- Words: Anil Anupam
- Pics: Saad Khan
With the comprehensive review of Mojo out on BikeAdvice (link to review), I would keep things more compact as an opinion from a Duke 390 owner’s point of view.
KTM Duke 390 has been among the most competent and powerful motorcycle for sometime now. And with pricing being spot on it has been able to create a dedicated market for itself and more importantly, a bigger fan base!
I test rode the Mojo along with Saad near Igatpuri and would like to pen down my first impressions for all of you…
Mojo vs Duke 390
Styling can really be more of a subjective thing and in that regards Mojo is expected to create polarised opinions. What remains striking is its road presence. It looks huge from the front and the unconventional approach to the styling will keep it out of the crowd. Keeping the aesthetic thing aside Mojo feels substantially larger compared to the 390 once you are on it.
The riding position is more upright with the handle bars kept slightly wide and tall. The footpegs arent rear set as is the norm with the segment. The seat itself is quite accommodating though I found it to be little softer to my liking. Personal experience says ‘Seats too soft = not so comfortable on long rides’. All in all it has got an easy riding position that takes very little time to get used to.
390 in comparison immediately feels more compact thanks to tighter dimensions. It too has got an upright riding position but the footpegs are rearset (more than what it is in general). Seats are narrower and decidedly harder. Comfort level obviously will get lesser marks here but then idea of having such bike will be little different. What the whole geometry helps is in having a good hold over the machine while testing your riding skills. For comfort oriented results Mojo holds the advantage.
First thing you will notice about the Mojo’s engine is its refinement. It feels very smooth throughout the rev range keeping NVH level under control for most of the time. Mahindra deserves the accolades for developing such a refined powerplant that is right up there with Japanese rivals in terms of smoothness.
Even in terms of nature the engine feels more relaxed with ample amount of torque distributed in the mid-range making the rider less concerned about downshifts while slowing down. Its not a rev hungry motor. While on paper the power : weight equation wont look too exciting , the torque distribution in the mid range (4000 to 7000 rpm) is where the charm is. Mojo should comfortably cruise at around 100-110 kmph all day with the rpm meter hovering close to 6500-7000 rpm.
Shift to KTM and you will, in no time, feel the heat developed by the engine (Mojo didn’t have such issues). Performance immediately is more frantic. Extra horses and torque on offer makes it a faster motorcycle with outright acceleration being significantly better. What it lacks is the relaxed nature of Mojo’s engine and it is visible in the number of gearshifts required to keep it on the boil.
For example Mojo can cleanly pull from the speed of 60 kmph in topgear while the Duke would rather expect downshift(s). This attribute is of significance when you are in traffic with variable speed levels. Gearshift is pretty good on both the bikes with very little to complain about. Even the clutch pull is adequately light (390 is assisted with slipper clutch) on both the bikes.
Dynamics again are pretty different on competitors keeping in mind the nature of both of them. KTM 390 easily is more agile, confident and manoeuvrable in terms of handling thanks to stiffer suspension set up and smaller wheelbase. Mojo in comparison has got a comfort oriented setup aiding ride quality while its higher wheelbase adds to better straightline stability.
Tyres (Metzelers on KTM and Pirelli on Mojo) are of the highest order adding to incredible road grip in most conditions. KTM is among the best handling machines in the category which is visible. Mojo in comparison isn’t as slick due to its size. What it does better is – it tackles bad roads with aplomb without the need to slow down considerably at the sight of potholes. Higher kerb weight does aid to the better straightline stability. Windblast can be a problem on both the machines at high speeds.
Braking is one department where Mojo disappoints a bit thanks to the spongy feel of the discs (despite sporting largest in class, 320 mm front) which Saad mentioned in his review. It really lacks the bite and no ABS further hampers the effect (it is in the works). Duke 390 is in a different league altogether as far as braking is concerned.
Mojo vs Duke 390: Quick Pointers
Here are some other interesting pointers which I noticed – mentioning them in brief…
- Build quality looked good overall on Mojo.
- Twin silencer looks cool. The exhaust note almost makes you feel like it is a twin cylinder configuration. That’s not a bad thing either
- Speedo console is neat. Interestingly some informations like 0-100 timer, top speed recorder would look better on the KTM 390. On the other hand, some bits like distance to empty, average speed, total trip time etc (offered on KMT) would look ideal on Mojo’s console!
- Grabrails are more aesthetic than useful. Pillion needs to be careful about that.
Mojo overall succeeds to impress as a competent motorcycle. Overall engineering is spot on and it is among the better tourers one could get in this segment. I hope the reliability and durability should not be an issue with this motorcycle.
Also Read: SHOOTOUT: Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZ-S: Which ONE..?
There is no better motorcycle here. If you are looking at a tourer, Mojo fits the bill, almost perfectly whereas the Duke is and has been the performance streetfighter from day one!
Duke 390 vs Mojo: Pictorial View