woke up to a rather lazy morning in the beautiful lake city of Lavasa. Having
stayed in Lavasa before it became my customary routine to first go and open the
window blinds. Every time I end up doing this I just sit and stare into the
endless abyss of the valley in which the lake lies. Since my childhood I have
always been fascinated by the unknown and it beckons me like the song bird to a
bard. For me living in a metro and working with a corporate house does not
present too many opportunities for that little child in me to have his day. But
today was that day where I could let the explorer out and go do something wild.
When I hear the word Mahindra the first thing that comes to my mind is off-road
adventure. And today I would be testing a Mahindra vehicle.
this is no ordinary Mahindra vehicle mind you! It is the big boy’s Gusto from
Mahindra Two Wheelers. I say big boy because it has a bigger engine which
produces more power and torque. To be specific the new Gusto is now available
with a 125cc engine. Now everyone would ask me this is just a scooter... what
the hell can you explore with a scooter? My response is quite simple; The last
time around I had a go at the 110cc Gusto I took it 3kms into the dunes of the
Desert at Khimsar, Rajasthan. Not only did the scooter manage to get me there
it also ferried me out hassle free. So I had planned to definitely push the
Gusto – 125 to its limits and see what I can get out of it.
124.6cc, Air cooled, 4-stroke, M-TEC
Underbone Steel Type, Tubular
Length x Width x
X 711mm X 1188mm
Front & Rear
130mm Mechanical Drum
Front & Rear
90/ 90 R-12 Tubeless
Kerb Weight (Kgs)
– 123, DX – 119
Estimated Price (INR)
Rs. 53,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)
the Gusto 125 has a 124.6cc engine which produces 8.5bhp and a peak torque of
10Nm. All of these numbers can be compared and co related with its competitors
but by Jove this scooter has something the others will never have - The
Mahindra off-road DNA. Mahindra has been manufacturing SUVs since ages and they
have perfected the art of making vehicles meant for India. This DNA has
definitely trickled down into their two-wheeler division. We tested the 125cc
Mahindra Gusto in Lavasa which offered a variety of terrain. In and around the
city we got some really smooth roads and as we moved away we got some really
bad roads as well. But that was not really what I had in mind to test this
scooter on. So I went in search of something that is worthy to wear the
off-road badge for our test. Alas we hit a spot where we could take the Gusto
down to the dried up lake bed.
Gusto 125 is supported by a telescopic air suspension in the front and a coil
type hydraulic suspension in the rear. The interesting part to note is we were
riding over really bad terrain; there was no tarmac just fine sand, rocks,
pebbles and sudden inclines. Apart from holding its own this scooter managed to
provide quite a comfy ride. The saddle is broad enough to fit a large adult
(me) and the cushion kept my rear cheeks quite cosy. The scooter rides on 90/
90 R-12 tubeless tyres in the front and rear. We did a lot of panic breaking on
and off the tarmac.... the tyres squealed and kicked up dust but not once did I
get the feeling that the brakes did not have enough bite. Another factor to
keep in mind while on bad roads (most Indian roads) or off the beaten track is
the ground clearance of your vehicle. Now I do admit wedging an SUV over a rock
can be a lot trickier than having the same happen with a scooter but one can
land in a much bitter pickle if you were riding at high speeds on off-road
tracks or bad roads. The ground clearance on the Gusto 125 is 165mm which is
quite decent by my standards considering that not once did I hit the underbody
despite managing a few jumps, riding over rocks bigger than my fist or through
deep crevasses created by the water current.
coming back to how fast you can go on the Gusto 125... Well it is not speed
which you will buy this one for. Yes it is fast there is no doubt about it but
the Gusto will pick up speed once it clears 6000rpm post its mid range where
the meat of the power band lies. So on road I was able to reach 75kmph in a
matter of seconds which should be sufficient to keep up and over take in city
traffic. The scooter does feel out of breath past the 75kmph mark but then
again “it isn’t built to do that”. The scooter also offers 10Nm of torque at
5500rpm and the VX variant (top end) which I rode weighs a 123kgs. That plus
the added weight of 86kgs of pure soulful human being (me) ended up in a total
of plus 200kgs. But this was not a problem for this gutsy scooter. It climbed
up steep inclines both off and on the road with ease and a determined self to
not let it give up. I also found that the ride of the Gusto 125 was quite a
sturdy one. It is not easily shaken up and feels well built. Going wild came so
that I knew it was more than capable for Indian roads I settled to find out
just how convenient this scooter was. The first thumbs up it got was for the
small pocket it has up front to hold your mobile phone and other pocket sized
things. Apart from that it has a baggage hook and a roomy under seat storage area.
But what really sets this one apart is the thinking gone behind its making. A
height adjustable seat for starters. Man, woman and kids all have different
heights and the seat can be adjusted for each user according to their
preference. The upper seating position is measured in at 770mm while the lowest
position is at 735mm. The second distinctive feature on this scooter is the LED
DRLs which have a follow me and guide me function. They may not make sense now
but in crowded parking spaces they can be precious time savers.
to sum it all up I can simply say that if you have driven a Mahindra Thar then
this has to be its counterpart in the 125cc scooter segment. It handled every
hurdle I threw its way with grace and finesse while ensuring I had a comfy ride.
The scooter also comes with new colour options – Orange Rush, Bolt White,
Monarch Black and Regal Red. The styling has been tweaked with a chrome plate
for the Mahindra logo and chrome accents around the turn indicators. The colour
scheme on the scooter also adds spunk and appeal to the offering. We estimate
it should be priced around the Rs. 53,000 mark (ex-showroom Delhi) which if
true would be a steal.
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