Mahindra 2 Wheelers may be a young entrant to the gearless scooter segment, but they are slowly establishing their credentials as a serious player with a long term view of things.
We were among the first to bring you the news that Mahindra had been working on an update to the Gusto family scooter, and that it would come with a larger, 125cc engine, featuring a healthy bump in both, power and torque. Well, Mahindra decided that they were ready with their updated Gusto 125 and invited us over for a preview of their latest offering in the gearless scooter segment.
Mahindra have carried out some subtle changes on the styling front, and though it remains an evolutionary take, the Gusto 125's lines have a characteristic freshness over its 110cc sibling. The stacked logo, down the flanks at the rear, looks particularly fetching and Mahindra will be offering the Gusto 125 in four distinctive colours: orange rush, bolt white, monarch black and regal red.
Mahindra is offering each colour option with its own styling combination. The orange rush bike that we had with us, featured a white fender. The lower part of the front apron as well as the running board down the side too was finished in white. The graphics were finished in contrasting colours, while the under-body got the all-black treatment.
Continuing in the belief that these scooters are used by family members across age and size ranges, Mahindra have offered all the innovative and hugely thoughtful features on the Gusto 125 that were such a hit on the 110cc version. The height-adjustable seating, its rear-hinged design, remote-flip key and the nifty storage space near the speedo-housing all make a successful appearance here as well.
In the braking department, the Gusto 125 continues with the 130mm drum set up at both ends. The rear brake is sharp and offers excellent bite, while the one at the front is more progressive. Mahindra have intentionally set it in this manner, keeping the riding sensibilities of the target group in mind. That having said, Mahindra should have offered a disc-set up at the front (even if as an option), from the word go.
The Gusto 125 is more or less similar in size as its smaller engine sibling. It measures 1825 mm end-to-end, is 711 mm wide and 1188 mm tall. The wheelbase and the ground clearance too is the same at 1275 mm and 165 mm respectively.
Coming to the single-biggest change, the engine. The 124.6cc air-cooled, four-stroke motor is part of the M-Tec engine family.
Max power generated is 8.5 bhp at 7000 rpm, while it churns out 10 Nm torque at 5500 rpm.
On paper, these figures are quite respectable and on-par with the competition. The Gusto 125's weight varies from, 119 kg for the lower-spec DX variant, to 123 kg for the top-end VX variant.
As you make yourself comfortable on the well-cushioned seat and thumb the starter, you're reminded by just how smooth and vibe-free the engine is. Mahindra have once again done a great job here. Twist off the throttle and the power bump over the smaller engine variant is immediately felt.
The Gusto 125 feels a lot sprightlier and accelerates briskly than before. The punch from the higher capacity motor is noticeable and even when two-up, the scooter negotiated the uphill turns of Lavasa with the minimum amount of fuss.
The air-sprung, telescopic set up at the front and the hydraulic, coil type at the rear make for a very soft, cushy ride. 12-inch wheels and tubeless tires complete the set up.
Riding over the brief, broken stretch of road, the Gusto 125 soaked up the bumps rather well. With a single rider on board, things were fine, but it did feel a tad softer than it should have been, and things might get too bouncy when riding two up over broken roads.
Something, a proper road-test should reveal at a later stage. The company didn't mention the pricing and informed us that it will be unveiled after the Auto Expo 2016 in February.
All-in-all, the Gusto 125 impressed us with its engine power and refinement of the platform. The ride-quality and ability to soak up bumps, together with the way she turned corners speaks volumes of Mahindra's growing ability in this segment.
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