We all know that Mahindra and Mahindra has been successfully running the veins of transportation in the country. The reason for them being a strong name in multiple fields is due to the zeal to keep evolving and leading the wave of transition. Not too long ago, they entered the fast pace scene of two-wheelers with a durable range of scooters and motorcycles which formed a prelude for the Mahindra Mojo. Not just that, they also formed Mahindra Racing and ventured into the high adrenaline world of MotoGP World Motorcycle Racing Championship and is also the only Indian company to participate in Formula E Championship.
And now Mahindra is all set to enter the entry-level performance motorcycle scene, which has gained immense popularity with the likes of Honda CBR 250R, KTM Duke Series, Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Benelli TNT 300. All these brands are known bike makers as they have existed for generations making Mahindra a brave heart contender against them. Does this weaken the Indian manufacturer’s chances of fighting it out evenly? Our first impression report is here.
2015 Mahindra Mojo: Design and Styling
They have styled this one very uniquely, as seen from the wide awake twin-pod headlights with LED guide strips; reminiscent of the arrangement seen on the new Scorpio. In fact, Mahindra has worked on the intricate details to give it a familiar look to make it belong to its two-wheeler and SUV portfolio. The windscreen too has been redesigned from the earlier version shown in the concept with multiple lines and surfaces on it, to make it look more aerodynamic.
The side of the headlight fairing gets Elvis inspired sideburns. Then there are USD front forks nicely layered in bright gold. It not only looks impressive but also has a strong utility aspect considering its triple clamp positioning fixture making it a stable option to encounter high speeds. The front fender hugs the wheel completely with proper side support. To the side, you cannot possibly ignore the brand new 21-litre chiselled fuel tank with enough bulges highlighting its touring credentials.
One thing that Mahindra has gone easy on is branding. Interestingly, the front fairing doesn’t have the logo but to the side there is a badge tucked below the fuel tank followed by etching on the engine casing and a tiny logo on the rear. One more familiar trait that the Mojo shares with its sibling is the twin bar running under the tank except for this one is not just aesthetics but a brand new twin tube frame with co-axial mounting.
The only bit which looks a bit out of sync with the overall appeal has to be the radiator surround with fins. This takes some time for the eyes to get used to but the same is not the case with the engine cover which fits in perfectly with the design and also protects it from any pebble or stone thrown by the front tyre. The arch of the seat with a petite rear makes it a rider only bike with an occasional pillion (with a tiny derriere*). Also, making a strong statement are those twin-silencers finished in chrome jetting out from the engine. This was done to make sure the performance is not compromised and also to create a unique exhaust note from the motor.
To the rear, there is a compact taillight assembly which houses 12 LED’s brake lamp and 8 LED’s tail lamp. Visually, it is the rear that stands out from the overall neatness of lines and contours as it is here that you see the giant dollop of Pirelli rubber taking a dominating position along with the twin steel finished exhaust pipes. These pipes, definitely, create a feeling of extreme coolness.
2015 Mahindra Mojo: Features
In terms of features, Mahindra Mojo comes with the necessary options to aid your regular as well as spirited riding style. The analog tachometer takes centre position with a blue background. The needle of the tacho also gets LED highlights, which basically tell you the last engine speed before you shift to the next cog. On top, there is a gear shift indicator which glows red once the needle enters the peak limit.
The multi information digital display screen displays speed and trip distances but most importantly, it also shows the max speed attained. We managed to reach a top whack of 145km/h on the Bengaluru Coorg route. There are other informative signals too which indicate engine malfunction, neutral gear and side stand indicator. There is a provision for micro storage under the seat.
2015 Mahindra Mojo: Performance, Ride and Handling
This is where we have to give it to Mahindra for developing a well refined motor from scracth with impressive touring credentials. The Mojo uses a 295cc, single cylinder, liquid cooled DOHC motor which makes 25 bhp at an engine speed of 8000 rpm. The rear wheel makes use of 30Nm of torque generated at 5500 rpm. It comes paired with a 6-speed transmission. This newly developed engine has been fine tuned with exhaustive testing on Indian roads.
Get the motor cranked up and it lets you rev till the max without any hold up. At idling speeds, there are no vibrations felt. As seen from the power numbers, the delivery has been kept to peak at 8000 rpm and the torque too is based on the mid range, thus while riding at low speeds, the motor doesn’t feel active as it is not meant to be a traffic carver like the KTM Duke bikes.
Our rides began from Bengaluru and trust me it is not the place you would want to get stuck in traffic. The roads are impressive with undisturbed tarmac but it is only the density of cars and motorcycles occupying the street which is enormous. To top it up, we were a gang of 30 Mahindra Mojos and, unintentionally, we were getting lot of curious attention. Interestingly, this also highlighted Mojo’s street appeal as someone even asked me if this is an Indian bike or an imported one.
It is here where the smooth understated nature of the motor is felt; not the typical twist the throttle and break a neck type but a rather maturely growing one. The 6-speed transmission does a great job at maintaining and also making available power as and when required. The shift quality is impressive as not once did we engage into false neutral and no matter how much it was tortured; the unit did an impressive job.
The Mahindra Mojo has a dry weight of 165Kg so it won’t swivel around corners like a pro naked machine but then take it on the highways and it is here where you feel the dividends for the way it’s made. Twist the throttle and make the needle close in to the end of mid range and the motor resonates a coarse note flowing out of the twin exhaust setup. A sound like this from a single cylinder motor is simply amazing.
The other aspect about the Mojo that you all should know is that it feels very stable at high speeds and this is something we can vouch for. We managed to make it max out at 145 km/h and believe it still had juice left to close in or reach 150 km/h. While the motor gets due credits, it is also the chassis, suspensions and tyres that work in unison to make sure you don’t feel panicky at high speeds.
The golden rib of bars underneath the tank is not just for a gimmicky look but has a purpose to it. The twin tube frame with coaxial mounting make sure the entire bike feels rigid at high speeds. Also, it runs on Pirelli Daiblo Rosso II Tubeless tyres that have an amazing capability to stick on to the tarmac and provide a strong grip of the surface.
However, it doesn’t feel agile while taking corners at high speeds as the front nose acts stubborn and doesn’t change directions easily. The heavier weight too contributes to that feel. What works brilliantly, though, are the brakes. It comes with a 320mm front and 240mm rear disc brakes; the biggest in its class. For the perfect touring ride, you need strong suspensions to even out the undulations and disturbances felt and the one on Mojo exactly does that with upside down front forks and high pressure gas charged mono shock in the rear; both of which offer 143mm of travel.
While everything about the Mojo feels positive, it is the riding comfort which needs improvement. The arch of the seat lacks support and can be tiresome on long rides. However, Mahindra will be offering a touring special seat as an accessory at the dealerships. The tall handlebar position is just fine and so are the foot peg positions. Overall, the performance of Mahindra Mojo is a true testimony of the efforts taken by the brand over the years of its development.
2015 Mahindra Mojo: Verdict
Yes, they have taken five years to get it on the street but does that have anything to do with its strong prospect in the country? Absolutely not and the reason is very simple. We all know that the sub and above 300cc segment has recently matured with the entry of multiple players. To name a few, there is Honda CBR 250R, KTM Duke Series and the Kawasaki Ninja sitting at the premium end while Hero Karizma ZMR and Bajaj Pulsar RS sit at the entry level range. It is now that the consumers have started looking beyond brand focusing more on the value of the proposition.
Playing the devil’s advocate, it couldn’t have been a better time for Mahindra to launch the Mojo in India amongst the matured clientele. An amazing motor, muscular design and strong touring credentials make the Mojo a unique offering in its segment. Mahindra launched the Mojo at an introductory price of Rs 1.58 lakhs, which is a feat by itself. This surely looks like a promising beginning of a new innings by Mahindra motorcycles.