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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

Last updated on: January 22, 2013 14:14 IST

IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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How does Mahindra's two-wheeler Pantero size up against Splendor Plus, Discover 100T and Dream Yuga? Jyotsana Gupta of BikeDekho weighs in Pantero against its competition.

Commuter bikes have always been favourites of Indian riders. With their light weight, decent looks, easy handling, unmatched durability and reasonable pricing, they form a segment that might be running low on the charisma, but is better loaded than any other category of bikes when it comes to practicality.

All through last year the bike industry has been busy rolling out one commuter bike after another, raising the competition level to bursting point. And now that Mahindra & Mahindra have entered the arena with the Pantero, the temperatures are only going to peak further. After the not-so-successful venture with Stallio back in 2010, this is the second time that M&M have entered the field to test their luck in the lucrative bike market.

And so, here we are, taking a look at what exactly this newbie is up against.

Courtesy 




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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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Looks and appearance

Three contenders from the three biggest bike-makers in India -- Hero MotoCorp Splendor Plus, Bajaj Discover 100T and Honda Dream Yuga -- are the rivals that the newly-launched Mahindra Pantero needs to look out for.

Starting with the appearance, Mahindra Pantero borrows most of its styling cues from its solitary predecessor, Stallio, sporting a similar front profile and bold character lines spanning the entire structure. What adds a spark to its otherwise modest outfit are a trendy sticker job, interesting decals and a contemporary digital front console.

As for its competitors, Bajaj Discover 100T easily leaves Pantero, along with Dream Yuga and Splendor Plus, behind with its handsome bikini fairing, state-of-the-art graphics and sharp cuts and contours.




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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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What highlights the new Discover's smart design plan further is its ergonomic seating, which helps the rider maintain a comfortable posture on the move.

As far as the other two competitors are concerned, Splendor has never been known for its head-turning capabilities and has always been admired more for the fabulous mechanicals that reside under that simple attire. Dream Yuga, however, has been blessed with some exquisite curves and striking edges that make it stand at par with, if not a notch higher than, the Pantero. 




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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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Engine and performance

Moving ahead to take a look at the machinery that drives these sturdy commuters around, Mahindra & Mahindra have developed a new power-mill, called as the MCI-5, to propel the Pantero. Capable of churning out a peak 8.38bhp at 7500rpm for a top 8.5Nm of torque generated at 5500rpm, this 106.7cc engine has been paired up with a smooth and slick 4-speed gearbox to deliver an impressive mileage of 79.5kmpl (as per the Automotive Research Association of India).

However, it is Bajaj Discover 100T, once again, that leads the group here with its mighty 102cc, 4-valve, DTS-i mill for which the top output reaches out to 10.06bhp at 9000rpm while the torque maxes out at 9.2Nm at 6500rpm.




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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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And while Hero MotoCorp Splendor tends to fall one step behind its Mahindra rival, owing to its smaller air-cooled, 97.2cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, 7.39bhp, OHC mill, Honda Dream Yuga, yet again, occupies a position right next to Pantero.

With an air-cooled, 109cc, 4-stroke, SI engine acting as power-house, Dream Yuga features a peak 8.5bhp output at 7500rpm for a maximum of 8.91Nm of torque at 5500rpm.




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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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Brand value

Lying low for all this time, Splendor Plus moves right ahead to stand at the top of the queue when the spotlight turns to brand value. Hero MotoCorp, not only has the largest but also the most trusted manufacturer of two-wheelers in India, falls second to none when it comes to after-sales services, customer-satisfaction and resale value.

While, on one hand, a bike bearing the badge of Hero MotoCorp gets naturally entitled to a handsome resale value irrespective of its age in the Indian market, Bajaj rides, on the other hand, have to face an inexplicable negativity whenever the subject changes to resale reputation. As for Honda, the company is known for its amazing technology bank and, hence, has a pretty strong standing in the market.




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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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The area where the Japanese maker falls back, however, is its dealership network, which has not yet spread quite as far and wide as it needs to if it has to compete with the expansive network of its former ally, Hero MotoCorp.

Moving on to Mahindra, the manufacturer, no doubt, enjoys a commanding position in the world of cars, but when it comes to bikes, it is still a fresher and that's what leaves a considerably wide stretch of land before this maker before it comes neck to neck with its arch rivals.




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IN PICS: Mahindra Pantero vs the rest

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Verdict

As the final verdict, we can say that the Indian bike industry, and particularly the commuter segment, is brimming with options right now, each of which has something unique and exciting to offer its buyers. In a scenario like this, it can get exceptionally difficult for a newbie like Mahindra Pantero to carve a distinct niche for itself in the market.

Especially when, to carve that niche, it would need to beat the stunning looks and power-packed engine of Bajaj Discover 100T, move ahead of its closest competitor from Japan's legendary Honda clan, the Dream Yuga, and take on the unshakable reign of Hero MotoCorp: something that no manufacturer has been able to achieve till date.

However, only time will tell, how things will actually turn out for the Pantero. 




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