It is often said that innovation is the key to progress. This is especially true in the motorcycle industry, where innovation drives manufacturers to succeed. While not all brands prioritize technology and performance, they all strive to deliver a better product to their customers.
Recently, Royal Enfield has been showcasing a lot of innovation. This brand focuses on heritage, emotion, and the raw experience of riding. Despite not being known for cutting-edge performance, Royal Enfield has brought its technology into the 21st century. The new Himalayan is a prime example of this. Unveiled at EICMA 2023, it is the brand's first bike with a liquid-cooled engine. With an impressive power output of 40 horsepower, it can compete with the likes of KTM and BMW.
The new Himalayan is also Royal Enfield's most performance-oriented machine to date. It features advanced technology like throttle-by-wire, premium suspension components, and a 65% increase in power. Our first ride review of the new Himalayan revealed that it is a versatile bike capable of handling various terrains with ease. However, it's important to note that the new Sherpa 450 engine is not exclusive to the Himalayan.
Rumors of a larger sibling to the popular Hunter 350, called the Hunter 450, have been circulating for some time. Recently, spy shots of the alleged prototype of the Hunter 450 have surfaced. These photos show a departure from Royal Enfield's classic design, with modern lines, inverted front forks, sporty alloy wheels, and an overall sporty stance. It's clear that the Hunter 450 is more of a naked bike than a laid-back cruiser. This suggests that Royal Enfield is stepping up its game in terms of performance.
It's important to note that these spy shots are not confirmed by Royal Enfield as an upcoming model. We can only speculate about what this bike might offer if it becomes a reality. However, based on Royal Enfield's previous launches, it's likely that we will see a new model with the Sherpa 450 engine in the near future.
If the Hunter 450 does become a reality, it will face tough competition from both new and established players in the market, including the KTM 390 Duke, Husqvarna 401 bikes, and twin-cylinder offerings from Kawasaki and Honda. New players like the Harley-Davidson X440 and Hero Mavrick will also join the competition. As for when we can expect to see the undisguised Hunter 450, it's uncertain. According to HT Auto, it should hit the road in the second half of 2024.