Mahindra Mojo XT300 Review
While Mahindra & Mahindra’s legacy stretches to over half a century, its two-wheeler business is still quite young. The company just has a handful of models in its portfolio (only one of which is a motorcycle) and their sales performance is nothing to write home about. At such a time, the Mojo represents a giant leap for Mahindra.
What is it?
While Mahindra & Mahindra’s legacy stretches to over half a century, its two-wheeler business is still quite young. The company just has a handful of models in its portfolio (one of which is a motorcycle) and their sales performance is nothing to write home about. At such a time, the Mojo represents a giant leap for Mahindra.
The Mahindra Mojo is poles apart from the first prototype that was unveiled at the 2010 Auto Expo, and Mahindra has spent all this time evolving it from a straight-out streetfighter into a long distance touring motorcycle. We rode the production-ready version of the Mahindra Mojo for over 650 kilometres from Bangalore to Coorg and back and here are our first impressions of the bike.
How does it ride?
Over the 650 odd kilometres, we went through different kinds of terrains including asphalt highways, village roads, twisty ghat sections and a small section of kutcha country roads. All these highlighted the Mahindra Mojo’s capabilities and its versatility at adapting to different types of roads. It doesn’t take long to get used to the Mahindra Mojo’s demeanour.
The Mahindra Mojo’s twin tube frame encases a 300cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine which delivers 28bhp and 30Nm of torque through a six-speed transmission. There isn’t any sign of aggression that you would expect from a naked motorcycle, even when you wring the throttle hard. The Bosch fuel management system ensures that the power is delivered in a very laid-back and civilised manner, though most of it accessible only past 5000rpm. The engine shudders below 3000rpm, which means that you have to keep doing the first and second gear dance while ambling through city traffic. The sixth gear on the other hand, is only suitable for speeds over 80kmph.
The highway is the Mahindra Mojo’s natural habitat and it can keep cruising at triple digit speeds all day long. The 100kmph to 120kmph roll-on in the sixth gear is instantaneous and comes handy while overtaking on highways. The front does feel light and shaky when you go over a bump or other undulations at high speeds though the suspension instantly takes care of this. The lazy steering rake and long wheelbase ensures outstanding straight line stability, without hampering the bike’s agility in city traffic or in corners. The trade-off is a quite large turning radius, which required us to back up every time we needed to take a U-turn on narrow village roads.
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres offer phenomenal grip on all kinds of roads. We encountered some rain on our way to Coorg and this condition notably highlighted the tyres’ capabilities in the wet. However, being a bi-compound radial, we can expect the tread life of these Pirelli tyres to be less than what we get from standard tyres, and replacing these can also become an expensive affair. Personally, I feel that Mahindra should offer the Pirelli tyres as an optional extra, just like Benelli does for the TNT 300.
Anything else I should know?
Everything on the Mojo feels like it has been built to a specification, without compromise. The switchgear quality is top notch and is on par with the best in the class. Mahindra is offering a lot of premium kit with the Mojo including Pirelli tyres, LED DRLs and tail lamps, disc brakes at the front and rear, USD front forks and an adjustable rear mono shock. Besides the basic functionalities, the instrument cluster gets a host of features like speed test meter which records the 0-100kmph time, a maximum speed recorder, a malfunction light and an RPM recorder. The Mojo also incorporates an innovative ‘limp home mode’ feature, which automatically restricts the engine speed to 5000rpm whenever it detects an engine malfunction, thereby preventing further damage.
Given that it’s a naked motorcycle and the windshield on the bikini fairing is minuscule, the wind blast on highways is quite conspicuous. The radiator shroud isn’t just a decorative piece as it is very effective in directing heat away from your legs. Though we could not test out the exact fuel efficiency, we can safely expect the massive 21-litre fuel tank to offer a real world range of over 600 kilometres.
Should I buy one?
Mahindra’s design allows a lot of room for comfort. The tall handlebar, cushy seat and the forward-set footpegs offer a very relaxed riding position, and apart from its small dimension, the pillion seat isn’t very bad either. I for one, am not a big fan of its looks. But yes, you cannot deny the fact that the Mahindra Mojo is quite a head turner, especially in the red and white paint scheme. Helping its cause are the meaty Pirelli radial tyres, the twin exhaust system, the beetling bikini fairing and the trademark golden ribs. So if you need a comfortable, feature-loaded and refined touring motorcycle, and enjoy the attention, then yes, this bike would be perfect for you.
Where does it fit in?
The Indian two-wheeler market is a lot different than it was five years ago. The 200cc to 300cc marketplace now has some well-established contenders, each with their set of strong points. Mahindra has pegged the motorcycle as a touring motorcycle, though this doesn’t make it immune from facing competition from a range of motorcycles including the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, KTM Duke 390 and the Honda CBR250R.
Royal Enfield customers opt for their products for their comfort, the brand’s legacy and the grandeur that the motorcycles portray. The Duke 390 is an outright performance-focussed streetfighter, the best of its kind. The CBR 250R is an entry-level sportsbike and long distance touring motorcycle rolled into one. The Mahindra Mojo on the other hand, offers a mixed bag of premium features, respectable performance, good riding dynamics and high levels of refinement. In the end however, with India being a highly price-conscious market, the sticker price of the Mahindra Mojo is what will play a major role in deciding its fate.
Photography: Sanchit Arora
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