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Understanding the Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 Chassis Issue: What Went Wrong?

The Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 is an incredible machine, designed for the adventurer in all of us. But recently, there have been some concerns circulating on social media about the motorcycle’s chassis failures. Let’s dive into what happened and why it’s crucial to use the right accessories for your bike.

The Viral Chassis Failures: What We Know

You might have seen the videos and posts that went viral, showcasing two instances of chassis failures in the Royal Enfield Himalayan 450. One case was reported in Assam, and the other in an unknown location. These incidents understandably raised eyebrows, especially among Royal Enfield enthusiasts and owners.

Comparing to the Himalayan 411: History Repeats?

Many people started comparing these failures to the famous chassis failure issues of the Himalayan 411. It brought back memories and concerns about the durability and reliability of the Himalayan series. But Royal Enfield was quick to address the situation, and here’s what they found.

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The Role of After-Market Crash Guards

Royal Enfield’s technical team discovered that the bikes involved in these failures were fitted with after-market crash guards. Specifically, one of the crash guards was from Zana, a company known for making such components. This raised a significant red flag.

Engine as a Stressed Member: The Technical Breakdown

The Himalayan 450 is the first motorcycle based on Royal Enfield’s new liquid-cooled platform. In this setup, the engine acts as a stressed member of the frame, mounted at three points: two at the top on each side and one at the bottom. The company uses specialized bolts to integrate the engine to the frame, ensuring precise positioning and load management.

Incorrect Bolt Specs and Torque Settings: The Culprit

In the cases of the chassis failures, it was found that different specs of bolts were used. This led to incorrect torque settings, resulting in excessive stress on the chassis. Over time, this stress caused the chassis to fail. Royal Enfield ran numerous simulations in their R&D facility in Chennai to confirm these findings.

The After-Market vs. Genuine Accessories Debate

Why After-Market Guards Are Popular

A significant number of Himalayan 450 owners opt for after-market crash guards due to their availability and sometimes lower cost. For many, waiting for the Genuine Motorcycle Accessories (GMA) from Royal Enfield can be frustrating, as evidenced by my own experience of waiting over a month to source the Rally Protection from a dealer in Delhi.

The Importance of Using Genuine Accessories

Royal Enfield has clearly stated in the owner’s manual that using after-market accessories can void the warranty. They have developed crash guards specifically for the Himalayan 450 to ensure proper fit and function. This highlights the importance of staying within the brand’s ecosystem for peace of mind and the longevity of your motorcycle.

Saving a Few Bucks: Is It Worth the Risk?

While saving a few thousand rupees might seem like a good idea at the moment, the potential long-term costs can be much higher. Using non-genuine parts can lead to issues like the chassis failures we’ve seen, which not only affect the bike’s performance but can also pose safety risks.

How Royal Enfield is Handling the Situation

Customer Support and Assistance

Royal Enfield is already in touch with the affected customers, providing the necessary assistance. This proactive approach shows their commitment to their customers’ safety and satisfaction.

Research and Development Efforts

The company has put significant effort into researching and confirming the cause of these failures. By running extensive simulations and studies, they have ensured that the problem is well understood and can be addressed effectively.

Tips for Himalayan 450 Owners: Ensuring Your Bike’s Longevity

Stick to Genuine Accessories

As tempting as it might be to go for after-market options, sticking to genuine Royal Enfield accessories is the best way to ensure your bike’s longevity and safety. These parts are designed and tested to work seamlessly with your motorcycle.

Regular Maintenance and Checks

Regular maintenance is crucial for any motorcycle. Make sure to follow the recommended service intervals and have your bike checked by authorized service centers to catch any potential issues early.

Understand Your Bike

Having a good understanding of your bike’s mechanics and specifications can help you make informed decisions about accessories and modifications. Knowing the importance of torque settings and the role of each component can go a long way in maintaining your bike’s health.

Conclusion: Peace of Mind with Genuine Parts

The Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 is built to take on tough terrains and offer an unparalleled adventure experience. However, ensuring your bike’s longevity and reliability means making informed choices, especially when it comes to accessories.

The recent chassis failures serve as a reminder of the importance of using genuine parts designed specifically for your motorcycle. While after-market options might seem convenient, they can lead to significant issues down the line.

By sticking to the brand’s ecosystem, you not only protect your investment but also ensure a safer and more reliable riding experience. So, the next time you think about adding a new accessory to your Himalayan 450, remember the value of peace of mind and choose wisely.

Stay safe, ride smart, and enjoy the adventures that your Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 was designed to conquer!

Autocar India

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