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Yezdi Adventure vs Royal Enfield Himalayan - Comparison Review: Hit Or Miss?


The Yezdi beats RE on paper, but in the real world, things aren't that straightforward

 

Think Indian adventure motorcycles, and the Royal Enfield Himalayan is probably the first bike that pops to mind. After various minor but necessary updates over the past six years, the Himalayan's formula is a trusty and proven one today. So much so that it would seem like the reborn Yezdi brand 'benchmarked' its first adventure offering, subtly called the Adventure, on the Himalayan.

The design similarities between the two are pretty obvious. However, what is dissimilar is the Yezdi's heart, a sophisticated liquid-cooled motor with more claimed performance on tap. So, we are eager to find out what other secret ingredients Yezdi has added to the Adventure to make it a better Himalayan?

Lighter + More Powerful = Quicker!

Specifications Yezdi Adventure RE Himalayan
Engine 334cc liquid-cooled single 411cc air-/oil-cooled single
Power 30.2PS @ 8000rpm 24.3PS @ 6500rpm
Torque 29.9Nm @ 6500rpm 32Nm @ 4000 - 4500rpm
Gearbox 6-speed 5-speed

As mentioned, the Yezdi Adventure engine is modern and technologically advanced, with a 6-speed gearbox mated to it. It weighs less too, a whole 11 kilos. So, a lighter bike is quicker, right?

Acceleration Yezdi Adventure RE Himalayan
0-60kmph 3.86s 4.43s
0-80kmph 6.41s 7.20s
0-100kmph 10.20s 11.49s
30-70kmph in 3rd gear 4.85s 5.29s
40-80kmph in 4th gear 6.17s 7.10s

Yes, the Yezdi manages to outdrag the Himalayan in the 0-100kmph dash by over a second. It also reaches speeds above 130kmph far quicker and easier than the Enfield. The Yezdi feels livelier in the lower gears, too, thanks to the extra gear ratio.

However, these numbers are purely for academic reasons. In the real world, the Yezdi doesn’t actually help you reach your destination sooner than the Himalayan. The added performance cannot be used for prolonged durations because of poor refinement levels. When you open the gas and rev the engine to your heart’s content, you get harsh and persistent vibrations at the pegs, seat, and most prominently, the tank.

This harshness forces you to settle down at a lower speed of around 100kmph, which is where the Himalayan feels more relaxed. Firstly, it is running calmer, the motor revving at about a thousand revs lower than the Yezdi. Despite it sounding a bit shouty, it feels smoother too.

Plus, the Himalayan makes every journey effortless, thanks to its extra torquey 411cc motor. When you do slow down for a slow-moving vehicle on the highway, getting back up to speed requires just a twist of the throttle. The Yezdi makes you work a bit, as it isn’t as eager to regain lost momentum, forcing you to downshift a cog or two. In fact, we even VBox tested a 60-100kmph in-gear roll-on acceleration in the top gear of both bikes, and the Himalayan took 11.16 seconds to complete the run, a second quicker than the Yezdi.

The Himalayan’s effortlessness carries over in the city also, as you can just leave it in a higher gear and chug along at commuting speeds, something which seems impossible to do on the Yezdi. The advantage of brilliant tractability will be appreciated highly by commuters as the clutch of the Himalayan is on the heavier side. That said, the gear shifts were a bit slicker on the RE.

  Yezdi Adventure RE Himalayan
City fuel efficiency 33.07kmpl 32.04kmpl
Highway fuel efficiency 35.16kmpl 39.96kmpl
Tank capacity 15.5 litres 15 litres

Now, both motorcycles can carry nearly the same amount of fuel onboard. But it is the Himalayan's torquey engine and tall gearing that makes it a highly efficient motor for highway usage.

Takes Everything Indian Roads Has To Offer

Before we get to the design similarities, we must mention that both motorcycles have the same wheelbase, ground clearance, suspension travel, and wheel sizes. But after riding the two, it feels only one of them is capable of taking on everything that an Indian road can throw at a rider, and it sadly isn't the Yezdi.

That's because of two issues, both about the suspension tune. Firstly, the rider never feels settled on the motorcycle. Even on smooth tarmac sections, at 50-55kmph, you get this constant bobbing sensation. Hence, when going over sharp bumps on the highway or large speed humps in the city, the extra chattery monoshock tends to toss the rider off the seat, unsettling the bike's rhythm.

What's more pressing is that the front end doesn't really soak bumps to your liking. It is in complete contrast to the Himalayan, whose suspension has been calibrated so that it soaks uneven surfaces brilliantly. It lets a lot less come through to the rider, which means you sit calmer, unlike Yezdi's taut setup.

Not to be confused, the Yezdi doesn't feel jarring or harsh as the 'sporty' KTM 250/390 Adventures, but it isn't as masterful in taking on the broken tarmac sections.

This taut setup does have its benefits in the corners; the Adventure packs a more composed and sure-footed experience. It feels lighter to steer and more balanced when leaned over, and the extra-wide rear tyre is to be credited for the latter.

Braking Yezdi Adventure RE Himalayan
100-0kmph 50.40m 54.46m
80-0kmph 31.95m 35.13m
60-0kmph 18.67m 20.13m

And the one area where the Royal Enfield Himalayan continues to disappoint is its braking department. The bike has been on sale for over six years, yet RE still hasn't improved its stopping performance really.

The Yezdi's braking feels just like that of a modern adventure motorcycle, with a good amount of bite and lever progression. It doesn't require much effort at the levers to bring the bike to a halt. Also, ABS calibration is neatly executed.

When The Going Gets Rough

When you are in the market for adventure tourers, you are bound to be interested in the bike's off-tarmac-handling capabilities. And it is here where the Royal Enfield Himalayan feels like home. It puts the rider at ease, with its supple and pliant suspension tune and easy and accessible ergonomics. Our test bike was running with the wider handlebar from the RE GMA catalogue, and we feel it is a must-have for all Himalayan buyers as it not only reduces fatigue on long rides but also improves your control on tricky terrain.

The Yezdi demands more from the rider as one cannot properly lock themselves on to the bike because of its design. More importantly, the Adventure's higher-set footpegs would force you to take a fraction longer to get your feet on the ground, and for shorter riders who'd want to just dab and get away, this extra moment could make a world of difference.

The Himalayan tilts the balance further in its favour with the abundance of torque available at lower revs. Newer riders needn't bother too much about being in the right gear all the time, allowing the engine to chug along through the sticky situation. This isn't quite possible on the more sophisticated liquid-cooled Yezdi as you have to dial in more revs, else you will end up stalling the bike if you aren't in the right gear.

Ramesh Suresh?

Yezdi seems to have taken the Himalayan’s trusty and industrial design language and cranked it up with iconic elements such as the boxy tank and rectangular engine crankcase from the yesteryears. However, the Parsi bawa in me would’ve liked to see more of these elements currently hidden behind the metal pipes and guards.

While some of you will find the neat tail design with its small round lighting elements interesting, I didn’t quite find it that appealing. Frankly, I thought it was incomplete, really.

The USB charging hub is what I appreciate on the Yezdi, even though its mounting could’ve been better executed. You get both a Type-A and a Type-C charging socket as standard.

The Yezdi has a solid, geeky sort of a dash. To be honest, it isn’t a good use of the acreage available. There’s a large digital dial on the left (displaying your usual ride-related data) and a smaller dial for the turn-by-turn navigation system. We couldn’t test its operation as it was a customer’s bike, and Yezdi’s smartphone app is locked to just a single phone number. So if your friend lends you his/her Adventure, you wouldn’t technically be able to use the aid on your phone.

The Himalayan has many dials, tell-tale signs, and buttons. And to top it off, the new Tripper pod’s placement certainly feels like an afterthought. Reading the speed and revs isn’t that much of an issue, but the other data displayed on the small digital inset can be hard to read on the fly. Thankfully, the Tripper works flawlessly.

As for build quality, the Himalayan is sturdy but isn’t slick. Sadly, the Yezdi’s build and finish are very tacky. The tank cage, which is a mandatory accessory that the company forces its buyers to buy at the time of delivery for Rs 5,000, was misaligned, and so was the grab handle. The more scary bit was that the few bolts that helped secure the front disc to the wheel kept coming loose. The saddle stay was still missing, so was the front number plate mount.

Missed Opportunity

So, has Yezdi indeed made a better Himalayan? No, sadly. Because the promise made by Yezdi hasn't been delivered in the real world. Take the engine, for instance. In isolation, it does a fairly decent job. However, for all its sophistication and advancements, it still cannot match the Himalayan's humble air-/oil-cooled mill when it comes to everyday rideability and ease of usability across riding scenarios.

More importantly, a good suspension setup is critical for an adventure tourer. The Yezdi, again, seems well-equipped but is no match for the Himalayan, which lets the rider relax more often and for longer over various surfaces.

And it’s here that Yezdi has missed a golden opportunity. The Himalayan, as we know, is at the end of its life cycle, and it will be replaced by something meatier and more purposeful. But it seems that it's still some time away.

So if you are looking for adventure, the Yezdi might not be your best pick.

Yezdi Adventure Video Review

Yezdi Adventure
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