Units 1&2 Baruch Park

Viro Crescent, Stikland

021 910 0535

sales@mhm-mc.co.za

Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30

Sat - 9:00 - 13:00

The Royal Enfield Himalayan – A Sad Story

This, I believe, is the only Royal Enfield Himalayan in South Africa. It was imported by us for homologation purposes late 2018.

For those that do not know, every road going motor vehicle must undergo an approval process by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, NRCS, this body inspects all vehicle models and ensures that they comply with SA standards, homologation. This must be completed before any vehicles can be import in numbers and sold to the public. To do this a single vehicle is imported under a special permit and submitted to the NRCS along with specific tests, documented by the manufacture, to prove the vehicle complies with these standards, often referred to as Euro4 and now Euro5 compliance.

So, back to the Himalayan, after much governmental red tape, we finally got the bike homologated, hooray. The bike was loaned to various SA magazines for road tests, and the consensus was that it is a nice small to medium adventure bike, adequate on the tar and quite capable on gravel. Great, let’s get moving and order a container full, 25 to 30 bikes.

How the sad part. Royal Enfield had a management shuffle, and the new guys decided that the SA market was not large enough to warrant the effort of exporting to us. To put this in context Royal Enfield sell nearly 1 million bikes a year into the Asian market, mainly India but also large numbers to their neighbouring countries, with smaller exports to Europe and the US. Back in 2019, the general populace of SA did not ride motorbikes, changing a bit now, motorcycle customers making up a very small percentage of this population and within that an even smaller percentage buying Royal Enfields. Our projected sells for a year was to have been between 100 to 200 and this unfortunately, was not the 1000s Royal Enfield expected and required. So, no go then, very disappointing.

A further attempt was to contact a dealer in Dubai to source some of the Himalayans and, the then new Twins, but this also fell through as the Dubai dealer was fearful of alienating his relationship with Royal Enfield by suppling us.

This all bring us to the often-asked question of when the new Enfields be in SA, unfortunately, the answer is not in the foreseeable future, as we no longer have a sales relationship with Royal Enfield, although we can still get parts. The only possible way for an individual to get a new Enfield is to purchase it overseas and import it personally, and, as I understand, this can be done, import duties and VAT must be paid, and with the restriction that once there it cannot be sold on for 2 years.

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