A twin-headlight machine, momentarily invoking the image of a Triumph Street triple flashed in my rear view mirror – this was back in January, when I was in Pune en route my trip to Goa. Turned out, it was a test mule of Mahindra’s latest product, ending with the mandatory ‘O’ – the new Mojo. Today, almost nine months later, I had the very showroom ready, RTO registered Mojo for a 600 kilometre long road trip – meant to be ridden on the scenic Bangalore-Madekeri highway, a trip set to end in the picturesque backdrop of coffee plantations of Coorg.
So after five years of R&D, did Mahindra get it right? We find out.
Design and Features
Nearly 30 pristine Mojo motorcycles parked together was a sight to behold. All motorcycles, draped in their black and golden colour scheme stood in a formation, waiting for motoring journalists from across the country to begin the 600 kilometre test ride to Club Mahindra Coorg, Kodlipet. One look at the motorcycle and you realize that the Mahindra Mojo has come a long way since its debut in concept form at the 2010 Auto Expo in Delhi. Some changes were made to the design, owing to the criticism the first design received for its imbalanced proportions.
While the rear end of the motorcycle was generally appreciated, the front, which wasn’t too well received, went through some serious transformation under the leadership of PS Ashok who took over as Mahindra Two-wheeler’s Senior Vice President & Head of R&D back in 2012. PS Ashok took an uphill task and commendably succeeded in turning the Mojo into a fine, thoroughly bred product. A close look at the motorcycle and you come to realize that the build quality is at par, if not better, than the best products in its segment.
The motorcycle may not look outstanding at first but it slowly grows on you as you start noticing and appreciating the finer details. The overall design remains front heavy and chiseled, with only the rear getting some curves. The Mojo may well play an Autobot in the next Transformers installment with its twin-pod headlight and eyebrow style DRLs. The night illuminators are cocooned in a neatly designed fairing that seems to draw inspiration from the animal kingdom. The small fairing isn’t very functional, though it goes well with the twin headlight styling. The aforementioned setup sits atop on one of the thickest, if not the thickest, set of upside down front forks in the segment, draped in golden paint, matching the chassis and come rated with 143.5mm of travel. The suspension are held together by a triple clamp for more rigidity.
The large muscular tank isn’t just a visual detail – it’s functional too. With a massive 21-litre capacity, it’s larger than most motorcycles in the segment. The fuel tank holds a carefully designed logo that, in the words of Mahindra Two-wheelers, draws inspiration from the overall aggressive edgy styling of the Mojo. Another noticeable feature is the pair of plastic claddings surrounding the radiator. The plastic claddings receive faux honeycomb style grille design further enhanced with three dull silver plastic strips. The faux honeycomb grille design continues on the under-belly engine protector that guards the 300cc power plant from gravel and pebbles on the road.
Mahindra was in no mood to put the Mojo on a diet when it designed the motorcycle. The dull-silver side panels are carved out of aluminium which gives a built-to-last feel to the most powerful production Mahindra two-wheeler model till date. The minimalistic rear end is defined by a slim, curvy seat flanked by black coloured grab rails. The rear fender extends after the short seat ends holding the tail-light, turn indicators and a number-plate illuminator.
The Mahindra Mojo packs in a neatly designed part digital-part analogue instrument cluster that is equipped with a long list of features, some of which may not even be used on a day-to-day basis. Engaging the “race mode” allows the rider to measure the 0-100 kph timing, along with the time taken to cover 500 metres, or the maximum speed achieved. Other information includes side-stand warning, tell-tale indicators, high oil temperature warning, low battery indicator and engine malfunction indicator. Another feature is the light strip that rises along with the RPM needle.
As we said before, Mahindra was in no mood to put the Mojo on a diet as the motorcycle weighs a healthy 165 kg (dry). That being said, we were thoroughly impressed with the build quality of the motorcycle. An unfortunate incident saw a Mojo being dropped as the rider’s leg slipped on gravel but the motorcycle did not suffer any visible damage except for a chipped brake lever.
Meet the Mahindra Mojo in detail
The Mahindra Mojo is touted as a tourer and thus the ergonomics, with centre-set foot rests and high raised handlebar, are really comfortable
Adding to the touring capacity of the motorcycle is a massive 21-litre fuel tank that is claimed to deliver a range of over 500 kms
The super sticky Pirelli Rosso II tyres are a good addition but we are not sure how many people would opt for the same pair as a replacement given the high price.
The Pirelli tyres, along with a meaty mid-range, make the Mahindra Mojo fun to ride motorcycle around twisty mountainous roads
The underbelly panel protects the engine from mud and pebles when tackling gravely or broken surfaces
The instrument cluster packs in a long list of features including 0-100 timer and top speed recorder. The light strip following the RPM needle is a nifty addition
The faux honeycomb grille with three dull-silver stripes gives the motorcycle a muscular look while protecting the radiator in case of a crash.
The front brake lacks the initial bite which is a slight drawback. The rear, however, is complete opposite and responds remarkably well to slightest of inputs
The twin-headlight setup provides sufficient illumination during night-rides
A 12 LED bulb tail light adds to the premium, well built feel of the new Mojo
The 294.7 cc, liquid cooled, single cylinder engine on the Mojo delivers 26.82 bhp of power at 8,000 RPM and 30 Nm of torque at 5,500 RPM. The numbers look promising but are they good enough to propel a 170+ kg motorcycle reassuringly?
The Mojo felt thoroughly refined throughout the rev range and there are very few, forgivable vibrations, that too north of 7,000 rpm. The specially designed 1-2 twin-pipe exhaust has a slight grunt in the higher rev-band but highway cruising between the sweet spot of 5,000-6,000 range does not create decibel levels that would bother the rider and the pillion. The engine doesn’t feel very comfortable below 3,000 RPM range, and you would have to keep the tacho needle north of the 4,000 RPM mark to make the most out of this new Mahindra motorcycle.
But the real fun starts at around 5,500 rpm, when maximum torque is delivered post which the motorcycle climbs the speed ladder rapidly till the engine red-lines at 9,000 RPM. The red-line may not sound much when compared to its rivals but that’s not a big concern as the peak torque kicks in at 5,500 RPM, giving the Mojo a meaty mid-range. We recorded the best nought to ton, as indicated by the on-board timer, in around 9 seconds. The six-speed gearbox is pretty precise too. The clutch feels light and during our 600 km ride, the gear shifts were bang on spot.
The Mojo is being touted as a tourer and the motorcycle completes the task entrusted with it with utter ease. The Mojo is capable of holding 120 kph on its speedo all day long without any noticeable stress on the engine. With the speedo reading 80-90 kph, the tacho shows a corresponding reading of 4,000-5,000 RPM in top gear. That being said, the lack of a wind shield makes wind blasts a major concern while cruising at triple digit speeds.
Braking is good but not something to brag about, especially knowing that there’s that massive 320mm disc doing duty up front with a 240mm disc at the rear. The brakes have been developed by Spanish brand J. Juan. The front disk, despite being one of the biggest in the segment, lacks the initial bite. Mahindra says the target was progressive braking but the response wasn’t as good as we would have liked. The feedback from the rear brake, however, was very good and a slight tap on the pedal would reduce speed considerably faster.
The Mojo receives a fine distance range courtesy the massive 21-litre fuel tank. We literally pushed the motorcycle to its limits throughout the route and still managed to cover over 350 kms of distance in one full tank. Riding at the sweet spot between 5,000-6,000 RPM should deliver better fuel efficiency and a longer range.
The Mojo is better suited for touring, than sporty riding, and the ergonomics have been designed accordingly. The seating position is upright, and to a certain extent very commuter-ish, courtesy the raised handlebar and centre-set foot-pegs. While I enjoyed the over 600 kms run from Bangalore to Coorg and back, I could not wish enough for an optional, adjustable foot-peg position. The motorcycle is comfortable over long distance trips, but the seat, despite being well padded, feels a little uncomfortable after about 150 kms of travel. Not many people complained about the seat at the event but I, for one, would recommend picking up an aftermarket gel seat for the serious wanderers. Thankfully, the suspension soaked up most of the potholes efficiently making the ride on rough roads adequately comfortable.
The pre-planned route held curvy roads and the Mahindra Mojo was up for the challenge. While you cannot go down to scrape your knee guards against the tarmac, the Mojo is still fun around the corners thanks to the set of sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres and the meaty mid-range. The chassis is well balanced too and the Mojo can shift directions relatively easily. The heavy weight, a long wheelbase and those upside down front forks make the Mojo a rock steady motorcycle in a straight line. It isn’t as nimble as some of the other, sportier offerings, but there isn’t really anything to complain about. Even with its weight, the Mojo is quite easy to steer in tight traffic conditions, though we really wish the low-end performance was stronger.
Mahindra has endowed the Mojo with some interesting safety features. While the Mojo is yet to receive ABS (which is a bit of a disappointment), Mahindra Two-wheelers have equipped their new motorcycle with some unique features such as the Limp Home Mode and Rollover Sensor. Limp Home Mode comes into play if the engine suffers a mechanical malfunction. Once the mode is engaged, the motorcycle’s engine speed is automatically limited to 5,000 rpm, thus minimizing the chances of any further damage to the engine. The rollover sensor, on the other hand, turns off the engine in case of a crash. If the rollover sensor detects a tilt of over 45-degree of angle, it cuts off the fuel supply and turns-off the engine, thus reducing the chances of an accidental fire or injury to the rider owing to any moving parts. A 24×7 breakdown service, similar to KTM Orange Assist program, will also be provided to Mojo owners. Owners would have to shell out yearly charges to avail of this service.
Giving the keys back to the Mahindra people was difficult, as I just could not get enough of the motorcycle. The new Mahindra Mojo is a major leap for this very young two-wheeler brand and the hopes from this new motorcycle are very high. I came back pretty impressed with what Mahindra is offering with the new Mojo.
On the upside we have some seriously praiseworthy build quality, comfortable ergonomics, stability, features and genuine touring capability. The mid range performance is strong, and the Mojo comes across as a do-all motorcycle which is always a good thing for a motorcycle in this part of the world. Negatives will include a quirky styling, which may not appeal to all and a relatively weaker low- and top-end performance.
The Mojo may have taken longer than initially anticipated in reaching the market, but it has turned out rather well. Mahindra Two Wheelers need to be congratulated for the motorcycle’s great build quality, balanced character and its nifty set of features. Since Mahindra is touting the Mojo as a tourer, some touring friendly provisions as accessories would be welcome, though the motorcycle does rather well as an do-all motorcycle too. The new Mojo seems promising and the ex-showroom Delhi price tag of Rs 1.58 lakh seems just about okay, especially for the features that are packed in the motorcycle.
What did you think of the review? Do share your views about the new Mahindra Mojo and our review through the comments section below.
|Type||Liquid Cooled, 4 Stroke, Si Engine, 1 Cylinder DOHC|
|Bore X Stroke (mm)||76 X 65|
|Maximum Power||20kw (26.82 bhp) @ 8000 RPM|
|Maximum Torque||30Nm @ 5500 RPM|
|Ignition System||ECU Based Digital Electronic Ignition|
|Gearbox||Constant Mesh 6-Speed|
|Lubrication||Wet Sump, Forced Lubrication|
|Engine Oil||10W50 4T JASO MA-2|
|Air Cleaner||Paper Type|
|Engine Start||Self Start|
|Chassis and Suspension|
|Frame Type||Twin Tube Exposed Frame, Coaxial Mounting of Engine – Frame and Swingarm|
|Front Suspension||Upside Down Forks, 143.5mm travel|
|Rear Suspension||High Pressure Gas Charged Mono Shock with Internal Floating Piston, 143mm travel|
|Dry Weight||165 kg|
|Fuel Capacity||21 litres|
|Brakes and Tyres|
|Front Tyre||110/70 ZR17 M/C 54W|
|Rear Tyre||150/60 ZR17 M/C 66W|
|Front Brake||320mm Disc, Radial Caliper|
|Rear Brake||240mm Disc, Floating Caliper|
|Electrical System||12 Volt, Full DC|
|Battery||12V, (11.2 Ah)|
|Headlamp||12V, (35/35W X 2) H17|
|Tail Lamp||12V, LED, 12 Nos|
|Turn Indicator||12V, 10W|