Our Mahindra Gusto long-termer has been used for more than 5,000km till date and hasn't given any kind of trouble yet. I have used it in different traffic and road conditions and it is still as good as new. The engine note is the same and the scooter still provides the same ride feel as it did at the beginning. Neither do the panels rattle nor have the brakes lost bite.
The Gusto’s high ground clearance of 165mm and front telescopic and rear coil spring suspension have together helped in providing a better ride in our road conditions. Surprisingly, this suspension is firmly sprung and not how scooters generally are - softly sprung. Thanks to this set-up the scooter never bottomed out even with a pillion and the ride is comfortable. It however makes you feel at times that a little softer set-up would have helped handle uneven roads better. However, even after running the scooter hard many times while riding, the suspension has taken everything in its stride showing the strong built-quality.
Its wheelbase of 1,275mm has resulted in a longer footboard which makes for enough legroom for the rider. Place remains even after you keep a laptop bag or a big polythene bag. The handle grips are soft on the palms. The Gusto gets a firm seat which is not overtly soft and is comfortable for both rider and pillion. The adjustable seat height feature is perfect for riders of average and above average height. It can also be lowered for short-heighted individuals, providing them a comfortable position to balance the scooter. However, the scooter is heavy, making it not only slow, but also difficult to handle at low speeds. The weight also makes the scooter a little hard to park or even put it on the main stand.
The idling is smooth with faint vibrations in the mirrors, which iron out when the scooter is set in motion. The Gusto provides good manouverability at average speeds than lower speeds. Its performance doesn’t drastically change with a pillion, and takes on slopes as well. However, overtaking with a pillion will need a bit of a planning as the power isn’t sufficient enough for you to sprint through a tight spot. The 130mm drum brakes at both the ends are capable enough to stop the Gusto confidently. The MRF Zapper tubeless tyres assist well in providing adequate grip and definitely have reduced the chances of halting for punctures.
So overall, the Gusto does help in maintaining an upright position with good balance during the ride. The suspension system is good enough to ride over potholes and bumps with ease and maintain stability at high speeds. If only the scooter could have been a little lighter, it could have ticked off all the boxes for points in ride and handling.
In our next report we will see where the Mahindra Gusto stands amongst the competition as a product and why one should consider buying one.
Pictures by Sagar Bhanushali