What if I told you that you could make changes, changes to your genetic code to better who you are.. What will you change in the six billion letters of your DNA? Well, I ask this because it took Mahindra 5 years to find the right match, 5 long years of research and development to finally unleash the Mojo! The first indigenous 295cc liquid cooled motorcycle from the only Indian manufacturer who competes in the Moto3 World Championship, the stepping stone to Moto GP. Well, I am not too sure what to make of it. I mean there is a lot to like in this bike. I love some of the individual elements such as the LED tail light, the fat Pirelli tyre, the stubby dual exhaust and the beefy inverted forks! But when I step back and look at it as a whole, it just doesn’t come together for me. I mean, It will turn heads no doubt about that but more so for its unconventional looks, which according to me is a mismatch of sorts. In fact, the design serves almost as a visual representation of the quandary that the bike is. I am not sure how many of you know this, but the first ever teaser released by Mahindra a few years ago showcased the Mojo being tested on a race track. That is what it was meant to be, a sporty naked. The evidence still lies in the equipment that the Mojo boasts of. The dual exhaust design like on Mahindra’s Moto 3 race bike, largest in class 320mm disc up front with radial calipers, super sticky Pirelli Rosso II tyres, closed loop fuel injection system, instrument cluster equipped with a shift light, a top speed indicator and the list? Well it just goes on…. But midway in it’s development Mahindra decided to alter its genetic code, from sport to touring. So the inverted forks and the monoshock were tweaked to have a travel of 143mm, the wheelbase became longer than the Kawasaki H2, the tank capacity was increased to 21 litres pushing the weight of the bike close to 186kgs and despite having DOHC setup, the engine revs were restricted to 9,000rpm. and the transformation was complete… And to be fair the changes work. The sacrificed top end has given way to highest in class torque, 30Nm at just 5500rpm all delivered in a smooth linear fashion courtesy the brilliant fueling on this bike. That’s enough juice to see you cruise effortlessly even in the tall 6th gear Although you won’t mind shifting gears as the gearbox is well weighted and precise! The reduced load on the engine has it keeps the vibes at bay Across the meat of the power band. The cooling system works really well, keeping the engine temperature in check and the suspension tweaks deliver outstanding ride quality on the Mojo which is easily the best in class! But if you are looking at long hours in the saddle, this is still a naked which means there is no wind protection and the ergonomics though nice and upright don’t support the back too well. But what has taken the biggest hit, is the sporting credentials of the Mojo. The weight, the long wheelbase and raked out front, makes for slow turn ins and poor feedback from the front. And even if I decide to blindly trust the grip from the Rosso II’s, the bike’s poor cornering clearance severely restricts your lean angle. I mean, the side stand scrapes when I start leaning left and the exhaust heat plate on the right! That is quite a waste of really expensive resources if you ask me! The brakes are the same. They fail to deliver both in terms of bite and feel despite the size and high end equipment! Probably upgrading the brake pads could solve this. Honestly, I feel that the Honda CBR 250R, still makes a stronger case when it comes to long distance touring in the same price bracket. The fairing offers more appeal and protection, the engine and the gearbox are just as refined if not more. It comes with ABS as an option and the best thing for me is that it strikes the right balance between sporty and touring. It is comfortable yet track worthy. And although the Mojo can handle broken tarmac or unpaved roads Still, if you want to go off-roading, the Himalayan will be your best bet thanks to the ground clearance and the long travel suspension. Make no mistake, I have high praise and regard for Mahindra for what they have accomplished with the first generation big capacity motorcycle. I mean the level of refinement matches some of the motorcycles which have been on the market for years and years together! The only thing that I wished being a racer is that Mahindra had persisted with the original genetic recipe for the Mojo. and given us a real taste of their racing pedigree that has put India on the map!

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