2021 EFI SWITCHABLE ABS MODEL
I recently purchased a 2017 model Himalayan from Paul, a fellow member of the Royal Enfield Club of Australia, who had already placed an order for the new EFI Switchable ABS model. Not having ridden one before, I wanted to test the Himalayan out in the bush, which you really can’t do on a dealer demo. I wanted to see if I liked how it went off-road and on the highway, not just around the block. I had seen another member Peter, ride his on twisty tarmac on country roads and it seemed to go pretty good. So since there was quite a wait for the new models I bought the bike off Paul without so much as a test ride. I then had some time to try it out and make a decision.
After some test rides on the Hume and Pacific motorways, I knew it was going to be similar to other Royal Enfield singles, more of an 80-100 kph “B-Road” bike. At 110kph indicated it sits at about 5500 revs and the red-line is 6250rpm. At 100 on the speedo, you are doing 92-94kph on the GPS.
I went on 3 off-road rides for which I did trip reports ( see below )
Watagan’s ride in the mud with Peter http://www.k10stuff.com.au/motorcycles/watagans-forest-ride/
Wombeyan Caves Road with DSMRA http://www.k10stuff.com.au/uncategorized/dsmra-taralga-adv-ride/
And a ride around the Hawkesbury with Paul http://www.k10stuff.com.au/motorcycles/wisemans-ferry-and-colo-dirt-ride/
Earlier this year there was an extensive delay in getting new bikes out of India to Australia so the wait time was 6 weeks or more.
For a period of time I had been enquiring as to availability, lead-time and colour options and hadn’t actually committed to putting a deposit on one as yet when I received a call from Santina of Revelry Cycles saying that there was one available, due to land in the country very soon and it was Lake Blue. I bit the bullet and placed a deposit.
As soon as I knew I had one “in the bag” I went about planning what accessories and modifications I would do.
It’s taken a while to compile this info but here it is.
On my 2017 bike the rear shock had sagged a bit and the front forks felt very soft.
Having dealt with the guys from SuspensionsRUs in the past with my Triumph Tiger suspension fix, I decided to go with their recommendation of YSS and purchased a shock and fork kit.
I actually ordered the kit for the old bike but never fitted it as a 2021 model became available quicker than expected.
As you can see, in a feeble attempt to create progressive suspension the OEM spring has tightly wound coils at the top, which just bind up quickly and you end up with half a spring. The OEM fork springs are the same.
The YSS shock has rebound adjustment and a threaded-ring preload adjustment. This gives you more tunability but it requires you to remove the rear internal guard to perform preload adjustment as the OEM shock is run upside down and the preload is at the bottom allowing easier access.
Installation required the removal of the battery and airbox in order to fit the shock
Since I do some rides with luggage and others without, I decided to trim the bottom off the guard to expose the preload adjuster. This means I don’t have to remove anything to make adjustments to preload settings.
The YSS fork kit comprises new fork springs (without the tightly wound coils at the top), PD (Progressive Damping) valves which act as cartridge fork emulators, new preload spacers to suit the spring length change (due to insertion of the PD valves), and preload-adjustable fork caps.
The upgrade was not as hard as I imagined and gave me the opportunity to remove some items that I deemed unsightly.
I started out by removing the wheel and then the brake calliper and ABS sensor. Then it was time for the fork brace and mudguard, which I had plans for.
I got one fork off and then followed the instructions which advised me to remove the oil and replace it with 20W.
To get the oil out you need to turn upside down and purge all the oil by pumping it until the oil stops coming out. I bought 1 litre of Bel-Ray 20w as the fork kit only came with a 250ml top-up bottle of YSS fork oil. You need about 410ml in each leg and an air gap of 220mm which I checked using a tape measure set to about 222mm and used it like a dipstick. You can buy a fancy contraption from MX Store if you want to be 100% precise. Then I installed the preload-adjustable fork caps.
Once I had done both I reinstalled the forks. I chose to leave the gaiters off. This will spark some debate but I want to be able to achieve two things. Firstly, improve the look. The chrome fork stanchion breaks up the all-black appearance of the standard forks and secondly allows me to monitor fork travel by being able to see the tell-tale rings of oil/dust left on the fork legs and then adjust preload accordingly. Another thing is preventing trapped moisture from coming in contact with cheap Indian chrome and damaging the forks.
Where’s the mudguard you ask ?. Not quite in the bin but it really does look terrible. I did put it back on recently for a road trip where we expected lots of rain but for off-road riding, I think I will leave it off for the interim and see how it goes.
UPDATE – the mudguard would be in fact useful in heavy mud to prevent the oil cooler clogging up but on a recent 300km trip on wet dirt roads the spray pattern seemed similar to another bike with the mudguard fitted.
Dirt bikes don’t have a guard that runs within a centimetre of the front tyre, so I came up with a solution to raise the fork brace, to which the mudguard attaches, by 20mm.
This was an easy $10 fix from Bunnings Hardware. PS these are the 2 left-overs – you need 4 of each.
Bark Busters, LED indicators and Tail-Tidy
One thing I have found with dirt bikes is that blinkers are sacrificial, they will either be knocked off the bike or fall off eventually due to the rubber mount perishing or succumbing to vibrations. I needed to get Bark Busters so I went for the optional LED indicators as well.
This gave me an idea for a “Tail-Tidy” that would lead me to another modification.
On the 2017 bike, the taillight was just about to fall to pieces. I took it apart and had to buy some new screws to hold it together. Knowing this would probably also happen on the new bike I wanted to replace it. The pannier racks include a blinker relocation kit mounted on the cross brace and this had a flat section perfect for a flush-mount LED tail/brake light.
I ordered this one from Third Gear for about $25.
The Bark Busters LED indicators are curved to suit the shape of the handguards. For me to be able to use them on the rear I needed them to be flat. So I had to cut off the plastic contour with a hacksaw and then encapsulate them with epoxy. I could then mount them with double-sided tape to the 125mm x 50mm Aluminium angle that I cut 40mm wide to fit the tail light mount. I sprayed the angle satin black to match.
Wiring was a pain. I didn’t want to chop the existing connectors so I could put it all back to factory spec. A trick I used on the tail-tidy I did on my 650 Interceptor was to make up a new rear wiring loom for the new indicators and lights. The LED indicators require some resistors to control the flash rate and these had bullet connectors which I removed and added spade connectors to match the original indicator connectors. Job done, nothing chopped or hacked. The tail/brake light also had a separate loom which had a plug under the pillion seat, so I disconnected that with the OEM taillight and used spade connectors to fit into the plug. Again no cutting off plugs from the original wiring.
Once the bulky-breaky tail light was removed there was all this space between the rack and the pannier cross brace and the panniers themselves. I started hunting for toolboxes and then had an idea. A flat-mounted ammo box from Repco would fit and allow easy access and would also have a sealed lid. I decided to utilise the taillight mount, as being pressed metal, it was fairly rigid and already had some rubber grommets perfect for providing a good vibration-free mounting point for the ammo box. The Bark Busters kit was designed to suit both the Himalayan and the KTM 390 and, for the latter, it came with 2 aluminium spacers for the bar ends which were surplus.
I used these, coupled with rubber washers, to act as stand-offs from the cross brace and they lined up the ammo box perfectly with the taillight mount.
Drill a few holes and fit some rubber and nylon washers and fixings and it was done.
Speaking of bling, SRC Adventure Moto make some pretty good looking and practical accessories for your Himalayan and are very helpful with full instructions in PDF and follow-up emails from Tony the importer.
I think the only thing I haven’t got is the side stand foot enlarger and the rear cargo rack.
REAR BRAKE MASTER CYLINDER GUARD
REAR BRAKE FLUID RESERVOIR GUARD
EXHAUST HEAD PIPE GUARD
OIL COOLER GUARD
FUEL TANK + BRACKETS (3 LITRE CAPACITY EACH SIDE)
So I use one of the 3 litre tanks for fuel and the other for spare water, not drinking water as the tanks are not food grade plastic. When camping after a day riding dusty roads it is handy to have some spare water to have a wash and for washing up cooking gear without using your drinking water.
There are 1 Gallon (3.8L) ROTOPAX water tanks available from Motorradgarage if you need extra drinking water.
FUEL TANK AND BRACKETS
A lot of people in the Royal Enfield Club swear by Air Hawk seat cushions so I thought I’d try one, so I picked up a Dual Sport model from Motorradgarage whilst I was there .
There was an article on the internet talking about the curvature of the seat causing problems and making you lean forward onto the tongue of the seat etc. As it turned out I had the same problem. The fix is to cut a section of foam mattress and place it under the Air Hawk. It stops the seat from collapsing into a curve and allows the air valve to sit behind it, which was sticking into my butt cheek.
Glen from the Royal Enfield Himalayan Australian Group on Facebook makes some useful accessories for the Himalayan.
Ezzee Rack Pillion Seat Rack with legs (makes camping stand)
I had some throw over panniers that I tried to use on the old bike and found that they hung too low and I was also concerned they would damage the pillion seat. Once I saw Glen’s rack on Facebook I ordered one and it fixed both of the problems.
This is the standard model above
The main supports fit into two mounts that attach to the frame and is secured with R clips. At the rear it has a mount that clips over the first bar of the standard Himalayan rear rack.
When I got the new bike I ordered another one but this time the camping version which has legs at the rear that fold down to make a stand for pots or other utensils.
The addition of a MX bar pad makes a great back rest
I used it on the last camping trip to keep the soft esky off the mud and wet ground.
Ezzee Stand (for changing front tyre)
When you put the bike on the centre stand it raises the rear end which is great for oiling the chain. However, the front tyre is still in contact with the ground as the balance point of the centre stand is forward. Removing the front wheel can sometimes allow the bike to rest back on the rear wheel. There usually is weight on the front tyre which makes it hard to change and then can result in the forks ending up on the ground once you do remove the front wheel. At home in the workshop I use a piece of wood or a hydraulic stand however this is not available in the bush.
The Ezzee Stand mounts to the A frame section of the bike’s down tube, between the steering head and the bash plate. It uses a hook welded to it to slot in one of the holes in the frame brace and its own natural tension holds it there. I had some interference with the SRC crash bars so I bent it slightly to fit and added some Velcro to secure it.
When in use it is removed from the bike and the large hook at the top is inserted into the centre slot of the bash plate and when you push it back it raises the front tyre allowing you to remove it.
STEDI LED Headlight Upgrade and Driving Lights
I decided to install a LED headlight as a bit of an experiment and also so it would match the light colour the two driving lights I was intending on installing as daytime running lights where the indicators were.
This was a bit of a gamble as I didn’t take into consideration that the Himalayan headlight body is recessed to account for the instrument panel. Once I got the kit I thought how is this all going to fit inside.
The kit comes with a H4 LED globe with a massive heatsink and a control module the size of a match box.
I was right it didn’t fit.
The power cable comes out of the back of the heat sink and was being bent at 90 degrees pressing hard against the housing and the headlight still would not close properly.
So I made the decision to forge ahead and drill a hole for the wire in the back of the housing directly behind the globe heatsink and mount the controller under the instrument panel with double sided tape.
I wanted to install the small MCX5 5w DRLs (Daytime Running lights) next to the headlight where the indicators were mounted on the side bars. Unfortunately these were out of stock so I had to go for slightly larger and more powerful MXC10 10w LED driving lights
The 2 x 10W lights will draw about 1.8amps, not a lot but close to the 2amp limit of the switch and thus requiring a relay where the 5w ones would not.
I may order the 5w when they come back into stock and put the 10W on another bike or mount them somewhere else. I originally ordered some mounts for the crash bars but the power cable with Deutsch connectors was too short and would leave the bulky connector hanging in the breeze, hence putting them near the headlight.
Its all a bit of an experiment at this stage. Until I know if I can get the 5w DRLs for the upper mounts or some wide beam LEDs.
I haven’t completed the wiring yet.
I also need to install a fuse box which was an idea I got from a fellow member of the Himalayan page on Facebook, Ossie, who mounted a Jaycar 6 way Fuse Box with bus bar under the seat in the small compartment built in to the rear guard. I will also mount any relays required in the same space.
So in other words this project is still work in progress. A bit like the rest of the bike. Stay tuned.