Mahindra Mojo – A Second Look

While Mahindra’s official website continues to show us ‘Coming Soon’ greeting message I thought of taking a second review at Mahindra’s latest offering, 300cc MOJO which seems to be based on Malaguti MR250.

Whatever you will read in the forthcoming lines please note that I HAVE NOT considered the Royal Enfield’s, liter classes and CBUs/CKDs and anything over 2 lakh rupees in India.

HISTORY: If we peep back a few years when 2 strokers gave way to more efficient 4 strokers, new manufacturers kept coming and offering those volume selling 100 odd cc bikes. Let’s chuck Indian manufacturers for the time being and talk about the more experienced, more powerful Japanese.

To start with, Yamaha, the makers of legendary RD and RX series of bikes were dumbstruck with 100cc Cruxs and Liberos till a change of guard took place at the top level and we witnessed some fine machinery in the form of technically supreme R15 and ravishing looker FZ. The R15 did set some benchmarks of its own and it still continues to be an untouched avenue for its competitors.

But moving away from Yamaha, Honda, the ‘always safe playing shrewd company’ started with 150cc giving us bright hopes that very soon we would be able to see some of the fine machinery they are famous for in the foreign world; but sadly the cc ladder in place of moving up has descended to 100ccs! In fact, with an existing collaboration with the volume churning, entry segment concentrated Hero Honda, already selling like crazy, almost everyone expected Honda to travel the way up as they might not want to advent to a region they are already present in. Another whizz, Suzuki has also kept itself limited to 150ccs. Simply because it is a huge risk involved in case the whole concept of bringing in a BIG bike fails, foreign manufacturers have always desisted themselves from offering what the biking aficionados always wanted.

To the contrary, Indian manufacturers took the lead and offered some fantastic products. The max which we have in India currently in single cylinder form is the 220cc 21PS Pulsar 220 from Bajaj Auto which incidentally is the Quickest and Fastest straight line production bike in the country today. It was Bajaj which broke the 20PS jinx which we were struck to for many years together. And here we have another Indian company coming in and pitching a product which I am sure would have set pulses racing for every performance biking enthusiast, Mahindra, the company and MOJO the product!

Mahindra which has set true benchmarks in the 4-wheeler UV (Utility Vehicles) segment, acquired the ailing Kinetic Motors and forayed into the World’s second largest 2 wheeler market. We have already seen the 250cc marvels in the form of limited-edition Kinetic Aquila and Comet which were brought in by the collaborator Hyosung in limited numbers as CBU’s.

MOJO – The Product

I always expected Mahindra to come up with new 100/125/150cc offerings as all the other companies do. But Mahindra did not want to be called as ‘just other’ company. They were courageous to even think on those lines and had those guts which propelled them to start proceedings with a product which is not set to add any significant numbers to the sales tally.

Taking a closer look at MOJO brings in a lot many questions in my mind, which I am sure, would settle down with time. Let me pen down a few glaring features of the bike first.

MOJO Features Review

Engine: The ‘beast’ as Mahindra puts it, churns out 26 BHP of raw power churning out 24Nm of colossal Torque from its 292cc Single Cylinder, 4 Valve, Liquid Cooled, DOHC, Fuel Injected engine…a first in India!

Ducati Energia EFI: The Electronic Fuel Injection system has been borrowed straight from Ducati Energia based in Bologna, Italy which is also shared by World renowned racing bikes… a first in India!

Inverted Shock Absorbers: Shod directly from Paioli of Italy, they are not wrongly put on the MOJO, as Mahindra also says, USD (Upside down) or Inverted Shock Absorbers are generally used on Racing bikes…. a first in India!

Tires: MOJO comes equipped with a gigantic 150mm wide rear radial tubeless tire making it the broadest tire to be used in India. The front is 100mm wide. And that’s not all, the pics displayed depict that the bike is loaded with a Pirelli Sports Demon!….a first in India!

Rear Suspension: MOJO’s rear cushioning is taken care by Gas Charged MonoShocks….. a first in India!

Huge Discs: MOJO comes equipped with country’s largest 320m front discs with Petal designed plates straight from J Jain’s Spain. Rear also gets 220mm discs….. a first in India!

RVM mounted LED turn indicators: Quite a car-like feature this! MOJO comes equipped with two set of front turn indicators, one regular pair near the front headlamps and the more contemporary pair mounted in the RVMs.

BAFFLERS?

I am left perplexed at a few not-so-clear points and I list them for you to scratch your heads over as well. And if you have the answers, please share with all of us:

Question 1: Why peak power at redline: Mahindra claims that the bike produces its peak power at 8500rpm which also happens to be the starting point for the ‘redline’ as marked on the speedo. The tacho has been calibrated till 11k rpm and where will the cutoff play spoilsport..? More technically, over square engines generally have higher revving (red lining) characteristics against what is projected in this MOJO avatar?

Question 2: Double Silencers: Single cylinder, single exhaust..then why dual silencers? Until Mahindra provides a technical reason; I am forced to believe that it is done more to enhance the looks, proportion and mass centralization of the bike rather than any technical functionality. Furthermore, an added silencer adds that all unneeded weight as well which obviously has adverse effects on both performance and mileage.

Question 3: ECU Remappable: I don’t’t know much about the kind of ECU used here. Is it re-mappable? If yes, it’s a rider’s joy!

Question 4: Misleading Identity: Remember the first teaser ad where the bike was being shown on a race track? A tagline ‘Tested in Italy, coming to India’ also added that ‘sporty’ feeling in our minds. However, wide handlebars open chested seating posture, not-so-rearset footpegs and in fact the complete geometry nulls the ‘sporty-bike-like’ character of the bike. Add that to the company’s officials calling this bike as a ‘modern cruiser’.

MOJO, Finally:

It’s a different design as we all already feel. Getting used to it will definitely lend more followers to this bike. One thing I am sure of is that the ‘Looks’ of the bike will take time for us, Indian’s, to accept but they would grow with time certainly. Moreover success or failure of this bike will definitely reveal the exact maturity levels the Indian market has grown into. More curiously, I am super excited to feel that we have a bike which is expected to breach the 150kmph speed mark in India under 2 lakhs. I am furthermore very much interested in the on-road behavior of this bike.

We hear that MOJO, which means ‘the art of casting magic spells’, has been coined by Mr Anand Mahindra himself. Now will the bike be able to cast that expected magical spell in the market remains to be seen. But what this courageous step from Mahindra has done is; created a stir in the ‘those who care’ companies and is definitely a stepping stone towards making India a more developed and mature market. BikeAdvice will come with all more and a detailed Mahindra Mojo review & test drive report as soon as we are given a chance to. Till then keep glued to BikeAdvice.in.

– Saad Khan

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