The 125cc scooter party is getting bigger by the day, and Mahindra has brought in another guest. So we took the new Gusto 125 out for a spin to see if it can dance.
The scooter market in India is doing extremely well, and consumers are doing even better – since they’re spoilt for choice. They can now chose between a number of options that offer added power without losing out on practicality. Honda has the Activa, Suzuki has the Access, and Vespa has, well, the Vespa 125. And even though Mahindra already has the Rodeo Uzo 125, they’ve decided to update the Gusto with a 125 cc engine – and first impressions are that it’s quite a good product.
The original Gusto is a good place to start, since it comes with some fantastic features that no other scooter offers – such as a remote flip key, seat height adjustment, find-me lamps, guide lamp, and convenient storage spaces. Even the design is more or less the same as the original Gusto, but the new additions are a new front apron with honeycomb meshed louvres, and some new dual-tone paint jobs. You’ll also find a chrome finish on the brake levers, handlebar, logo, engine cover strips, and silencer guard. On the whole, it’s a good design that makes the scooter look modern and fresh.
The engine is a nicely tuned 124.6cc, 4 Stroke, Air Cooled M-TEC engine, and the engineers seem to have done a good job to make it smooth and refined. The engine produces 8.5bhp and 10Nm of torque. When you get on the Gusto and start it, you begin to appreciate how smooth it sounds. Once you twist the throttle and are on your way, you’re even more appreciative of the initial acceleration that it provides. It’s quite nice initially, but the mid-range does seem to struggle a little bit – however, this could well be because I probably weigh more than the scooter. But the engine is smooth, the throttle response is on point, and it picks up speed well. Another point to notice about the engine is that once you get past the mid-range the bike reaches its top speed of 80km/h very easily – and it doesn’t feel strained or jittery at all at that speed.
Once on your way, the lightness of the bike and its wonderful suspension will also impress. We rode it on the hilly roads of Lavassa and the bike took on whatever came its way. The front telescopic forks, and the conventional single hydraulic coil spring shock absorber at the rear, together with the 12-inch tyres, work beautifully to provide great riding dynamics. The ride quality is nice and comfort levels are good.
Expectantly, the overall quality and the fit-and-finish aren’t on par with the Japanese scooters that rule our roads – but, as a new 125cc product, the Gusto 125 is very respectable. Mahindra has done a great job with the engine, and the impressive ride quality makes the scooter very usable on a daily basis. What’s crucial, though, is that the Gusto 125 be priced slightly lower than the Honda Activa 125 if it wants to draw in new customers to the brand.
- Mahindra Gusto 125
Engine: 124.6cc / 4 Stroke / Air Cooled M-TEC
Power: 8.5bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque: 10Nm @ 5500rpm