We were staggered to see a post on the Australian forum of another website with the header:
Royal Enfield to do Dakar
We love the Indian brand for its heritage and simplicity, and we especially admire the efforts the company is making to honour that heritage but still compete in a fast-developing market. Royal Enfield even introduced an adventure model – the Himalayan – and while we’d be very careful about tackling the Simpson on one, we applaud the company’s forward motion (and we’d love to own one).
So when we saw the heading we were saddened to think Royal Enfield had overstepped itself.
The header was the only copy with the image, though, so there was a little wriggle room for interpretation. It didn’t take a lot of research to find the source material, and to see that, at this stage, Royal Enfield isn’t contesting the next Dakar.
Here’s the story as it appeared on www.autoevolution.com, a Romanian-based automotive news website:
“Royal Enfield’s Himalayan adventure bike may be one of the coolest things that happened in the long history of the Indian house, but seeing a rendering showing it in a Dakar-ish rally-raid guise is funny. That is because of the ill-fated decision to leave the scene showing parts falling off the bike in the final cut of the first official video.
“Even though Royal Enfield pulled their Himalayan video off YouTube trying to do some damage control, things cannot be undone. The Himalayan will most likely be remembered for years as the adventure bike that broke one of the footpegs in the very launch video.
“Obviously, putting THAT bike and the Dakar Rally in the same sentence is almost evil. A motorcycle manufacturer that hopes to even reach the finish line of the Dakar has to go great lengths to make its bike tough as nails, and that’s perhaps an understatement.
“We’ve seen motorcycles from the biggest and the best teams defeated by the grueling South American cross-country rally, down with all sorts of problems, from engines that fail to broken parts and frames.”
The article continues on to talk about the infamous introduction video and to consider the Himalayan’s performance and durability compared to other modern off-road bikes.
So there’s no consideration of a Royal Enfield starting Dakar any time soon.
We’re glad to say other members of the hosting forum seemed to take the suggestion with a fair dose of good humour.
We still reckon life would be pretty cruisey on an Enfield.