With the Hitchcock piston arriving here long before it’s Italian counterpart we have upgraded our oldest Himalayan with over 30.000km on the odo. This bike gets a full head overhaul with the new cylinder and piston while the crankshaft remains untouched. Rumors are the crank is very robust and good for about 100.000km.
The piston is made by the reputed UK company Omega Pistons with rings from NE Europe (made in Germany). The gasket which has to be purchased separately is a US product from a company named Cometic which actually sources their gaskets in INDIA from VICTOR (you can see the Victor label on the gasket).
I have driven the bike on a highway but because of traffic the maximum stretch for unhindered acceleration was on a few hundred meters. I reached 125km/h measured by GPS with a 110kg rider. The odometer showed 130 km/h, not surprisingly. I also had a tracking app running that confirmed the measurement. Subjectively I feel the bike could have reached a higher speed given more time, but nothing beyond 130 km/h. So that is that, lots of torque but nothing much in the way of top speed.
The final test run will be done as soon as the persistent rain/thunderstorm weather in this region has cleared up which may be any day now.
Because of the Cornona scare we have halted further operations that require exposing us to the public much, until this issue is resolved.
Now at 1,500km the run-in is almost completed. The upgraded Himalayan is the famous and most loved version of all the Himalayans we have running. In various acceleration tests it outperformed even a brand new EFI variant by a good margin. The additional torque has made the formerly enormous gap between 1st and 2nd gear totally disappear. And even uphill on a fairly strong gradient it was possible to remain in 3rd gear and recover fully from 2000 rpm without stuttering. All in all this engine feels like RE should have designed it from the start.
The only remaining test now is a long distance (500km) high speed highway endurance test. For that reason an oil thermometer was installed to catch a possible overheating.
We are now confident that the tests for this configuration will be done by end of March. If all works out well we will offer this 462cc configuration parallel to the 450cc as an alternative for lovers of the British piston industry.
Of course such plan would be depending on Hitchcocks willingness to keep making their piston available as a separate item in the future.