Looks like the good folks at Royal Enfield were getting bored (like almost everyone else at present) and thought it was a good idea to have a video conference with European motorcycle journalists to give them a hint of what they can expect from RE in the near future. You may read the first-hand accounts of this event elsewhere on the Internet, and draw your own conclusions, but we'll look at them with a WIIFM (What's In It For Me) magnifying glass.
Apparently, there are around 14 motorcycles in different stages of development at Royal Enfield; however, only one has been the topic of discussion lately in India—the RE Himalayan 650. Therefore, we'll talk about just that motorcycle. But before we even begin, it must be noted that while no report quotes Simon Warburton, RE's Head of Product Development, and Mark Wells, Head of Strategy, to have accepted or refuted that the new Himalayan will indeed be a 650, it's said that they were otherwise quite lucid on the subject of "how a bigger Himalayan should be if RE someday makes one."
So let's take a look at what they did discuss rather than harping on what they could have or what they didn't.
Not too tall
That's one of the things Warburton and Wells said about the larger Himalayan. And they will be my heroes if they follow through. Why? Because the RE Himalayan is the only adventure motorcycle in India right now that even shorter people (5'0"-5'4") can ride. All other adventure motorcycles look as if they were designed only for those who're six feet and above.
So I am counting on RE to keep the saddle height the same as the current Himalayan's—800 mm. For the record, I am a shade over five feet, and I can ride the current Himalayan. I can ride the Indian FTR 1200 too, whose saddle height is a high 853 mm, but how I manage to 'ride tall bikes', and how you can do the same, is a topic for some other day.
Not too heavy
This looks attainable too. The single-cylinder Himalayan weighs 199 kg (with 90% fuel, and oil), while the Interceptor 650 tips the scales at 202 kg on an empty stomach (no fuel). The Kawasaki Versys 650 and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT weigh the same coincidentally—216 kg fully fueled. So even if RE is able to contain the Himalayan 650's weight under 220 kg, I'll say that they kept their word.
Just like the 650 twins, you may expect the Himalayan 650 as well to not have any electronic rider-aids such as traction control, ride/power modes, etc., other than a dual-channel ABS system. Frankly, if you think you need traction control and ride modes on a sub-50 horsepower four-stroke parallel twin, you need to sit back and reassess your life goals and priorities.
The crux is: if RE is able to make such a Himalayan, it would truly answer the prayers of many who want to own a midsize ADV but cannot afford any of the current options in Indian market. An RE Himalayan 650 for under four lakh rupees on road?
I think RE will do it.