Mahindra duro first ride review / road test

Motoroids reviews the mahindra duro which is a worthy claimant to the best VFM tag in its category owing to a body kit reminiscent of the Nova and a 125cc heart sourced from the Sym

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Added in: Reviews

With a body kit reminiscent of the Nova and a 125cc heart sourced from the Sym, the Mahindra Duro seems to be a worthy claimant to the best VFM tag in its category

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Hi buddies, I am the new Mahindra Duro.

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I am one of the 125cc power scooters that have been launched by Mahindra two-wheelers. You must be wondering why the guys at Motoroids2 have allowed me to speak? Well, the editorial team of this e-mag is pretty chilled out and they have given me a chance to introduce myself rather than following the conventional pattern of asking someone else to do it.

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As you people would be aware, my parent company created me and introduced me onto the scene a few weeks back. Whenever a new two-wheeler is launched, a select few journalists get invited to test them. Once done with the testing, the journos write a review of us two-wheelers for their respective magazines. Like my other siblings, even I was lying in a vacant corner of the factory and waiting for some journalist to ride me. The day I was born, the product engineer took me out for a spin around the block and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

 

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I would like to inform you people, that I was the sixth Duro to emerge out of the production line. A few among them had been subject to a ‘road test’ by the magazines available in the market and had come in for servicing. They informed me about the entire process and ‘what all’ I would be subjected to. It didn’t worry me much for I just wanted a chance to get out of the factory parking and get some action.

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Luck was on my side! On the 16th a journalist from Motoroids came to our factory and rode off with me to gauge my features, characteristics and technical qualities. Yeeaaaa! My joy knew no bounds. Actually I got dejected when the journo walked into the factory and after glancing at me, his face instantly bore an un-interested expression. Well, you can’t blame the chap entirely.  All my exterior bits have been heavily influenced (read: borrowed) from the Kinetic Nova’s design. I am not the love-at-first-sight kinda material. Sob!

Hmm. It seems since ever since Mahindra took over Kinetic Engineering, they still haven’t chucked out the ‘old school’ designer who gave the classic boring look to all my previous cousins.  They still follow the outdated practice of livening up the exteriors by virtue of forced cosmetics. How horrid! Upon reaching the Motoroids office, I was expecting to rest for the remainder of the day. But, my expectation was short lived as I over-heard the editor saying that he intended to take me out for short city ride. I got charged up and wanted to put my best wheel forward.

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Ironically though, it was a certain woman who walked towards me with empty shopping bags. She took me through places I had never imagined or even warned about by my commarades. Shopping malls, fish markets, vegetable godowns, phew, I have lost count!! It was all okay till the time she took me around. But as the shopping bags started filling up, the springs in the body started bottoming out at every undulation in the road. At that moment I realized that I am not meant for carrying heavy load either as my front suspension has been borrowed over from the Nova which is a link type one.

Actually my suspension bottoms out easily because the engineers have set them at a very soft setting.  They can bottom out if the rider rides over any road undulation at speeds in excess of 70 kph. This people, mind you happens if the rider is near or over the 80 kg mark. They also bottom out when someone rides me with a pillion over a speed breaker at say 15-20 kph! I’m the one-woman type, so commuting a single woman with wee bit of luggage is what I do best, so let’s do away with the pillion for now. Alright! Stop pointing your finger and laughing at me.  It’s time to move on to my better qualities.

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The console design looks dated but so does the rest of the bike

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Power Scooter? My foot! More of a everyday commuter for sure

 

According to me, my USP is the 125cc engine that powers me.  It is the only bit which has not been carried over from the Kinetic basket. In Fact, my engine has been sourced from Taiwanese company SYM with which Mahindra has a tie-up. With a max power output of 8 bhp and max torque output of 9Nm I will satisfy the acceleration and top speed needs of all riders. I have not been designed solely in the interests of outright performance, so I have a lot more to offer. This new 125cc engine sourced from SYM allows me to better my competitors in quite a few aspects.  The typical CVT judder is absent and you cannot feel any jerk while the variomatic gearbox changes gears. So, when you ‘point and scoot’ I am instantly at it and when you back off my throttle, I don’t indulge in excessive engine braking either.  The refinement of the engine and smoothness of the starter motor is something that my riders will appreciate.

 

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The switch gear is easy to access and looks solidly built

Thumbing my starter button at any given time won’t wake up anyone in the building. So you can always take me for a ride without annoying your society members while you leave.  I also have the ability to make my rider popular with the opposite sex.  That’s because my seat can comfortably accommodate all Indian posteriors from ‘S to XXXl’ size.  There is adequate padding and the seat is wider than my other competitors. My under seat storage bay offers space which is at par with the competition too. But my storage bay behind the front apron is a unique feature that only an other far too expensive scooter from TVS can boast of. MuHaHa!

One more thing that I am proud of is the beam quality and spread that my headlamp offers. It is currently the best in class and leagues ahead of all other scoots in the country. You know, the Features Editor and the Photographer rode me to a restaurant to have dinner. While riding back to the office they thought the headlamp was on high beam as it was lighting up the road exceptionally well. To overtake a car in front, the Features Editor started to alternate between the high beam and the low beam.He got genuinely amazed with the spread and power of the high beam.

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The rear grab rail is not very convenient

The only major flaw in me that I absolutely abhor is the lack of a brake lock mechanism. So I cannot be parked as per your whim and fancy or time constraints. If you park me on an incline or decline, I will roll off.  Also, I fail to understand why I have been gifted with a small stomach that can hold only 4.5 liters of fuel. In comparison the Dio/Activa can hold 6 liters, the Access 6.4 liters while the Pleasure can accommodate 10 full liters!! A big on cc engine and small fuel bay causes me to switch on my low fuel indicator after covering just 160 kilometers. During the fuel efficiency test I ran dry after covering just 175 kilometers on a full tank of premium fuel! I was so ashamed and jelous of my rivals. Grrr! I am sure there is an internal conspiracy brewing against my Duro clan. Otherwise how could such an illogically small fuel bay size be approved? I am filing an RTI query first thing in the morning.

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Large front indicators make sure that the others can see you when making that turn

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Now comes the interesting part of summing myself up.  The Motoroids team put me through a test of all the practical situations that I will face. They allowed me to explore my positive and negative qualities and also express them truthfully to you. None of my competitors can better my positive qualities while they also don’t have any negative ones. At an on-road price of Rs. 42,612, I am 3 grand cheaper than the Activa which beats me on the quality front, while 6 grand cheaper than the access which beats me on the performance front.

I am currently the best ‘Value for Money’ non-geared scooter that you can buy in the country.  My engine will easily out-live my body parts in the long run. In terms of engine refinement and smoothness I will easily be placed amongst the best. If you truly believe that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then look no further. Under the old-school Kinetic skin beats a modern Taiwanese proven SYM heart which will satiate your every need if not throughly impress you.

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