Apr 4, 2016

Riding Mojo

Have followed the Mahindra Mojo story ever since it was announced 5 years back. Was glad to know its about eventual launch with very much the same design that was shown so many years back. And finally was able to check it out in my city.

The bike is huge. Fit and finish felt good. White and red colored bike felt far far more pleasing to the eyes than the black one.

The default sound of the engine is really good. But for the one that I test-rode, they had removed the mufflers so that it could sound even louder. The sales guy explained, people want louder sounds in order to feel like a heavy bike. I can understand his point since I hear so many superbike riders rev their bikes real hard as they cross the busy street outside.

The sitting posture is upright. I am not a fast rider so I could barely take it beyond 60kmph in the little stretch I rode the Mojo for. Yes, the bike felt really really stable. I am not surprised so many Mojo riders and reviewers feel good on the highways.

These days I often look for nimbleness whichever bike I test-ride. The worst point about this bike is the one that strikes the most to the onlooker. Yesss, the twin-headlight console attached to the handle-bars section of the motorcycle. To me the console felt way too heavy, and so the handle-bar has a certain heft which doesn't lend itself to nimble handling. Again, it could just be a matter of habit but I felt the same problem when I rode the Pulsar 200NS and when I used to ride my Bullet way back in 2006-07. Mojo has been developed as a tourer, and on the highways, I suppose, one wouldn't have to handle in the way that one does in city conditions. When seen that way, it might not look like such a big drawback. But I prefer lightness and nimbleness when it comes to swing-arms whether for within-city-riding or highway riding.

Since I have been riding the Yamaha FZ for 5 years now, I obviously do find it a great motorcycle for city riding. Way before I bought the FZ, I got a chance to ride the R15 for quite a few days soon after it was launched. I still remember the experience. And now I understand how well designed these motorcycles are. On occasions, especially on widely spaced roads, they might feel just slightly under-powered but they are so amazing to handle. I've test-ridden the Duke200 as well and I have a similar impression regarding its handling. So nimble.

Two points about motorcycle handling I realize. No matter the bulk of the motorcycle in totality, the handle-bars or swing-arms should feel nimble. Obviously it contributes when there are fewer things attached to the handle-bars section of the motorcycle. And when it comes to city-riding, 200cc is just about the right (safe and enjoyable) capacity for even enthusiasts.

I've to test-ride the Pulsar 200AS now. And am eagerly waiting for KTM's 200cc adventure version for India. Hoping it'll be out soon. I've saved some money for a new motorcycle.

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