Known recurring problems with various Himalayan types


Staff member
477 Owner
8. October 2021, 23:46

The Himalayan quality in some aspects is not top notch. To give you an idea what to expect here is a list of issues that you will recognize when scanning thru the various groups and forums online - mostly scattered though, I though it may be helpful to have them consolidated in one place.

  • All rubber parts are of very low quality. Expect ripping and defect after only 2 years, sometimes earlier. This seems to be a general problem with RE that also affects the Bullets
  • Except for the 2021 aka 2022 model (BS6 with tripper) the side stand is too long. The bike tends to be susceptible to wind gusts invoked tipping over. There are solutions for sale online and self help videos on YT.
  • High and irregular idle, cutouts during sudden acceleration, cutouts during driving when changing gears. This can be alleviated with a piggyback ECU and the proper mapping - some say with a power booster.
  • Sudden "going dark" of all electrical functions while driving. Relatively rare but still more often than comfortable. Mostly fixed by exchange of the ignition lock (or taking it apart, cleaning and greasing)
  • Fogging over of the instrument panel during the rainy season. This a very common, if the bike is new and the effect is extreme the dealer will change the panel BUT because almost all of them have this flaw it does not really help. Two small holes and occasional blowing it out with clean air does.
  • Temperature indicator too high - this is not a bug, its a feature. Relocate the sensor to fix it - instructions on YT.
  • Compass shows wrong direction. Yes it does, forget it. It can be calibrated but will lose this calibration rather fast. The compass is a joke. Live with it.
  • Rear rack breaks under load. Yes it does. Officially maximum load is 6KG which is a joke if the top box itself weights 4KG. There is no fix unless you exchange it for something more solid. The BS6 version has a better rack.
  • RE Hima OEM carriers are misfits, nothing you can do about it. You can force them into position but be aware than you will likely lose one bolt on one side and the remaining bolt then will be bent and often break - which makes it necessary to drill a new thread into the frame part that holds it. Often visually check if the bolts are in place.
  • Front brake is not very effective. Various solutions have been suggested. Most often the use of different pads i.e. sintered ones. This helps to a degree but even in the BS6 model the front brakes are not really good. In the older models they are dangerously ineffective, especially when wet. RE seems to have initiated a recall for BS4 brakes, check with your dealer.
  • T-stem bearing gets worn out, is out of alignment, loose, rusty, or hard to maneuver. In all of these cases its water ingress into the bearing. Check often, use marine grease when replacing. The Indian bearings are sub standard. Get western replacements, various companies offer them.
  • Battery looses all charge after only a few days/a few weeks. This is endemic. The best fix is a switch under the seat that decouples the battery when parking over extended periods of time. Some changes in the wiring of the gear indicator sensor have been suggested - taking it off permanent plus. In the BS3 models (or all carb models) the stator has a design defect, overheats and breaks. In rare cases the charging module needs replacing as well.
  • Oiling at the cylinder head. Fasten the bolts.
  • Clutch & accelerator cable rupture near the upper attachment point. There seems to be a bad batch of cables. Exchange them. The good ones last very long (over 20.000km).
  • Some people report issues with the chain lock. Carry a replacement.
  • In general greasing issues are often reported around the droplinks, attachments of the swingarm and their bearings. If it starts to squeek its high time to disassemble the entire thing and re-pack all the bearings (or replace the parts when worn).
  • Grease the seat lock mechanism or it will fail to catch after while.
  • In the BS6 version issues with various relays (those under the seat) have been reported. Mainly the relais that works the fuel pump, it seems RE has a recall for those.
  • In general low quality of the steel RE uses for the frame. This leads to bolts overdrawn - then a new tread needs to be drilled. The breaking of the frame at the head - endemic in the 2018 models and reported many times (particularly in India) is also a result of that metallurgic problem. In the early days of the BS3 the swingarm used to break as well - that has been taken care of since the BS4 came out. The covid/lockdown situations have pre-empted a "test" of the frame in 2020 - but given the many reactions in 2019 it can be assumed RE has taken measures to avoid further frame breaks by upgrading the steel they use.
  • Not very solid handle bar. It often bends when falling even from the side stand.
  • Hard gear shift after only a few thousand km - this has been fixed with the exchange of the entire clutch assembly, not just the plates. Some clutches seem to have had manufacturing defects. Done on warranty if it happens "early enough".
  • Size of the wind screen leads to buffeting and turbulence in the face of the rider. Many solutions - cut it shorter, use the 650 Interceptor wind screen (with adapter), use an extension that make it higher - to name a few. YT videos show more.
People ask me how experienced I am personally with this bike. The answer is: very. I was one of the first owners of one in 2016. I owned 5 so far and still have three. I personally rode about 50-60.000km on them, 40.000 on one bike alone. I spend much of my time in a RE workshop with 90% focus on the Himalayan.
I wrote this piece in October 21, since then a few issues have come up that seem worthy of adding to the list:

  • I have personally seen three pistons fused to the cylinder wall at relatively low mileage. I have read online about a few more. Given that not all riders know how to do an oil change (or even that a bike needs oil) it is hard to gauge if this is REs fault or not. I include it here for reference.
  • RE had come up with a solution for the water ingress into the head bearings - which turned out to be 100% ineffective. I just had to change a set of defunct head bearings after 7000km on a new-ish BS6 that has not see a rainy season on the road.
  • The plastic top covers of the instrument panel crack when exposed to the sun. it takes a while but many do and leave ugly visual impairments - and RE (in India) denies warranty saying it is "wear".
  • Still more broken frames at the head in 2018 models come in (one of them mine). RE gives you a "free" frame but if you are unlucky to have had an accident based on the frame break thats on you. Also: the work is just as expensive and thats also on you.
  • Various people experienced head problems. Some heads where exchanged on warranty, some not. Surprisingly that seems to be more of a problem in the "West" than in India (the warranty claim).

On a positive note: more and more Himas with high mileage turn up - in the 80,000km and more range, even rentals. Those I could see for myself all had no engine work done.