As we were sitting and understanding the technicalities of the newest entrant in the Scooter market - the Mahindra Gusto 125 in Lavasa, the Product Head made a very interesting statement, "the scooter market in India is not yet mature as it is internationally and it doesn't matter to people if it's 110 cc or 125cc." And we couldn't agree with him anymore! The scooter market in India is still in its nascent stage and people perceive the gearless scooters from a utilitarian point of view.
Many scooters failed trying to merge performance with utility and hardly a handful of them survived. This is where Mahindra comes in! The two-wheeler arm of the largest utility vehicle manufacturer in India can be credited with taking challenges and don't back down thinking the product might fail. And the result is visible - Gusto 110cc, Mojo and Centuro - all received appreciation industry wide.
Cashing in on the success of the Gusto 110cc, which offered many unique and segment first features, Mahindra decided to launch the Gusto 125cc in the Indian market. Is the scooter essentially an extension of the Gusto 110cc or does it brings something new to the table, we find in our Mahindra Gusto 125 review!
In a day and age where it's hard to differentiate between scooters from the various brands, the Mahindra Gusto 125 came out as a nice surprise. Mahindra has carried forward the design from the Gusto 110 cc with lots of straight lines and sharp angles, making it a better unisex proposition than most of the rivals out there, who still rely on good old curvaceous design language.
Mahindra Gusto 125 will be launched in 4 new color combination, including the Orange Rush combo we drove. Speaking of the quality, the switchgears used are of top notch quality and the instrument cluster is easy to read even in the brightest sunlight. The only sore element to point out would be the rubber mat which is rather old school and feels out of the place.
And if we have to single out one angle, we would say it's the front three-fourth that makes it stand apart from the crowd.
Features and Practicality
The Gusto family (atleast we can say that now) will be known for its features more than anything else. Like its younger sibling, the Gusto 125 comes loaded with many segment first features including the ride height control and remote flip key with find me lamps. The seat is wide enough and opens front-to-back with a decent enough helmet storage space underneath it. Sadly though, the full face helmet we were carrying couldn't fit in the storage space.
Another important storage space includes a small pocket just beneath the instrument cluster and can house a mobile. There are a couple of hooks that can hold the carry bags. About the seat height control, the feature enables you to adjust the height of the seat, according to your comfort and is a very important feature in India, where a scooter is primarily considered a family vehicle rather than a personal vehicle.
Engine and Performance
The Mahindra Gusto 125, as the name suggests, is powered by a four-stroke MTECH 124.6cc carbureted engine that produces 8.5 bhp @ 7000 rpm of power and 10 Nm @ 5500 rpm of torque. Luckily enough for us, the route for test drive was full of inclinations and descents which helped us test the pulling power and braking abilities of the Gusto 125.
We could easily sense the improvement in refinement and power as soon as we pulled the throttle. Technologies like a silent cam-chain, high-energy ignition-coil and improved multi-mapping along with low friction piston rings helps Gusto 125 to shine like a bright armour among the flock of scooters on offer today.
The Gusto 125 comes with a butter-smooth and vibration-free engine and the performance is brisk. The torque was enough to push the scooter over hill tops without any fuss and we easily did 80 kmph on straight roads. All-in-all, the Mahindra Gusto 125 is a generation ahead of the previous Gusto and it shows that Mahindra is quickly climbing the learning curve.
Ride and Handling
Like discussed above, the seat on Gusto is wide and comfortable that offers an upright seating position. The 12 inch wheels combined with improved damper setting works well for the ride quality and even the deepest crevices hardly trouble you. Handling is reasonable enough and you can take sharp curves without much fuss. And which brings us to the most disappointing point in the Gusto - the brakes. While the rear brakes worked fine in combination with the front one, the front alone was not adequate and it took us some time to gain the confidence while descending the hills. Mahindra needs to offer a disk brake for the front tyres, at least as an option.
What Mahindra has essentially done is take the successful Gusto 110cc and add power to it. And this works very well for the Gusto 125 which offers striking looks, brilliant features and a powerful engine that can be taken to any terrain without much fuss. Whether or not it can take on industry giant like Honda Activa will be a thing to see in the future and will largely depend on the pricing!
Photography - Mohd. Nasir