• Words: Saad Khan
  • Pictures: Saad Khan & Anil Anupam

PS: Pictorial View & video at the end

So today we are dealing with a motorcycle which essentially was to be launched back in 2010 or 2011, was delayed and only after a five year hiatus could make it to the market but in an all-new avatar and a testing regime which would have covered at least the Northern Hemisphere. The name is MOJO – a peculiar identity but something which is easy to pronounce and remember.

There is a common misconception that Mahindra was testing the Mojo all through these years and its definitely not true. Mahindra had put the bike in the backburner after its showcase and was waiting for some stability to their brand sales to venture into a niche which would not have brought them a lot of volumes. I always think top-down approach would have been a better ploy for Mahindra but than that’s a thing of the past. Actually ‘Mojo’ is an English word and means “influence by magic power“… So.. does it?

Rider Gear Check

  • Helmet: Joe Rocket Abyss (Buy helmets at Flipkart)
  • Riding Jacket: Mahindra Provided Jacket with CE Approved Armor (Buy Jackets at Amazon)
  • Pants: O-Neal 
  • Gloves: Scorpion Leather Gloves
  • Boots: TCX SS Performance 2 Boots

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (76)

Mahindra invited BikeAdvice to sample their premium-most motorcycle in Mumbai and the ride was scheduled to go to Igatpuri and back. For all of you who are unaware about the terrain, this involved riding through the freaking terrible Mumbai city traffic, on to a not so likeable patch of highway and the remaining part which was as enjoyable as anything! In all, I covered a distance of over 300 kms before handing the keys back to the company folks. As I venture into a long trail of paragraphs, here is a quick summary of its performance..

Mojo Performance Stats

  • Top Speed Achieved: 148 kmph
  • 0 – 60 kmph: 4.3 seconds
  • 0 – 100 kmph: 9.6 seconds 
  • Top Speed in 3rd Gear: 98 kmph
  • Top Speed in 4th Gear: 118 Kmph

*all Speedo readings and as tested by us

MOJO: Styling, Design & Looks – Different, aggressive & I like!

When it was introduced back in 2010, Mojo carried a very confused styling. It was not muscular and something which was easy to write down and I am sure it would not have worked in the market. Here is how it looked back then…

Mahindra Mojo BikeAdvice Photos (5)

And here are both of them together, showcasing the evolution…

Mojo-Evolution

Mahindra got the feedback and worked on its design and the final production motorcycle is, to me, a fantastic piece of work. The company defines it as a ‘predator-like’ design and in essence, it looks aggressive and fairly big in person. We got the gist of the acceptability during our travel when the crowd, whenever or wherever we stopped, gathered to have a good look at ‘the thing’ we were riding.

Mahindra-Mojo-Pics-Side
The picture tries to reflect the creases and curves of Mojo

It is a front-heavy forward-high design with a short tail. The twin-pod headlamp has been carried over but it has subtle changes. It gets eyebrow like LED strip and is slightly modified. The good part is that it has been bolted at a lower height which should be the case with every naked/bikini-faired motorcycle. The high-raised tank lends it a muscular stance and the curves carry-over to a single-unit dual-tone seat. The tiny tail-lamp is a 12-LED unit and the rear mudguard also acts as a design element.

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (22)

The chunky golden-colored upside down forks and characteristic chest ribs add character and then there are the 1 x 2 exhaust canisters from the single cylinder engine (which add weight but Mahindra says, result in a bassy sound). In short we could not find much fault with the overall styling of the motorcycle. According to the perception I have built, if you are the one who dislikes it, then you probably belong to the remaining 25 percent of the junta.

Mojo: Engine, Performance & Fuel Efficiency: Just what the doctor ordered…!

So Mojo is promoted as a tourer and quite rightly so by Mahindra. The 295 cc is a Liquid Cooled single cylinder DOHC engine and the power of 27 bhp peaks in at 8000 rpm but more importantly its the 30 Nm of very usable torque (tops at 5500 rpm) which has more significance here. To put it in perspective, this is 7 Nm more  than its immediate rival – CBR250R, and peaks earlier as well…

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-engine

Next, I should put in a word about the refinement of the engine. For some hard-working reason, Mahindra’s engines since the Gusto (including it) have some butter-smooth feel to them. And no, on the Mojo it is not lifeless as like the one on the Unicorn; in fact it has its own character. And the smoothness remains almost all through the rev band which also includes mid-high rpms. Only on higher rpms they interfere but they are very very well contained and do not intrude into your riding nirvana!

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-riding-stance

It is not a stonker of a motor wherein you flip the throttle and it goes berserk, like, let us say the Duke 390. It has a more matured behaviour – keep it or blip it over 4500 rpm and it will go down gunning the highway in a controlled manner, like how a tourer should behave! It does not have the urgency but that progressive feel is what makes it an ideal long-distance motorcycle. Mind you, this does not mean any lax in performance, instead, it is in abundance, specially the torque which never lets you down. Overtakes and ghats just need a twist of the cable and you would be delighted by the way the motorcycle responds.

The engine redlines at 8500 rpm and it cuts off at 9000 rpm. Mojo is one machine on which you can cruise all day between 100 kmph and 120 kmph, based on the terrain and road you are riding on.

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-twin-headlamp

However, it is not a very efficient city machine! The engine is not very happy strutting under 4000 rpm and that long wheelbase doesn’t help matters a lot. The Fuel Injection, which Mahindra says has been sourced from Italy (not sure if it is the same Ducati one which the 2010 Mojo advertised), also behaved erratically a couple of times. The good thing even in our city-ride when we can move only a few inches per minute, was the well-controlled liquid-cooling of the bike. It did heat up emitting a few fumes on our legs but never did it go uncomfortable and this during the peak city hours of Mumbai traffic.

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-footpeg

The 6-speed gearbox is a fairly slick unit with a well sorted spacing however, we did encounter false neutrals at least a couple of times. The feel (of gear-slotting) is more like Bajaj and the precise shifts like Honda are missing but then we will give it to Mahindra considering the smaller time they have been here for.

Mojo: Ride, Handling & Braking: Ride quality is fantastic, braking leaves a lot to be desired

Mahindra has carried over the Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2 tyres from the prototype and believe me they are super-sticky but more than that they imbibe the confidence of pushing the bike harder. Ride quality is phenomenal and the motorcycle with that beefy suspension eats up potholes with aplomb (much better than the Dukes, if you want a reference). At high-speeds the motorcycle is very stable and composed only marred down by the sub-quality braking, which is surprising actually!

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-swingarm

Mahindra is using the segment-largest disc brakes (320 mm upfront and 240 mm at the rear) which are sourced from a Spain (Barcelona) based company called as J.Juan, which supplies to Kawasaki as well possibly among other biggies. The problem with the brakes is that they lack bike and though Mahindra says they have intentionally kept them ‘progressive’, the reassuring feel is missing! But we are sure this is something rectifiable and Mahindra should be able to get through this easily.

ABS is not available at the moment however, Mahindra officials confirmed that an ABS equipped Mojo is under works and will be launched depending upon the market and acceptability. We expect a lead time of around 5-6 months from now at least. At the time of writing down this review, a test mule has also been spotted.

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-pirelli-diablo-rosso-2-tyres

Mojo handles pretty well on long roads and fairly decent on corners, however it has a larger turning radius apart from NOT being very flickable in cities. Wind-blasts are definitely present and we hope Mahindra offers an Avenger-like visor as an optional accessory sometime later. Another issue which we observed was the closing-up of RVMs at high speeds. Whenever we crossed 120-130 kmph on the speedo, the mirrors started collapsing.

Mojo: Verdict: Your Tourer is here!

Mahindra has launched the Mojo in three colors and the price tag has been increased from Rs 1.58 Lakhs to 1.63 Lakhs ex-showroom in Delhi, recently. This places Mojo as a Rs 1.8 Lakh+ on-road motorcycle which is where the whole fun is.

Based on my first ride experience, I must say it is an honest effort from Mahindra, one which has all the makings of a very comfortable tourer. Since we are talking about comfort, let me iterate that Mojo would probably be one of the very few motorcycles which I have ridden for about 140 kms at a stretch without an iota of pain or discomfort anywhere. For all of you who consider touring as a road-enjoying activity rather than blasting-the highway one, you should definitely check out the Mojo.

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (71)

On the Mojo you can enjoy the serene offerings of nature in comfort and whenever required you can outrun that wannabe Royal Enfield guy or that bully truck just ahead of you. In terms of road-presence, let me tell you that there was a lot of interest in the motorcycle and a lot of blokes on their R15s, Gixxers, RS200s etc chased us just to get a good view of what is on offer. Here is a glimpse of that…

Mojo-Men-will-be-men-motorcycle-meme

It does have its share of minor issues, but be assured nothing is a deal breaker. Mojo is available in four cities at this moment and Mahindra informs that it will be launched in a phased manner across the nation. And if you have been waiting to hear that word – yes, Mojo is a better motorcycle than CBR250R on a lot of counts, based on my first ride impressions. I will share its fuel efficiency, long term durability, in-depth details when I or someone from my team takes it for a comprehensive review… Till then enjoy the following walkaround video and pictorial view of the motorcycle…

Mojo: Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Relaxed and refined engine
  • Sticky tyres
  • Fantastic ride quality
  • Detailed information on meter console
  • Good exhaust note from a single
  • Impressive road presence

Cons:

  • Braking needs improvement
  • Loose RVMs – were closing at high speeds
  • High speed wind blasts

Mahindra Mojo: Video

(Facing issues? Watch it directly at Youtube)

Mahindra Mojo: Pictorial View

Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (47)
The best angle to view Mojo from. Looks a muscular beast!
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (72)
Moments when I stopped to admire the bike and its credentials. Also notice the seat height and nice ground clearance.
The smaller tail, may not be comfortable for the pillion, but enhances the looks of an already large wheelbase...
The smaller tail, may not be comfortable for the pillion, but enhances the looks of an already large wheelbase…
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-grab-rail
The grab rails
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-fuel-tank-cap
It can hold 21 liters of petrol – another touring-friendly trait! The key moves in the other direction!
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-front-tyre
The 1×2 5 spoke alloys are not flashy and complement the overall design nicely
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-exhaust
The upswept exhaust and the foot pegs. Like the convention, front lifts up partially whereas the rear can be completely folded
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-engine
The meat of the matter is this! Mojo’s motor is its strongest point and its surprisingly smooth!
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-chest-ribs
When looked in isolation, like this, it may feel a little awkward but it gels well with the overall design theme of the motorcycle
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-3d-logo
The 3D Emblem
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic0silencer
They are two in number from one single cylinder, but they sound emphatic (for a 1 pot motor)
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (71)
The nice upright riding stance of Mojo. I am a little under 5″10′ and it was as comfortable as anything can be.
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (69)
The twin-horns are meek and are not audible on highways. Also notice the honeycomb mesh like design elements on the underbelly engine cowl
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (67)
Count the number of screws here.. they are so many in number or probably they are too glaring. Look like household tighteners!
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (65)
Some panel gaps are visible like this one bolting the seat, tank and the side cowl
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (63)
And these dummy air scoops which are finished like a noob!
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (62)
Even if Mahindra doesn’t put its tag on the motorcycle, we will identify where is the Mojo coming from, just from these design elements, which probably depict claw marks!
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (61)
The grips are easy and nice to hold
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (53)
That moment when I tried to be a little innovative. If you still couldn’t applaud the craft, please notice the train in the background 😀
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (50)
Download this pic and view it whenever you feel nobody is with you – it may lure you into riding all the fuss out! PS: Can anyone identify the location?
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (48)
One more.. with a commanding posture
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (43)
The curves of Mojo along with a peek-a-boo of the insides… 😛
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (18)
View from the other side
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic (5)
The Pirelli Diablo Ross 2 tyres are awesome on the tarmac. Not confirmed but I have heard they cost about 20k a pair
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-headlamp
Thats a clear view of the headlamp – it gets a nice eyebrow LED DRLs, twin lamps and a tiny visor with a hump at the top.
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-indicator
Clear-Lens indicators are flexible
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-jjuan-disc-brake
Although segment-largest but they are the biggest disappointment of Mojo. We are hearing of this brand for the first time and hope Mahindra improves them.
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-key-hole
The lock key hole is not on the handlebar but instead ahead of the tank. The small rod – locking mechanism is visible..
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-LED-tail
The complete tail-lamp is a 12 LED unit. The remaining ones are brake lights
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-speedometer-tachometer
View of the meter console. It shows a lot of stuff apart from the regular knicknacks
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-swingarm
The well finished swingarm and view of the chain adjuster. Its golden on the black and white colored motorcycle and black on the red motorcycle
Mahindra-Mojo-Pic-Upside-down-forks
The chunky upside down forks
With this see bid adieu... Do not forget to share it across to your friends if you liked the review... :)
With this see bid adieu… Do not forget to share it across to your friends if you liked the review… 🙂

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  • Arnold Seva

    ” And if you have been waiting to hear that word – yes, Mojo is a better motorcycle than CBR250R on a lot of counts, based on my first ride impressions.”

    When you said the above sentence, you actually heard the pulse of many of us. Can you elaborate those “counts” on which Mojo is better than CBR250R? I can give one count in the form of refinement n smoothness of engine – Mojo’s engine I feel is better than CBR in terms of NVH. Can you elaborate other counts OR better still why not do a proper shootout between these bikes ?

    • suyash

      I rode many cbrs, one which has rough engines and some with very smooth engines(may b due to thr run in techniques) and rode mojo too. Mojo is smooth no doubt but not smoother than properly run in cbr engines which only starts to get vibrations after 8.5k rpm which is the redline of mojo. From my point, suspension absorbing, out right performance, high speed stability and lesser windblast, abs option, cornering ability etc r some points whr cbr scores over mojo n I want to knw whr mojo scores over it. Plz don’t say equipment (usd forks) as it isn’t a thing to consider while riding a bike. Saying directly it’s betr than cbr is weird to hear if u can’t provide facts

      • Joseph Christy

        You say USD forks have no role in riding – Really ???
        Then in what do they have role ? Why on the earth do manufacturers put USD forks in their bikes when they cost more than conventional forks and according to you have no role in riding?

      • suyash

        Usd forks are used in high performance bikes to provide better feedback than normal forks while braking when fast bike Carriers much higher momentum and it’s easier to give different suspension settings in usd forks (compression, rebound and damping) No role in the sense in small bikes as y do u think n300 and R3 kind of high quality bikes also don’t provide usds and Plz ride them back to back with mojo to c which provides better front end feel while riding. Equipment don’t matter much as basic things with betr quality r quite good for the job. N650 cbr650f are also some examples. Apply front brake and it feels scary in mojo, even mid corner bumps don’t give much confidence as front end washes away bcz of raked out front. I have experienced this That’s y I am saying abt mojo. Read Autocar review of mojo vs tnt25 and u vl knw whr mojo stands dynamically.

      • Kishore Agarwal

        The same Autocar review said that brakes of TNT25 are quite weak compared to Mojo and also riding TNT25 at high speeds will leave you with buzzy hands, which means the engine of TNT25 has some vibrations at higher revs and is lagging far behind Mojo in terms of refinement and smoothness.

      • suyash

        I myself agree to this fact that mojo is refined but what else? It also stated It isn’t stable at speeds and ultimately tnt25 was the winner of that test despite having brakes and engine in testing form. If u remember at that time tnt made 24ps now its 28.15 bhp so it’s more powerful than mojo now and brakes r also tweaked for better stopping. If it’s behind a Chinese tnt then thr is no use to talking abt it against jap Cbr. Forget abt it now v have better option as tnt 25 🙂

      • Kishore Agarwal

        Despite being more powerful, TNT25 lagged behind Mojo in both top speed and acceleration in the same Autocar test. The test results of Autocar were
        Top Speed Mojo(143kmph) , TNT25(129kmph)
        Acceleration(0-100) Mojo(9.55s), TNT25(10.73s)

        The difference in performance is huge. The top speed of 129kmph is very less compared to 143kmph. Even Duke200 reaches top speed of 135kmph. 129 kmph is a miserable figure for a 250cc bike.

        Also in the acceleration from 0-100kmph, Mojo leads TNT25 by about 1.18s, OMG, TNT25 is lagging too much in acceleration. Even Duke200 does 0-100 in about 9.5 s.

      • suyash

        Still slower than cbr which makes no sense at all to say mojo is betr directly. May b it’s fresh but that doesn’t mean it’s better as thr r other things to consider too.

      • Kishore Agarwal

        One correction my friend, the Autocar comparison which u r talking about happened between the latest production model of TNT25 and Mojo, and not the earlier testing model as you mentioned. There was an earlier lone testing done by Autocar long back on the testing model – that was some months back.

        This time however the comparison done by Autocar was on the final production model of TNT25 and the current Mojo.

        And even in this final production model, the front brake of TNT25 lacks bite. The front brake lacking bite is a serious drawback of TNT25 and robs the rider of confidence.
        Forget Autocar, see the recent video review of TNT25 by Motorebam. Motorbeam guys have criticised TNT25 badly for its lack of bike in the front brake. They have also said TNT25 is full of vibrations at higher revs. They said the engine of TNT25 buzzes a lot at top end, and the vibrations of TNT25 can be felt at the handle bars, footpegs and even the seat. Now vibrations are no good especially for touring and can cause fatigue in the rider on long rides. This is a serious drawback of TNT25.

      • Hari

        well said

  • Richard A. Phillips

    “The feel (of gear-slotting) is more like Bajaj and the precise shifts like Honda are missing but then we will give it to Mahindra considering the smaller time they have been here for.”
    Sorry to seem blunt but this article seems to be more a justification for shortcomings than a proper review?

    “It does have its share of minor issues, but be assured nothing is a deal breaker.”
    Review or sales pitch?

  • Richard A. Phillips

    “if you are the one who dislikes it, then you probably belong to the remaining 25 percent of the junta.”
    Guilty as charged.

    “Another issue which we observed was the closing-up of RVMs at high speeds.”
    doesn’t seem very cruiser friendly to me adjusting the mirrors at that speed on the highway.

    “yes, Mojo is a better motorcycle than CBR250R”
    Umm!!!???

  • Richard A. Phillips

    The bike with an identity crisis.
    A cruiser with a shallow lean angel and sports tyres. Acceleration timer and top speed indicator, can’t see how that will help with cruising. Sports bike that can’t lean and is too heavy.

  • Richard A. Phillips

    Pan-India and ABS launch in 5-6 months. That was a year ago. Hope they don’t mean 5-6 years like the initial launch.