & HDT Customs make some pretty good aftermarket engine guards for the Himalayans. The larger OEM ones on offer here are, I suspect, a Fixwell Motors design, but the earlier model HDT Customs’ model fitted on my current bike have held up beautifully through the unavoidable falls so far.
Hard Panniers & Pannier Rails:
The party trick however, are the 26 Litre Aluminium panniers. These, along with the matched mounting rails kit & the revised indicator mount (Trafficator in Factory Speak. Know this from replacing my broken ones at the service centre) offer a better, more secure, and a neatly integrated solution to the hard luggage questions. Made from 2mm sheets, the panniers are lockable and are water resistant to boot. What it means is that one would no longer have to worry about what saddle bags to buy and then, go through the rigours of fastening/unfastening them each time.
And then, there’s the pricing. I remember paying ₹ 1.90 Lakhs (on-road, Mumbai) for my BSIII Himalayan. So, to be paying about ₹ 30,000/- more (adjusting for annual price hike + FI + production improvements) and getting all the above touring accessories as part of a factory-fitted ‘Explorer Kit’ is great value, I believe.
So you understand perhaps, why I’ll be a wee bit green in envy when I see the ‘Explorer Edition’ Himalayan Sleet tearing up the back-roads on my rides.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a super-jealous BSIII Himalayan waiting to be pacified.
Happy Riding Folks \\m//