Mahindra & Mahindra has long been a respected name in the Indian industry. After a long stint as a manufacturer of commercial vehicles, including LCVs, and MUVs like the popular Scorpio and Xylo, they stepped into the two wheeler market in 2008 by acquiring Kinetic Motors. As MTWL, Mahindra Two Wheelers Limited, the company is now firmly set to be a formidable player in the scooter and the motor cyclesegment.
Mahindra’s two wheeler campaign had started out with their scooters and their range comprising of Duro, Flyte, Rodeo and Kine have all done fairly well against market leaders like Activa and Access. They entered the motorcycle segment in 2010 with the Stallio which, unfortunately, could not be continued on account of issues pertaining to its gearbox. But Mahindra bikes soon bounced back onto the Indian roads and in 2012, two solid performers were launched simultaneously. These were the Centuro and the Pantero.
The Pantero was positioned as an entry level offering. A 110 cc engine churning out 8.5 BHP, it came with the MCI-5 which stood for Micro Chip Ignited 5 Curve technology, a proprietary innovation by the engineers at Mahindra. The advantage here is the optimal use of gear to get the best balance between good mileage and power. The styling is sleek and decidedly urban. A digital instrument cluster, LED head and tail lamps, an aerodynamic fuel tank complement the seat which is one of the longest that can be seen. The ride quality and the handling are also impressive and give a glimpse of the kind of quality that we can look forward to in Mahindra bikes. A value for money bike, the Pantero is right for those looking for an affordable vehicle to commute in the city without compromising on either power or mileage.
The Centuro, on the other hand, is the premium offering from Mahindra. Its styling is more of the brawny, muscular kind and is clearly one that will boast of superlative features aimed at the motorcycle lover ready to pay a little more. Its confidence inspiring to buy a bike with a five year warranty and only a well thought out product can stand that test. It’s clear that Mahindra has put a lot of effort here and that shows in features like ‘find me’ lamp to help find the bike in crowded areas, an anti-theft alarm and guide lamps – all features that can be only found in four wheelers, that too the costlier types. There is even a touch of class in the flip key and broad seats. The handing and the ride are best in class, as is the fuel economy.
With another launch of their new bike, Mojo, Mahindra bikes are here to stay on Indian roads.