There was a kind of creative charm missing from domestic two wheeler manufacturers, especially when it comes to higher capacity motorcycles. Mahindra two wheelers showcased the plug, Mojo, about 5 years ago and everyone’s been wondering when will they put this spiced up curry on sale for people to actually buy.
With such a long time gone into development, we were afraid that Mahindra might just take a step back and dial down the capacity quotient on the Mojo and produce another stylish commuter. But better late than never, the Mojo is very much a reality and Mahindra has brought us to the lovely hills of Coorg to experience just what they have been working on behind closed doors. We rode the bike above 600km across all the diverse terrain found in India and came back mighty impressed.
Mahindra Mojo is a good blend of an aggressive naked and a big relaxed tourer. It looks aggressive from the front with its twin-pod headlamps with angry looking eyebrows on them. It feels exciting Mahindra being bold and breaking off the conventional design theories. The designing team was let loose and use its imagination. I say attractive as it is a major improvement over the first prototypes Mahindra showcased. They looked a bit overkill but this production version is pretty good. Again looks are subjective and it is reccomended that you go to a dealership and discover the Mojo in flesh. The upside down forks and twin exhausts exudes premium appeal of sorts. The colour combinations are well thought out too, the correct shades of grey, black and gold have been incorporated so well that it does look like a limited edition motorcycle. The red white combination is in a different league of coolness altogether. Towards the rear the Mojo becomes neat and compact.
The radiator shroud and sculpted tank add more bulk to the front of the Mojo. Rear mono-shock lifts the tail and makes it feel sporty and highlights the width of that 150section Pirelli. Also you will notice how nicely the front disc brake forms part design and part performance feature. We have to state that the Mojo looks better in flesh than pictures, so do visit the dealer for closer observation.
The Mojo is your companion for a long ride. You sit comfortably with the handle bars reaching out to you, and your feet set down low letting you relax on the soft seat. All the controls and toggles are within easy reach of your fingers.
Even the pillion will be able to travel easy as the rear seat is more comfortable than the front actually. Another plus is the instrument cluster that good viewing angle and you can read it well in sunlight easily. Expectation suggests that a 300cc single might roast the seat-of-your-pants, but the Mojo very thoughtfully keeps engine heat away from you. Although we have not yet ridden it in heavy summer traffic, which could mean otherwise, but surely it will be manageable.
Engine and Performance
The centrepiece is a 295cc single cylinder liquid cooled engine that happily delivers 26.8bhp of maximum power at 8,000rpm and a healthy 30Nm of peak torque at 5,500rpm. This fair combination delivers very linear power delivery and that backing of torque makes it ideal for cruising at higher speeds out on the highway.
The sprint from 0-100kmph takes about 9.5seconds, and because our rider is on the portly side, our test Mojo was able to touch 141kmph. We have not done a fuel efficiency test on it, but it is safe to assume it will be on the better side of 28kmpl. Another added plus is the slick 6-speed gearbox that listens to exactly what you ask of it without false shifts. Also in the video review I may have incorrectly stated that the exhaust is free-flow, but that is not possible because that is not road legal. What I meant to say was that it breathes more freely as there are two exhaust openings. And yes removing the DB killer will increase the noise. Mahindra states that the exhaust development was done in collaboration with the Mahindra Racing team.
Ride and Handling
Comfortable is the word you look for when you’ve just ridden one. The soft sprung rear shock eats rough roads with ease, and then continues to keep you stable when you get off that patch to no roads at all. Then is the smooth ride quality at triple digit speeds on highways, fantastic.
The twisting roads going up to Coorg gave us an opportunity to push the bike and work the transmission. Mojo becomes joyous on long curves and sticks to the lines you aim for. Backed up by strong brakes and soft Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres, it gains decent lean angles with control.
Mind you foot-pegs do get a rubbing if you push too hard. Also Mahindra should back off the rear brake bite as it is strong and you tend to lock it up sooner than required. Mojo does not come with an ABS even as an option yet, but Mahindra will soon bring this safety net.
We came back very satisfied experiencing Mahindra’s entry in a much bigger segment of bikes. And then after returning we heard the company launched the Mojo at an attractive price of Rs1.58lakh (ex showroom Delhi). That is an apt asking price for a 300cc tourer that can handle enthusiastic riding and comes with good quality components.
Mojo can be ridden every day to office, and then you can take it out on the weekend for a joyride. It gets comfortable in a variety of situations and keeps you smiling at that. All Mahindra has to do is take care of the customers and provide them as good after-sales as their product is. It has been a long wait for the Mojo, but it is definitely worth it. Its a surprise as this breaks the conventional design and development theories adopted by Indian manufacturers. Not a commuter, not a tiny capacity glorified sport motorcycle, but a simple powerful urban tourer.
Photography - Mohd. Nasir