Exclusive: Mahindra MOJO ridden and reviewed
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Finally after almost 5 years in the making Mahindra Two wheelers is all set to launch their flagship 300cc motorcycle – the Mojo. Last week the specifications were out and this week, we were able to get the keys from one of their test riders and go for a short spin. Do you want to know what it’s like to ride the Mahindra Mojo? Read on…
As you know the Mahindra Mojo has been in the field testing for a good 2 or more years. They’ve been conducting thorough testing on Indian roads so as to make sure this motorcycle is consumer ready and won’t break down. This extensive testing is a good thing as the Mojo will be Mahindra’s first entry into the 300cc category.
We were able to chat with one of the Mojo Men – yes that’s what they are calling riders who ride the Mojo and got some poignant insights into what exactly is Mahindra up to with the Mojo. Apparently even though the Mojo is a 300cc motorcycle, it is not going to go up against the likes of the Yamaha R3, Benelli 300 nor any of the KTM’s. In fact, the Mojo is going to be marketed as a touring motorcycle and will be pitted against the Royal Enfield’s, Hero Karizma range and the Honda CBR 250 and as we rode the motorcycle we found that to be true.
Enough of my rambling on now, let’s get down to the motorcycle.
Design: The Mojo’s naked street fighter look will definitely make it stand out in a crowd. Right up front you have a very Transformer look alike face with twin headlights encased in a fairing staring down at you while white DRL’s (daytime running lights) are used as eyebrows which are very angrily shaped and a short wind shield completes the look. The fuel tank looks a bit odd from a far but once astride it doesn’t look too bad. Right below the fuel tank you get similar flashy gold pipes as you see on the Mahindra Centuro but further down towards the engine are some nice looking radiator shrouds which add a bit of aggressiveness to the overall look of the motorcycle. The aluminium side panels look sleek and are complemented by the dual exhaust pipes. The Mojo gets a short rear fender and a nice looking LED tail lamp.
Features: As far as features go, the DRL’s look pretty good in low light and the back lit switches give the Mojo a premium look. The ignition key is mounted at the front of the fuel tank which normally seen in more premium and bigger motorcycles. It gets a neat looking digital instrument console with an analogue cum digital rev meter. The console shows you the time, odometer, trip A and B, Max speed reached and also has a side stand indicator. What we liked about the instrument console was that as you go up through the rev range, there are red bars that go up along with the needle that look pretty cool. Another neat feature is the inclusion of an engine overheating light. On the top right hand corner of the console you’ll see a light that if ever flashes red, you should switch the engine off immediately. Luckily for us that light never came on.
Performance and handling: Once you sit on the Mojo, you’ll realise how low the rider’s seat is. For a person of average height, it’s a synch to plant both feet flat on the ground. The one piece handlebar keeps your upper body upright and riding posture is very similar to that of the Ducati Scrambler. The foot pegs aren’t rear set and the seat is quite comfortable. The Mojo definitely has a more touring feel than anything else. You feel comfortable and relaxed while riding it which will make it good for munching up those kilometres. At the heart of the Mojo beats a 300cc single cylinder engine pumping out 27bhp@8000rpm and 30Nm@6000rpm. It’s got a 6-speed constant mesh wet clutch gearbox and a claimed top speed of 160 km/h. Now the Mojo that we got to take a spin on had already completed over 16,000km on the odometer and had been ridden all over India. So obviously we can’t give you a precise reading as the motorcycle had already been through a lot. But as you thumb the starter, the engine comes alive with a slight grunt and as you shift into 1st gear and start revving up, you’ll hear the growl really come alive. Acceleration is quick and the gear ratios are short, so before you know it, you’ll be in 6th gear pulling past 130km/h. Taking a corner though is a little scary as the motorcycle feels front heavy and gets a little twitchy while leaning. But keep in mind this was a motorcycle that had already had a few falls and dents. We hope this won’t be the same with a new motorcycle. The USD’s in the front do a good job and the offset rear mono-shock works really well. When we rode it on a pot hole ridden patch, you could barely feel any undulations. The suspension setup is perfect for Indian roads and if you’re planning on taking it to Leh.
Braking: The Mojo gets disc brakes both at the front and the rear but no ABS. You get a massive 320 mm disc in the front and a 240 mm disc at the rear. Again keep in mind that this motorcycle had already done 16,000km, but when we rode it, the brakes were not progressive at all, had no feel and felt more like the braking power you’d feel on a Royal Enfield - which is pull the lever hard enough and maybe it will stop. But then again it could be that the brake pads were worn out and a new set maybe all that was needed. The tyres on the Mojo are impressive. They’ve got Pirelli Diablo Rosso tyres with a 110/70/ZR17 (Front) and 150/60/ZR17 (Rear). These tyres offer tremendous grip and will definitely keep you planted on tarmac.
Verdict: The Mahindra Mojo is a motorcycle that we’ve all been waiting for, for a long time. After riding it around for a bit, we were quite pleased with the effort that Mahindra have put into this motorcycle. It’s a very comfortable motorcycle to ride; acceleration is decent, has the basic features you need and sounds good. It should be launched later this month or in October and we expect it to be priced around Rs1.5lakh to Rs.1.7lakh. Its competition isn’t going to be the KTM’s or the YamahaR3 nor the Benelli. Its main competition is the Royal Enfields, Hero Karizma and the Honda CBR 250. If Mahindra get the pricing right, they do stand a chance to win over customers and for a made in India motorcycle, we think it’s a good offering.