Aamir Khan endorses it and it also happens to be the first motorcycle from Mahindra 2 Wheelers. Yes, it’s the Stallio and here is our first impression of the motorcycle. The styling of the Stallio is par for the course, to be honest. To me, it’s a decent looker, but not stunning enough to leave a lasting impression. On the other hand, I think the bright yellow paint job of the specimen handed to us made it stand out on the road as well as in the parking lot. Note to reader: if you’re buying a Stallio, don’t forget to pick the brightest of colours.
At first glance, the sloper engine seems very familiar – the CD 100 comes to mind. The 106cc motor puts out 7.2 bhp@7500 rpm, with the torque figure rated at 0.8 kgm@5500 rpm. The specs aren’t pathbreaking and are more or less on par with the competition.
On the roll, the Stallio holds its own, with power coming in early. However, the motor begins to get vibey at about 4500 rpm and keeps climbing. At about 6500 rpm, your tooth fillings are rattling and the pegs are sending you large clumps of tingles through your feet. A good thing? Er, unfortunately not.
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The instrumentation borrows heavily from the Rodeo, which that means the Stallio gets digital everything. By everything, I mean a smart-looking tacho that encircles the speedo and the fuel gauge. The tell-tale lights are on the left side and from the looks of it, they seem to be an afterthought. I say this because they’re extremely small and hard to read when riding. Mahindra has been thoughtful enough to include some handy storage space in plastic cabinets slung below the tank. To access them, you need the key. To put them back, you need the patience of a saint along with the steady hands of a surgeon. A strip of rubber/plastic runs over the tank, encompassing the fuel filler cap and it even has a bit of padding on it.
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Braking is achieved through a set of drum brakes at the front and at the rear. The rear brake, I liked. The front stopper? Well, it seemed purely for effect and symmetry of design. Grab it and it doesn’t do much by way of getting the bike to stop, nor does it offer much feel – what the Stallio needs desperately is a disc brake, at least as an optional extra. I’m sure Mahindra will be introducing one in the near future. The overall build quality of the Stallio tells you that this motorcycle was built to a price. The plastics jut out and there are gaps in the panels that are rather large. I acknowledge the fact that in this segment, budgets are tighter than an accountant’s generosity, but the trick is to do it in such a way that the customer doesn’t notice. Sadly, the Stallio slips a bit in this department.
What you should buy the Stallio for is its ride quality. The Mahindra simply glides over all undulations like butter on a hot pan, and it’s only the worst potholes that actually make it through the suspension. The pliant suspension comes at a trade off, though – cornering stability. Gentle tackling of corners aboard the Stallio is completely okay, but attack a kink with gusto and the Mahindra’s soft suspension setup can make for a hair-raising experience.
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However, since the Stallio is a commuter, its city-handling lives up to towards this cause. Light and agile, the Mahindra will dart through traffic with ease, leaving many larger motorcycles stuck in traffic-congested chaos. A park bench-like seat that is both wide and spacious helps to keep your time on the Stallio a comfortable one. Riding ergonomics are upright and should go a long way in keeping away fatigue after arduous urban riding. But the handlebar, though nice and high, bends inward towards the rider and can get a little hard on the wrists after a while.
All in, the Stallio does what it is asked to do and that’s about it. Think of it as an appliance or a tool – it will do what it was designed for. You can’t really form an emotional bond with the Stallio and if you desire more out of it, chances are that you will be disappointed. Oh, and I repeat myself, if you’re interested in buying a Stallio, remember to buy one in a bright colour. You’ll thank me later!