When an indigenous automaker decides to do something out of its comfort zones it excites us auto journalists the most. A case in point is the Tata Nano or Bajaj’s attempt to revolutionise the auto rickshaw with the the Qute. Something similar is the case with Mahindra which first announced its intentions of making motorbikes with a bang by showing the Mojo 5 years back. But what they launched was a commuter called Stallio and not the Mojo. The wait indeed was very long and in the interim the company launched a few other commuter bikes as well as scooters. Now finally Mojo’s time has come and this time around Mahindra is supremely confident of launching a product that will take on the competition head on.
The more you look at the Mojo the more you start liking this bike. It’s got some great design cues and you got to compliment Mahindra for that. The big 21 litre fuel tank design is very appealing and so is the nicely sculpted seat. Overall stance of the bike is nice and even though the wheelbase is on the higher side the bike still looks compact. On the handlebar the quality of switches and fit and finish is impressive and the ignition keyhole finds itself at an unusual place right where the fuel tank starts. The meter console is part analog (tachometer) and part digital. However there are a few things you may not like on the Mojo and that include the twin headlamp cluster which looks jarring and so does the excessive use of the colour gold at many paces on the body. Having said that the bike looks great from the rear with the twin exhaust set up and the splash guard, both making the Mojo look very sporty.
The Mojo runs on a 295 cc engine that churns out a decent 27 bhp. The engine is not exactly refined and does make a fair bit of sound and depending on the kind of biker you are you may like or dislike it. In those terms it lies somewhere between refined Honda CBR 250R engine and the KTM Duke 390 that makes a loud grunt. There’s a 6-speed gearbox on the bike and that along with a torquey engine again makes the city ride a little less cumbersome. The need to downshift doesn’t arise very frequently and less use of the clutch will only augur well for the motorbike. A nice touch on the console is a top speed recorder where the bike stores the maximum speed at which it is ridden. So no need to risk it and take pictures of the speedometer at high speeds. Also owing to some design elements the hot air from the radiator is redirected downwards thereby ensures the rider doesn’t get to face any heat, literally.
Ride and Handling
The Mojo offers a fantastic riding position which means that be it congested city traffic or the wide open highways you will be comfortable in spite of spending a long time on the saddle. The slightly long wheelbase as we mentioned earlier is where the bike suffers a bit. Even though it doesn’t look like it’s actually comparable to a Bajaj avenger. And that translates into a larger turning radius which means there is a bit of a hindrance while making your way through stop and go traffic. However in terms of braking and ride quality the Mojo is really good. It goes over the bumps and potholes with ease and doesn’t let too many vibrations pass on to the rider. Disc brakes on both the wheels also ensure that your ride on the Mojo will be safe as well as comfortable. But even then there a few occasions where you miss having the ABS on this one. Both the seat height as well as ground clearance are on the higher side and that made perfect sense for a tall rider like me.
When the Mojo was first shown five years back the Mojo could’ve been the runaway leader simply because there was hardly any competition in the 300 cc segment. Now the story is different; there’s competition from the Europeans like KTM as well as the Japanese like Honda and Kawasaki. But even then we say the Mojo has got what it takes to this competition a run for its money simply because it looks good, is great on design, has a wonderful engine and rides really well. And finally the price of Rs. 1.58 lakh (ex-showroom) is also aggressive to say the least. So Mahindra has got the right ingredients for a bike in this segment and for that they deserve big thumbs up.