Royal Enfield Himalayan - A long-term project bike


Earlier this week we took delivery of a 2017 Royal Enfield Himalayan, an entirely new motorcycle concept from one of the world’s oldest manufacturers.

Although I enjoyed the motorcycle during an all-too-brief dealer test ride, I must admit my initial impressions of the bike I purchased concerned me a little. The motorcycle’s controls were not set where I would like (a small issue of set-up that we will speak more on later), but of more concern was the extreme lean harshness to the engine and a maniacal popping from the exhaust on over-run.

My initial days with the bike made me wonder just how many people buy a motorcycle which does not live up to their expectations, and how a little insight into motorcycle mechanicals could make their experience very different. Hence, I decided to write this series of articles as the Himalayan settles into its new home and becomes a Bespoke Motorcycles long-term project bike.

First jobs – there was no free play in either the clutch lever or the throttle. I removed the clutch lever pivot bolt and lever, thoroughly lubricated the clutch cable (which is a lovely nylon-lined woven cable which dust seals top and bottom), clutch lever, lower clutch actuator arm and lever pivot bolt; reassembled, adjusted free play to 2.5mm and set the lever height to suit me. Total time, a few minutes, but the effect was to transform the clutch action to be light, smooth and predictable.

Same process followed for the front brake; removed the lever, greased the lever and pivot bolt, reassembled and set the lever height to suit. Then I removed the gear lever, greased both gear linkage rose joints inside their rubber boots, greased the lever and pivot bolt and reassembled. Round the other side and did the same thing to the rear brake lever. Then a light application of chain lube to the stand pivots, and a little graphite powder to the ignition key. A few more minutes to adjust the throttle cable to give a little free play in the cable. Total time, half an hour. Result, all controls now positioned correctly for me, and operating smoothly and correctly.

Stay tuned… richer mixtures await.

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