2017 Royal Enfield Himalayan First Look |
Royal Enfield North America Established
A little over two years ago at the press introduction for the Royal Enfield Continental GT, Siddhartha Lal—Managing Director and CEO of Royal Enfield’s parent company, Eicher Motors—announced that Royal Enfield was looking to increase its presence in the North America market by formally establishing a US-based division. Initially, this entailed hiring Rod Copes as the unit’s president.
In the intervening time since that announcement, Mr. Copes, previously a Senior VP of International Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Harley-Davidson, has been actively building the staff and establishing the dealer network state-by-state. At this point, Royal Enfield North America has about 30 dealers operating and is continuing the legal and administrative processes to reach a total of 100 dealers by middle of 2017. Additionally, Royal Enfield has scheduled a grand opening on September 10 for the combined opening of its North America office and company showroom in Milwaukee.
Introducing the Royal Enfield Himalayan
Along with expanding its North America presence, Royal Enfield has released a new motorcycle—the Himalayan, an adventure model—following up on the April announcement of the bike’s release to the Indian market.
The 2017 Royal Enfield Himalayan is powered by a 410cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, carbureted engine that produces a claimed peak of 24.5 horsepower. Although the horsepower rating may seem a bit light to most North American riders, the motorcycle’s curb weight is listed at just over 401 pounds, and fuel capacity in nearly four gallons. The low weight should result in a maneuverable ADV motorcycle.
It is interesting to note is the Himalayan model was originally intended just for the Indian market. However, according to Breeann Poland, Royal Enfield North America’s Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager, “Our team here in North America truly believes this motorcycle would be a perfect fit for this market. Rod and the rest of the team have worked hard building a business case in order to bring the Himalayan over here.”
As a result, Royal Enfield North America’s management team is targeting a late spring/early summer 2017 date to present the Himalayan to the western hemisphere. The primary reason for the lag between the Indian market release and North America market is due to ensuring the Himalayan model will meet our DOT and EPA regulations.
Royal Enfield has created Royal Enfield North America to become more than a niche company in North America. The North America team’s activities have an entrepreneur approach, rather than using the methods of a more mature company with established markets. Inherently, this mind set allows flexibility for market development and an increase the availability and selection of its affordable and unique mid-size motorcycles for the North American consumer.