For starters it was going to be a first ever indigenously developed high capacity motorcycle and this was more of a moment of pride since all the rest of those which are available are either from foreign companies or else the technology from other companies have been used in it. But then on the flipside it was pretty much an open mind because the expectations from the bike was not what you would come to expect from a company like say a Yamaha or a Honda after all.
So when I actually got the bike in my hand for a total comprehensive review this was the prologue in my mind when I put my foot across and had a seat on the bike. I was going into this with a completely open mind and the expectations or comparison of this bike with other Japs or Europeans was completely absent. So now let’s get on with the review.
We had the bike with us for 7 days and I had more than enough time to familiarize with the bike, glare at it from all angles, stare at it and ride it all I wanted to my heart’s content and trust me, I did just that. I ran the bike in the city, on the highways, both long and short bursts as well and even took it a little off-roading which I am sure the guys over at Mahindra who handed us the bike would have expected me not to do and I will get to that later in this review. I clocked a little over 1000 kms on the bike in the 7 days I had it with me and I can clearly claim that I got to know the bike inside out pretty much to make the claims that I have made in the review. The views here are subjected to the bike I had received from the company. Design & Ergonomics:
Let’s check out the looks of the bike first because after all that is what the people check out about a bike in the first place. And yes, people do check out the Mahindra Mojo quite a lot as it is a looker, but in its own way. It is like a bike no other with its twin headlamps up front and the dual tube frame marked in golden on the black coloured unit of the Mahindra Mojo which I had received. Stopping at a traffic signal means a lot of stares from fellow riders and from car owners alike. And if you happen to have the bike parked on the road on a busy street, you can only imagine the number of glares the bike would get; let’s just say that it would be enough to make an insecure girl on Facebook pull her hair out in jealousy against this bike.
The twin LED strips given on the Mahindra Mojo need a special mention because they give the bike a very mean look. Without those LEDs the bike would just look plain stupid. It is these small things that make a difference. The main thing is that these lights work even with the ignition off. So that means just insert the key and twist it once, the LED lights will come on. This comes handy when you are in a pitch dark condition with no lights at all, so before the bike comes to life, these LEDs will keep you company.
Secondly the Mahindra Mojo is built like a bike you sit ‘in’ and not sit ‘on’. That means the seating is quite low and the handle bars high set which gives it a cruiser like seating position. The forward set foot pegs too help the cause. It is something more of a Bullet like feel than say a Harley. But when you ride it, the engine underneath is not a thumper but a proper whirring machine made for high RPMs. We will come to that in the performance part of the bike. The seat is a single unit but a perched rear seat adds to the comfort for the rider to give some kind of back support to it. But in the process the pillion end of the seat is simply so small that anyone with the height of 5’2” and weighing over 55 kilos will have trouble sitting there for prolonged periods. Add to that the pillion grab handles are kept exactly below the seat and not more rear set or sideways which makes reaching for them a very hard task so that if you happen to hold on to them, you pretty much happen to sit on your own hands rather than the seat. And still even with that you do not really get much grip off them since even a little sweat on your hands is enough to let them slip off the handles and you are in the risk of falling from the behind in case of a medium sharp acceleration. This could be one of the biggest design flaws in the bike by Mahindra to make the bike not at all pillion friendly.
Coming to the rest of the styling of the bike, there is no crash guards provided to the Mahindra Mojo. Instead there are faux air scoops provided which will be sacrificed in case of a sideways crash. And that also means there could be damage to the coolant reservoir if the bike falls on its right since the coolant reservoir is located inside the right faux scoop.
The ignition key on the bike is location on the tank and not near the instrument console. Well, when you look at the console you can see that there is no space there provided for the key and hence it makes sense, but the location is very unconventional, so it could be some time till one gets used to it. Also it could be a fun game to play with your friends to find the ignition lock on the bike. Also the rear brake pedal looks exactly like the gear shift lever which was a bit confusing at first too but then it all comes together for the look of the Mahindra Mojo which is fine.
Another thing worth mentioning which is a big eye grabber is the twin silencer on the Mahindra Mojo. Yes the bike is a single cylinder one, but the twin silencers add to the acoustic effect of the bike. It is a sweet and macho sound that a lot of people simply love. It is more like thumpers to a sports bike sound. It is not too loud, yet not too quiet; the mix is just right to give you a lovely eargasm. But these twin silencers are also the reason why you might have a lot of problems locating the side stand of the bike. The side stand on the Mahindra Mojo is so snugly fit on the bike, it is very hard to put it up and also bring it down. While putting it down you will step on the silencer of the bike every single time for the first 25 tries until you get used to the position and even then you will not get it right in the first try even after 5 days with the bike. Secondly when putting the stand up, the left side foot peg comes in the middle and trust me; there is no way for the bike’s stand to be put up without hitting the left foot peg. I have no clue what the designers at Mahindra were thinking during the testing period or was I doing it wrong? I never experienced this issue with any of my other bikes till date; so I don’t think I was doing it the wrong way.
Take a look at the bike from the side and you will easily notice long swingarm and the large wheelbase of the bike. This now I totally get it because the bike has quite some torque on hand and hence the wheelbase helps keep the rubber side down by taking away any surprise wheelies and rest of it is done by the huge 165 kilos dry weight. But the long wheelbase also gives the bike good stability on the road when cruising and still the bike is no slouch on the corners, but that is only due to the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres. As far as I experienced, the support from the frame of the bike on the corners was very much less and the suspension setup on the bike which was a bit tad soft didn’t help much.
Speaking of the suspension, the rear gets a Monoshock which is located towards the left side of the bike. Now we do not know for what balancing is this for but then experts from Mahindra know better here. As far as riding goes, I did not find any issues due to that; rather I did not even notice any difference or the fact that it was on the left, so that’s pretty cool with me.
The rear of the bike gets a pretty small tail light which according to me was way too small for the bike. It is an LED unit but still I would have loved for it to be a bit bigger for the size of the Mahindra Mojo. The rear tyre hugger is also absent but the number plate holder unit has been extended below to act as a mud guard for the bike which I am really skeptical as to how much it would really work. Too bad it was not monsoon when I got the bike, else that would have had been proven as well. Now the last, the instrument console; it is one of the best consoles I have seen till date. The animations at the beginning when the bike is switched on are pretty great and it is quite appealing. There are indicators on the side panel for everything like the side stand, turn indicators and a lot more. The middle section is dial in dials where there is an analogue tachometer and a digital speedometer and odometer on it. There is a clock, 2 trip meters, apparently there is a 0-100 timer which I happened to miss at the beginning but found later and missed a chance to calculate and there is also a top speed clocker which records the top speed that the bike had hit till date. I am proud to say that when I got the bike it had 143 kmph on it, but I was able to touch 148 kmph and still felt that the bike is capable of a lot more but I happened to run out of road and also my weight would have been an issue there.
There is blue backlight on the console which is easy to read in the dark while the entire dash is quite easy to read in the day, even in the brightest of sunlight. The numbers are bold and big to spot in a single glance. But the most attractive thing is the tachometer with the red lights which light up when the RPM climbs up and during a gear change or reduction on the RPM shows the light of the previous RPM level for about 2 seconds until it goes off which is a sweet detailing work done there. Some small things like this really bring out the bike in many ways. Performance:
The Mahindra Mojo comes with a single cylinder 295cc engine with Fuel Injection, Liquid cooling and a 6 speed gearbox. The on paper figures are rated at 20KW at 8000 RPM of power which comes to about 26.82 HP and torque is rated at 30 Nm at 5500 RPM. The figures might not seem as impressive as one would have expected, even considering that it is an engine running on 11:1 compression ratio. It gets a wet type multiplate clutch and button start. No kick start here as expected since it would have had ruined the look of the bike a bit.
Put the key in and punch the ignition, the engine comes to life in a lovely twin exhaust note, but there is a constant buzz sound coming through which gets on your nerves when you become conscious of it being there. I was not able to exactly make out as to what that sound was, but it must be of the FI unit in action. But whatever it was, Mahindra, please check it out.
The engine is a very relaxed unit and cruising around the city is no pain at all. The power delivery is very much linear, subject to your control on the right wrist. The play on the accelerator is too loose though which makes twisting the throttle really easy but loses out on precision gassing at the personal level. The torque band is pretty good and the bike has impressive low end and mid end pull to it. The gearing provided is optimum and doesn’t feel short by any ways. Though when going through the city you will hardly ever hit 5th or the 6th gear; so most of the movement will be within the first 4 gears and that is enough to move around.
On the other hand if you even happen to hit the 6th somehow, then too the bike does pull through from as low as 2000 RPM with a bit of knocking and later from 3000 RPM onwards it will pull cleanly. But for a quicker pull, you will be looking to down shift the gears. Coming to the shifting of the gears, the gearbox shifts are rough and hard. They are not as butter smooth as you would have had expected but they are precise. The only issue I experienced was when shifting from 5th to 6th gear on the highway, 7/10 times the gear misbehaved and it was stuck in between which meant I had to either try shifting it again, else get the gear back in 5th and try again to shift into 6th which then happened.
So all in all the engine of the Mahindra Mojo is a pretty sweet mill. It is relaxed, is torquey to move the heavy 165 kilos dry bike and most importantly it does not feel stressed at all under any circumstance. It is always revv happy and is always giving the feeling that is has a lot more to offer than that. The engine redlines at 8500 RPM but you would hardly ever reach there in your regular rides and seldom reach there if you went on a very spirited highway ride. The one thing is that riding about 5 kms in the city is still enough for the Mojo to heat up. The radiator fan can be heard kicking in when you stop the bike and the one thing which kind of had me worried was that even when the bike was shut off and the key taken out, still the radiator fan kept going at it until the engine cooled a bit. It is not an issue when the bike is running, but it can be really taxing on the battery and could even result in a battery drain someday. So Mahindra needs to keep a check on this.
The cooling though overall is pretty efficient. I did not experience any kind of heat on my legs or anything whenever I rode my bike both in the city and the highway. Maybe the story in the summers would paint a better picture there. But until then in this case I was pretty much impressed by the Mahindra Mojo.
Coming to the braking duties, the bike gets a 320mm Petal Disc up front with a Radial Caliper and a 240mm Regular Disc on the rear with a floating caliper. Looking at the numbers one would expect the braking on the Mahindra Mojo to be pretty serene but in my case it really sucked. The term used being that harsh is because on multiple occasions it had almost taken me into a crash for the lack of bite and stopping power on it and secondly once I actually went on to bump into another bike. Luckily I was braking and the speed was hardly 5 kmph. Hence there was no damage at all, but I don’t know if that is the case with all the Mojos, but the bite to the front brake is really bad.
But there is a flipside, the brakes are performing ones; means you actually have to perform yourself to have them work. You will need to really yank on the brake lever with all your fingers to actually make the brake give some bite on the disc and get the bike to a halt and even then there are chances that the wheel will lock up since there is no ABS on offer. I have actually had to pull on the lever with all my might to get the bike to slow down when I encountered a sudden speed breaker or a pothole on the road. So Mahindra really needs to look into the front brake issue at least with the unit that I had received. But surprisingly the bite on the rear brake was supreme. So much so that I can go ahead and say that the bite on the rear brake is 10 times better than that of the front even though it is a smaller disc. I have relied on the rear brake of the Mahindra Mojo more times than I can remember when I have had the feeling that the front brake has failed and I am going to crash. Generally it is the front hat saves many, for me on the Mojo, the rear is why I am here writing a review today. So kudos to that, but the front needs a lot of working.
I was even contemplating if it was the weight of the bike since with all the fluids and the fuel the bike will very much weight near to 200 kilos and if that could be the reason for the front brake non-performance, but then the rear is performing and also that is no excuse when it comes to safety. So Mahindra, I hope you are taking notes here.
The suspension setup of the bike is a little on the softer side which is something I preferred initially when riding in the city. It takes on the potholes really well and some of the small stuff, you simply go over it and it seems like there was nothing there. The Upside Down forks do help there in that case and they are really thick and strong there, so handling bad roads was never an issue there. People who might be thinking of this as a machine to take to Ladakh or so, I would happily give a thumbs up for that. The rear left mono suspension is also great and soaks up bumps well.
But then when I hit the highway I was immediately informed by the bike that it is pretty soft for the highway. When doing high speeds the bike tends to wobble up and down due to road undulations and that can be quite irritating to a rider. I would have loved the suspension to be a bit on the harder side just while going on the highway.
Lastly the tyres on the bike; they are the top of the line Pirelli Diablo Rosso II soft compound tyres. The grip they have on offer is simply amazing and unmatched to what I have experienced on various bikes till date and Mahindra have made a very smart choice in going for it. The Mahindra Mojo has a 110/70 ZR17 M/C 54W on the front and a 150/60 ZR17 M/C 66W on the rear. Cornering with these tyres is a breeze since they have amazing edge grip but you might still not be able to do a knee down on this bike due to the seating position which is more cruiser like than a sports bike.
The tyres are also the exact reason why the Mojo is not that great for off roads because the soft compound tyres are really susceptible to punctures. Luckily I did not face any and that’s pretty cool for me. This is exactly the reason why the guys at Mahindra would be praying their hearts out that I would not take the bike off-roading.
Mahindra Mojo Review: Feel Of A Sportbike On A Cruiser