UM Renegade Mojave First Ride Review

04 September 2017, 02:48 PM Charles Pennefather

What is it?

Why I would buy the UM Renegade Mojave

It is a true alternative to the Royal Enfield range and offers more value for money

Why I would avoid the UM Renegade Mojave

It is an unknown so far, both in terms of brand value and quality

The UM Renegade is a cruiser platform from which many different cosmetic variants can and have been spun off. The Mojave is the variant that appeals to those who want something that looks ready to cross the Thar. What it gets is a matt brown paint job and a sticker with its name and a couple of Joshua Trees, symbols of the Mojave desert in the USA. There are colour-coordinated saddlebags (saddlebag, actually, since there’s only one as standard) and a tank pouch with a USB charging socket. Everything else is matt black, in keeping with the theme.

How does it ride?

Since it mechanically the same as any other Renegade, it has a liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that displaces 280cc, and generates nearly 25bhp. It sends this power to the rear wheel via a six-speed gearbox and chain drive. Fuel injection and an always-on headlamp are present. There is a typical four-valve/short-stroke hesitancy at low revs, then a lovely surge of torque in the midrange, and the engine feels strained as it nears its redline. The gearing is surprisingly tall, so slipping the clutch a lot in start-stop traffic becomes a must to avoid stalling. The fuel injection could use a little more fine-tuning, as it not smooth at low engine speeds. Open the throttle, and when the midrange comes along, the Mojave pulls you along briskly with a very un-cruiser-like rev-happy exhaust note. However, there is nothing to be gained from revving it out to the redline; short shifting works better, in traditional cruiser fashion. The gearbox shifts smoothly and positively, and there are no missed shifts. The brakes comprise of a disc in the front and a drum at the rear, and the latter is surprisingly the better of the two. There is good feel and progression to it. The disc, on the other hand, has good initial bite but needs better progression to inspire confidence in the rider. The Renegade range has a very comfortable riding position, with the feet set forward but not too far forward, and the handlebar is close enough to be comfortable for short riders as well. It handles curves in a way that belies its looks – it is eager to turn, and hold the line. The tyres don’t offer as much feel as we’d like, but given their intended use, which is rough roads and dirt roads as well, they perform well. The suspension soaks up bumps really well, and rarely does it transmit shock to the rider’s posterior. Sharp ridges do catch it out, but it is a fair tradeoff to make for the stability it offers at triple-digit speeds. 

UM Renegade Mojave

UM Renegade Mojave

  • Displacement279.5 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)24.8 bhp
  • Kerb Weight179 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,85,526

The Renegade range's sweet spot is cruising in the 60-80kph range, but it will sit at 100kph as well without breaking a sweat.

Anything else I should know?

The pre-production Renegades had a long list of things that needed improvement, and UM has done a commendable job to improve them. There still are vibrations from the engine at certain revs, especially approaching the redline, and the fueling at low revs needs some more work. However, the American brand is now a real option for those who want something out of the ordinary. 

Should I buy one?

Like we just said – if you want a cruiser with American heritage (no matter how short), and you want to be different, the likes of the Mojave will appeal to you. UM India intends to manufacture 1500 examples of the Renegade range per month for now, which means your Mojave will always be as rare a sight as an oasis in the Mojave. 

Where does it fit in?

At Rs 1.8 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, the UM Mojave competes with other cruisers like the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 (Rs 1.88 lakh), and the Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm (Rs 1.78 lakh).

Photos: Kapil Angane