The Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Mahindra Mojo. Two bikes no one expected but everyone fell in love with. The Himalayan is a purpose-built adventure tourer while the Mojo is a certified mile-muncher. They couldn’t look more different but they do appeal to the same customer base – the road trip enthusiasts. Let’s see how these new bikes stack up against each other.
Design and Features:
The first thing that strikes you about the Himalayan is its design. Unlike anything else to come out of the Enfield stables, the Himalayan has a very simplistic and purpose-driven look to it. The raised mudguards, monoshock rear suspension (a first in a RE bike), telescopic front suspension with a massive 200 mm travel and dual-sport tyres make it look like a blue-blooded adventure bike. The mere sight of it tends to stir the spirit of adventure in people and it certainly looks like it would have no problem tackling any terrain you throw at it.
The Mahindra Mojo on the other hand is designed in such a way that leaves you wondering whether you like the way it looks or not. It does have high quality bits though – from the 43mm upside down forks, Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres to the twin headlamps with LED guides. The digital console of the Mojo is jam-packed with features and offers a range of information, including maximum achieved speed, trip meter, odometer and side stand indicator. It also offers a shift light.
Engine and Performance:
Royal Enfield developed a new air-cooled 411 cc single-cylinder engine for the Himalayan. It generates just over 24 bhp of power which peaks at 6500 revs and a max torque of 32 Nm which is available around 4500 revs. As with all Enfields, the torque kicks in early with the engine having a strong low- and mid-range. And while it doesn’t have the distinct ‘thump‘, the exhaust note is still wonderful. But the problem that plagued every Enfield before this has raised its ugly head once again, i.e., The Himalayan just isn’t fast. Sure it has a claimed top speed of 125 kph but if you cross the 100 kph mark you will be greeted by the vibrations and harshness that are synonymous with an Enfield. It is however, extremely capable of cruising around the 90-95 kph mark for hours on end without any signs of strain.
The engine of the Mahindra Mojo, however, is easily the single most entertaining feature of the bike. It’s a single cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke 295cc fuel-injected engine which develops just under 27bhp, kicking in at 8000rpm, while the peak torque is rated at 30Nm, available at 5,500rpm. The power delivery is very smooth and the strong mid-range makes accelerating through the gears a delight. The Mojo is an effortless cruiser and can coast in triple-digit speeds comfortably and has a top speed of 139 kph.
Ride, Handling and Quality:
Unlike most adventure bikes, the Himalayan is ridiculously comfortable. The upright riding position ensures a relaxed ride even on long journeys and the seat is unbelievable; The Himlayan is actually more comfortable to ride than RE’s own Thunderbird. Its superb suspension and the larger front tyre make it immune to even the harshest of terrains you may find yourself on. Surprisingly, the Himalayan feels quite at home even on paved roads. It handles extremely well on tarmac, and it’s thin frame and sharp turning radius make it easy to navigate through the traffic of a city like Bangalore.
But off-roading is what this bike was intended for and that’s where it shines the most. The Royal Enfield Himalayan easily blasts through any terrain it faces and the torque-y engine is more than capable of getting you out of difficult spots. What strikes you after riding the Himalayan for a while is how sturdy and well-built it feels. There’s no loosening of parts or any rattling even after you put the bike through its paces for a long period. It’s a good thing that its so reliable considering that it’s intended for long trips to uncharted territories.
The Mahindra Mojo offers a supple ride, with its suspension taking care of all kinds of road undulations with ease, so there isn’t much to complain in terms of straight line handling and ride quality. It’s only when you show it a corner or two, the Mojo doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. It doesn’t wallow as such and the Pirelli tyres offer superb grip, even when you are leaned in. But the front end doesn’t offer you much feedback and you become wary of pushing it harder. Part of the issue is also due to the Mojo’s long wheelbase and part of it due to the chassis, which doesn’t offer intuitive handling.
Both bikes give a fuel economy of around 33 kmpl but the Mahindra Mojo has a larger tank of 21 litres compared to the 15 litre tank on the Himalayan. Both bikes are priced quite competitively as well – the Mahindra Mojo retails at 1.63 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while the Royal Enfield Himalayan is available at 1.57 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). So it ultimately comes down to usage.
If you’re looking for a touring motorcycle, and you intend to keep to the highways and cover long distances in a day, the Mahindra Mojo certainly ticks all the right boxes. It likes being revved and the smooth, refined engine offers a level of performance that is quite impressive – be it negotiating city traffic or covering long distances on the highway.