Shootout: Royal Enfield Himalayan vs Mahindra Mojo
Shootout No. 155
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,91,787/- (Royal Enfield Himalayan), Rs. 1,93,975/- (Mahindra Mojo)
Racing gives the adrenaline rush while touring keeps up a momentum to stay in motion
Touring in India is increasing exponentially, experiencing the ride and enjoying the nature is addictive. But to tour in India we require bikes that suit us and wouldn’t mind covering long distances. For a long time Royal Enfield motorcycles have dominated the touring aspects in India and they still are doing so. With the updates in technology and introduction of new bikes, Mahindra stepped up and brought the Mojo. While earlier this year, Royal Enfield chose the riders forte and introduced an adventure-tourer to cover the Himalayas, calling it the Himalayan.
Motor Quest: The Mahindra Mojo was introduced in 2015 after almost half a decade of R&D and road testing. The Royal Enfield Himalayan took about 2 years of development and testing in the Himalayas before its launch.
Styling – A first glance at the Himalayan and the exposed chassis with very less body work gives a proper adventure look. When we look at the Mahindra Mojo, the hefty front steals the show. The Mojo’s design is subjective, it impresses a lot of people but it isn’t as appealing for a few. The Himalayan has proportionate body work while the Mojo has a very heavy front and there’s literally nothing at the rear. Talking about the rear, both get LED tail-lamps and a very ugly saree guard.
The Himalayan and the Mojo seek a lot of attention, they do look huge
The Royal Enfield Himalayan gets spoke wheels with different front and rear tyre size with Ceat off-road rubber while the Mahindra Mojo gets standard size alloys with Pirellis. The tank of the Mojo looks humungous compared to the Himalayan and similarly the dual headlamps look big in front of the single headlight of the Himalayan. The windshield on the Himalayan is a plus point which the Mojo misses out on.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The instrument cluster of the Royal Enfield Himalayan feels more loaded yet a lot cluttered within, while the Mojo’s console gives a premium feel and has that amazing tachometer. The loaded cluster of the Himalayan does have a compass as an addition while the Mojo’s cluster has a top speed recorder and a shift light. A hazard light button is added to the Himalayan’s console which is a neat touch, giving the touring intentions of the latest Royal Enfield motorbike.
Both the clusters are analogue-digital while the Himalayan’s console has the speedometer and tachometer analogue while the digital portion contains the trip meters, side stand indicator, ambient temperature, time and a compass. The Himalayan’s console gets a yellow backlight for the LCD and white for the meters which is just normal. The Mojo’s console gets a blue backlight and that red tachometer along with the red LEDs which follow all the way to the redline give a race-line feeling and look premium.
Ergonomics – The ergonomics of both the motorcycles are based on touring while they slightly vary from each other. The Royal Enfield Himalayan is poised as an adventurer-tourer and so its handlebar is high and the footpegs are front-set, making the seating position extremely comfortable and upright. For the Mahindra Mojo, the aspect is of pure touring and hence the seating is upright but the handlebar is comparatively relaxed while the footpegs stay similarly front-set.
The seat on the Himalayan is pretty wide and offers great thigh support, while for the Mojo the seat is thinner yet soft. For a pillion there’s a lot of room and a bigger seat on the Himalayan while that on the Mojo would make it uncomfortable for healthier pillions as the seat is thinner and there’s very less room to sit. The mirrors on the Mojo are very useful and provide a good rearview while on the Himalayan they are a major disappointment.
Performance – Both these machines have amazing torque and a decent amount of power. Talking about numbers, Mojo happens to be more powerful than the Himalayan while the latter has more torque which comes 1000 RPM earlier. The 411cc engine of the Royal Enfield Himalayan is quite rev-friendly and one of fastest Royal Enfield engines which redlines at 8000 RPM while the 295cc engine of the Mahindra Mojo revs more freely and quickly and redlines even higher at 9000 RPM.
Torquey machines aren’t very fast but they have a lot of touring capabilities
Technologically the engine on the Mahindra Mojo is more superior on hardware than the Himalayan. It has 4-valves with liquid-cooling while the Himalayan’s engine is oil-cooled and has just 2-valves. Even the weight of the Himalayan is more compared to the Mojo, hence reducing the power-to-weight ratio. The refinement on the Himalayan is the best from the Royal Enfield category but as we compare with the Mojo, the Mahindra’s engine feels much more refined.
Talking about refinement, there is no harshness from both the motorcycles. However, the Himalayan vibrates in a decent amount while the vibrations on the Mojo only kick in at the redline. For the noise, there’s no inappropriate engine noise but the Himalayan has the typical Royal Enfield note while the tappets do start making noise once pushed hard. The Mahindra Mojo has a set of free flow exhausts with dB-killers and sounds much better too.
The 6-speed gearbox of the Mahindra Mojo is a gem and the engine is so well setup that it doesn’t knock at all. The 5-speed gearbox on the Royal Enfield Himalayan has harder shifts and does gel well with clutch-less shifts which the Mojo can do. The Mahindra Mojo has better in-gear acceleration than the Royal Enfield Himalayan. It is quicker off the line and takes 9.48 seconds to reach the ton while the Himalayan takes 11.11 seconds. These numbers are from our VBOX tests and the Himalayan recorded a top speed of 130 km/hr while the Mojo had a higher number of 150 km/hr. While the Mojo is marginally more frugal than the Himalayan, it has a much bigger tank of 21-litres against the Royal Enfield’s 15-litres, giving it a bigger range, something crucial on a touring motorcycle.
Riding Dynamics – Touring motorcycles have an amazing riding posture, comfortable to any rider with an upright riding position. The Mahindra Mojo is more comfortable on the road as it has upside down forks and a softer seat. The Himalayan happens to be an adventure-tourer with long travel front suspension and raised handlebars, this becomes an advantage when the normal road turns into a rocky trail. The suspension setup of the Himalayan is on the softer side compared to the Mojo and the off-road rubber helps do a lot of things the Mojo simply can’t.
A heavy motorcycle and linear power delivery surely isn’t very exciting
The Pirelli rubber on the Mahindra Mojo grips well and also helps for better riding stability at high speeds. It even compliments by improving braking performance. The Ceat rubber isn’t much of a game changer on the road but when it comes to off-road, the deep treads do grip well. Braking performance is decent for the Himalayan considering the weight it carries but neither bikes get ABS which is disappointing.
Cornering stability is amazing on the Mahindra Mojo while the Himalayan struggles a lot due to its large 21-inch front wheel. Both the bikes feel stable till 100 km/hr while it’s the Himalayan that starts giving a tank-slapper post 110 km/hr. Upon sudden braking, the Royal Enfield Himalayan transfers a lot of weight to the front while if we do the same with the Mahindra Mojo, the brakes feel wooden for a certain moment and gradually the feedback improves.
Verdict – The Royal Enfield Himalayan no doubt has the best ride quality but the engine and the hardware excel on the Mahindra Mojo. The Himalayan happens to be a purpose-built machine to take on any adventure while the Mojo is solely made for touring. The Mojo is no doubt a superior motorcycle on paper and can go places with that amazing fuel tank capacity, there are some places where the Himalayan would take on the Mojo right away. There is a compromise on power, but if we look at the bigger picture, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is more practical than the Mojo but the Mahindra is the better product.
Picture Editing: Sri Manikanta Achanta
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