Mojo-ing around: Mahindra’s latest, and most anticipated tourer reviewed.

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It’s been around five years since rumors of the 300 cc Mojo did rounds in the Indian market, and 2015 finally saw Mahindra bring this rumor to life.  Over the year’s anticipation led to people almost believing that the Mojo was nothing but a legend – no one saw it, but just heard about. Numerous test mules were spotted, but no one really knew much about the machine. And when Mahindra finally launched the Mojo last year, it grabbed eyeballs not just for its looks, but also performance. We’re a little late in the testing bandwagon but nonetheless we couldn’t resist getting our hands on it. So here’s what we think about the latest steed from the Mahindra two wheeler stable.

Looks

I won’t be wrong in saying the Mahindra Mojo has an intimidating stance. A quick glance and one may mistake it to be a Diavel on a diet – it’s tall, aggressive, has a commanding presence and it’s black. You can notice all this if you’re quick enough to even spot it. Yes, it’s fast, quite fast to leave you wondering if you even saw the right machine. But once the Mojo is at a standstill, it’s then that you’ll notice the other finery this machine has.

7It has a pretty a set of eyes, quite similar to the Triumph Street Triple sans the front cowl; maybe even a tad bit alien-ish but definitely catchy. You can’t help but notice the overall built of the machine – it gives an impression of being sturdy and heavy, and at 165 kg (dry weight) it definitely takes some effort to move the bike especially when you’re not astride. The exposed golden chassis along with the USD forks impart elan and break the monotone colour scheme on the Mojo.

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The design language is very subtle, nothing over the top, understated at the best. Fit and finish of the components is good, and the plastics don’t feel down market either.

Engine

The 300cc engine of the Mojo dishes out 27 PS of power coupled with a torque of 30 Nm which hits between 4500 – 6700 rpm offering a good mid-acceleration power band. Power delivery is linear, and shows up right when you need it.  During the week long duration that I rode the Mojo not once did I feel the bike lacking punch, be it the busy city streets of Delhi, or the highway, or even the off-roading patches of Death Valley. Even while hitting three digit speeds the engine feels refined and not stressed out. The addition of a sixth gear makes highway cruising a breeze; and the almost nil vibrations aid in rider comfort during long hauls. Combine this with the 21 litre fuel tank on offer, you know your halts for fuel will be far and few between.DSC_0551DSC_0545

The sound of the stock Mojo is a bit muffled compared to its competitors – the KTM Duke and the Royal Enfield. However, the machine we tested was missing the DB killer and let me tell you that was the best thing ever. The absence of the DB killer made the Mojo’s exhaust note sound way more gruntier, ensuring it turned heads each time I twisted the throttle; maybe if people knew how the Mojo sounds sans the DB killer it would draw more interest from its target audience.

Performance & handling

There is no doubt that the Mojo is a touring machine, its design and purpose are well thought of. The long wheelbase aids in overall stability, and the length allows plenty of space for two to tour comfortably. The weight further helps in the machine being firmly planted at highly speeds and being marginally affected by cross winds.

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As mentioned earlier, the Mojo definitely has a praise worthy performance. Twist the throttle and the machine gallops ahead with the excitement of a wild horse. The torque hits you the moment the revs hit the ideal rpm range; it will mildly thrust you off your seat, but in a feel-good way. Gear shifting is smooth, and the engine vibrations are at a bare minimum even when redlined. The linear acceleration makes the Mojo feel more like a sanskari husband, than the tantrum throwing boyfriends like its competitors.

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The front end of the Mojo is heavy and you’ll struggle a bit to maneuver it at slow speeds. Though this aids in the bike’s stability at high speeds, it will also make you think twice about taking the machine through tighter sections. Imagine having to take the Mojo through Chota Dhara, Pagal Nala or Killing Serai; given the average fitness levels of riders in India, each crossing will feel like moving a tank with your bare hands; but this is subject to when, and if you ever decide to take this machine up there, which in all probability you’ll want to.

Though the Mojo was designed keeping touring in mind, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it around bends, or take it out occasionally to a race track. It does a fine job of tackling corners without being unsettled when pushed hard. It certainly isn’t as knee-down-madness inspiring as the KTMs, but nonetheless it fulfills the criteria of letting the rider enjoy defying physics in scraping a knee. The front and rear discs do a fine job of bringing the Mojo to a halt from three digit speeds, but I’m not sure if the same can be said if the tyres were to be swapped from the Pirelli Diablo Rosso to something else. The monoshock absorbs undulations and craters that NCR roads have to throw quite well, ensuring the rider and pillion aren’t left with a battered spine.

Ergonomics

The Mahindra Mojo is a tall and a long bike. I’m 5 feet, 4 inches tall and can ride most bikes in the Indian market with ease. However, with the Mojo I did fell my arms getting stretched a bit which resulted in occasional pain. I say this purely keeping in mind my physical structure and fitness. It will be an apt motorcycle for tall people. The seat is comfortable and provides ample cushioning ensuring your arse doesn’t go numb within a short distance.

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The footpeg positioning is also befitting allowing the rider to stand comfortably on rough patches. The bike feels well balanced even when one wants to ride it standing. The tank is well shaped allowing the rider to grip it well with the thighs, but the addition of tank grips would make it better.

Verdict

The Mahindra Mojo is the newest entrant in the exponentially growing leisure touring segment in the country. It is perhaps the only motorcycle in India aimed at touring long distances (not a cruiser, but a tourer) and for people who don’t like blending with the regular crop of cruisers like the Royal Enfield. It’s not as aggressive as the KTM in terms of performance and styling, and offer riders a good mix of comfort and performance. So the question – is it worth the buck? I’d say yes. If comfortable long distance touring is your primary requirement, then the Mojo serves the purpose well. Its performance along with good ergonomics and build quality is an added benefit. Yes, there will be some who say the KTM Dukes are better; I’m not denying that, but they’re more of street bikes with racing lineage in hindsight than touring, and the Royal Enfields are cruisers which is a completely different segment altogether; although they’re all targeted towards an audience who is increasingly indulging in long distance motorcycle travelling.

At Rs 1.83 lakh on-road Delhi, the Mojo certainly isn’t a bad choice if you want to stand out from the crowd. We only wish Mahindra would market this machine better, and populate its two wheeler service network centres better to gain customer trust in the brand.

 

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