The Himalayan remains a path-breaker for rough-roading travellers. I consider it to be the domestic version of the Legendary KLR and similar motorcycles. A proper pack-mule, it may be heavy to wrestle with, but has a seasoned-vibe that lingers on, making you long to take it for a nice, long ride, ever so often.
While the motorcycle has been a joy to ride over 6 Years of ownership, the breakdowns and warranty repairs have been frustrating. Royal Enfield have, to be honest, offered some stellar support in terms of Parts Replacements under warranty. They have been kind enough with their Goodwill Warranty support.
The inspection and maintenance information mentioned below are schedules that I have followed with the motorcycle over the years. The full ownership review is under development and I’ll share it when ready.
Information is penned down in the following Sequence:
Component I Maintenance/Replacement Schedule I Reasoning.
Control Cables (Clutch & Throttle) I Adjust every 1000 kilometres I Replace Annually, post-monsoon I Ensures smoother operation of key controls and extends clutch-pack life by a few thousand kilometres.
Steering Cone Set I Inspect every 3 months/ 5000 kilometres I Grease T-Stem & Bearings using Water Proof Grease, as required. It helps avoid the chronic T-Stem bearing rusting issue.
Alternatively, the Continental GT535 Steering Cone Set can be installed. This involves replacing the original T-Stem Rod with a custom one, Top-T Nut and Check Nuts of fellow RE models can be used (Thunderbird, etc.). Steering does feel a bit heavier, but the peace of mind is worth it.
Switch-Gear & Ignition Set I Contact Points wear out over 3-4 monsoons, resulting in frequent electrical gremlins that include the motorcycle switching off intermittently, turn-indicators malfunctioning randomly, etc. I Replacement suggested every 4th Year, to keep things going as intended.
Main Wiring Harness I The contact connectors turn loose due to usage off-road and the wiring too tends to turn brittle. Again, seemingly random electrical gremlins tend to come up unexpectedly. Replacing the Main Wiring Harness every 4-5 Years resolves this.
Spark-Plug I Replace Every 2nd Monsoon for optimal spark strength and performance.
Spark-Plug Cap and Connector I Apply a thin layer of WaterProof Grease where the spark plug wire meets the Spark Plug Cap I This helps prevent water from seeping into the spark plug over time.
Carburettor I Annual disassembly and cleaning of carburettor before the monsoons. I Float Bowl Removal and Cleaning Annually, Post-Monsoon I Helps keep the throttle Response Crisp and avoids typical performance problems.
Carburettor Slide I Annual Inspection and replacement as required I The Slide tends to wear out over 3-4 Years. Poor Throttle Response, snatchiness, etc. are common symptoms. I Better to replace the slide assembly, than having to replace the Carb.
Grip Set I Grip Sets wear out every 3-4 Years I Replace the inner throttle twist (to which the throttle cable is attached) at same time I Avoids being stranded due to a worn-out throttle.
Wheel Bearings I Inspect and grease wheel-bearings (F&R) annually (pre-monsoon is ideal). Replace every 3 Years I Keep the wheels running true and help prevent associated component failure.
Spokes & Rims I The Himalayan has one of the toughest rim-and-spoke sets to be offered on a domestically manufactured motorcycle. Annual wheel-truing (post-monsoon) keeps the bike running true and prevents wear-and-tear of associated components.
Suspension Linkage I Inspect and grease the rear suspension linkage post monsoon every year using waterproof grease. I Ideally suggest replacing the linkage assembly every 5 years.
Swing-Arm Assembly I Check and Inspect the Swing Arm Assembly every six months (frequently, if used on trails) I Grease the pivots and bearings. I The area where the suspension is secured to the swing-arm can give way. So Inspect it both from the top, and from the bottom carefully.
Sprocket Damper Set (Cush Rubber) I Check the Sprocket Damper Set for warpage. It tends to wear out every 3-4 Years I Replace as required.
Brake Fluid and Master Cylinder I Replace the brake-fluid annually, pre-monsoon. This helps in better braking performance during the tricky monsoon season. Also, replacing the master cylinder kit, every 2 Years helps improve braking performance.
Oil Change I The manufacturer declared oil-replacement interval is a guideline. Engine oil-health and subsequent degradation should ideally be calculated as per engine-running duration and not the number of kilometres that the bike clocks. Think, city-commutes/rush-hour runs, etc. where the engine runs hot and the oil-cooler is working overtime, even if the kilometres clocked aren’t as much. I If the gear shifts start to get harder, then replace the engine oil and see the difference.
Fork-Oil I Following a 3 Year Fork-Service with oil-replacement schedule helps keep the front-fork assembly in optimal working condition.
Nuts-and-Bolts I Inspect bolts situated behind dust-caps every few months. These tend to rust unnoticed and can fail to varying consequences. I Pack them with a layer of WD40/WaterProof Grease from time to time.
The headlight screws tend to rust and jam in the headlight dome over time. Using a solder-iron to heat up the head slightly tends to help unfasten them. I Annual inspection and replacement as required.
The tail-light screws, like the head-light screws, tend to rust due to moisture exposure. I Replace as they rust, to avoid a costly tail-light failure and subsequent replacement of the entire assembly.
I hope that the above information helps fellow Himalayan owners in maintaining and enjoying their machines (rather than cursing it, as is anecdotally the case). If you do have some thoughts on the information shared, and/or your own suggestions to add to it, please do drop me a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take it from there.