Mahindra Mojo Jungle Trail: From Concrete to Woods
Mahindra’s performance machine, the Mojo steps into unchartered territories, heading into the woods of South India with its tribe
The experience of riding on a road cutting through lush green forests, riding for days without the hassles of our daily work lives is something bikers crave for. Now imagine getting a chance to ride through more than 900km of jungles over one long weekend. Mahindra made this dream come true for me and a group of other riders with the very first ‘Jungle Trail’ for the Mojo Tribe, a riding group formed by the manufacturer for owners of its Mojo.
Mahindra as a brand is known for its adventurous expeditions like the Great Escape that it organises for its SUV owners. Now they plan to offer similar experiences with their flagship motorcycle, the Mojo. The best part about joining this tribe is that you don't need to buy the Mojo to join the Tribe, you can simply rent one. Now, let's get to the meat of this story, which is the experience of Mahindra Mojo Jungle Trail.
The ride began from Mahindra 2 Wheelers’ Bangalore dealership, which was the meeting point for the riders. A quick check of the bike done, and I was ready to go. But before we put our helmets on, a safety brief awaited us. Quite necessary, considering the fact that we were to ride through varied terrain of the course of the ride. The route was one which bikers down south swear by, including scenic locales like Chikmagaluru, Madikeri and Masinagudi, which are some of the most popular tourist spots in the region. I was also glad to note the fact that Mahindra had organised everything that would be needed during the ride, including medical help, a roadside assistance van apart from the bus carrying all our luggage. Time to hit the road then!
Day 1 - Bengaluru to Chikamagaluru - 336kms
Getting out of Bangalore was a breeze, since having started early morning we were able to avoid the horrific traffic in the city. Once on the open highways, I got a chance to wring the Mojo’s throttle open wide, enjoying the smooth, wide roads leading to Hassan, which is about 200km from Bangalore.
A couple of breaks including one for a quick lunch meant we were making good time, especially since the Mojo’s plush seat and riding position suited to highway riding ensured we were comfortable in our saddles. Cutting off from the main road we got onto Belur Road to reach Chikmagaluru and I soon noticed that the woods had replaced the concrete jungles surrounding Bangalore and Hosur.
This is also where the road started offering some interesting bends, and the Mojo seemed to take it all in its stride, without a hitch. The super soft Pirelli only added to my confidence, letting us carry good speeds corner after corner. We soon found ourselves crossing Aldur to get to Eagle Eye Holidays Resorts which is located on a hilltop near the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. What made the last couple of kilometres interesting was the fact that the tarmac ended well before we got to the resort. The Mojo though, didn’t seem to mind the off-road bit, except for the fact that it felt slightly heavier than expected for the job, especially the front end. It was a good day on the whole though, and we ended the day wondering what the second would have in store for our hungry souls.
Day 2 - Chikkamangluru to Madikeri - 273kms
The next morning we were all set to ride to Madikeri, a scenic jungle located in Coorg, and a place I have heard a lot about from fellow bikers. The organisers had ensured the ride would be as interesting as possible, by choosing a route that was not the shortest, but the most beautiful one with lush green forests lining the tiny strip of tarmac that we were riding on.
Our destination for the day was a homestay called the Kadamakolli Home Stay. That was a surprise for us, and one that we were excited about. What’s a road trip without having stayed in a homestay after all!
Madikeri is where the region’s only tea plantation is located, owned by Tata Tea. You see, the region is known better for its coffee plantations, and passing through the scenic locales with the tree plantations around us was an experience that made us stop in our tracks several times to just click pictures of the beautiful surroundings. Our ride for the day was shorter than the previous one, and only when we reached our destination did we realise why. A special workshop on survival training had been organised for the riders in the latter half of the day, followed by an interactive session with Navroze Contractor who is a veteran motorcycle journalist, and had ridden the length and breadth of our country several times till date!
Day 3- Madikeri to Masinagudi - 182kms
The third day was even more interesting as we were to ride through a wildlife sanctuary on our way to Masinagudi, a quaint little village that’s popular for its wildlife. Needless to say, the roads were as interesting as the previous day if not better, offering a generous mix of corners, lush green forests and beautiful vistas.
We took a brief halt in Kattiulam Forest to simply soak in the sights and sounds of the jungle, and it was an experience indeed, far away from our daily confines of the concrete jungles we have restrained ourselves to. A little surprise awaited us on the third day as well, which was a wildlife safari in the Masinagudi National Park.
A bonfire and barbeque awaited us in the evening, ensuring the spirit of adventure was alive and kicking in our minds. The highlight of the evening for me though were the motorcycle touring tips by Sarath Shenoy, an avid biker and lead rider of the Mojo Tribe in the Jungle Trail.
Day 4- Masinagudi to Bengaluru - 266kms
All good things come to an end, and after three fantastic days of riding in jungles it was time to head back to Bangalore. I did so with a heavy heart, but before that we had a little jungle trek followed by breakfast and then the departure to Bandipur. On the way back we were lucky to spot some wildlife, which, I must say, completed the experience for me.
Of course, the highlight of the ride was the comfort and handling of the Mojo, since I realised that it is a motorcycle well suited to distance riding. As we crossed Mysore and headed towards Bangalore the twisty roads turned into straight ones, where once again throttles were wrung open. With its kind of performance the Mojo had little trouble munching miles, and it was a matter of a few hours before we were back in Bangalore, where the ride was to culminate at a café called the Moto Café near Ulsoor Lake in Bangalore.
Overall Experience: It was an amazing experience for me and the most pleasant part of this journey were the scenic roads we rode on. We did around 1050km over the course of four days, and this was an experience that left me refreshed. Also, I realised that the Mojo is a motorcycle that is well-suited to long rides like these, offering good comfort and performance to keep the rider happy. What’s more, the registration charges for the ride were just Rs. 7500 excluding fuel. The charges included food, accommodation, medical help and road side assistance (RSA), which I believe was a steal given the kind of experiences we had. Doing such a ride on your own is always doable, but a ride with an organised group of riders, medical help and just about everything you need on the road makes the experience of touring on a motorcycle so much more interesting, no?