Mahindra Pantero : Road Test
Self-taught lessons are often the ones best learnt. While most of us shy away from having to learn things the hard way in the case of Mahindra’s two-wheeler division the promise of the present has in a sense worked as a pacifier to what was unmistakeably a suffocated start to their motorcycle foray here in India back in 2010.
Somewhere in the outskirts of Pune the company’s Rs 100 crore two-wheeler R&D facility has been working day and night to build this promising future, and the recently unveiled 110cc bikes, the Pantero and the Centuro are indicative of things finally moving in the right direction for Mahindra. Unlike the earlier Stallio and Mojo models which the company had a minimal role in designing and assembling, these two new 110cc motorcycles have been designed in-house by Mahindra at their state-of-the art R&D centre, and they have managed to design the bikes from scratch in all of 18-months.
The less premium of the two, the Pantero is now up for grabs pan India starting from a price of Rs 44,190 (ex-showroom Chennai) for the base variant and based on our first ride impressions the price seems quite befitting considering the product that is on offer. A closer inspection and longer distances now traversed astride Mahindra’s remarkable new motorcycle for the masses has managed not only to maintain that positive impression, but in doing so also earn for itself a few more brownie points that only time and our tests could have captured.
One that deserves a second glace
I am a little flummoxed to be very honest at this sudden creative inspiration that car and bike design engineers in our country have attributed to the ‘big cats’ out there in the wild, who we otherwise are quite content watching on The National Geographic channel every other Sunday afternoon. This has however, managed to produce some very attractive vehicle body styles in recent times, and the Pantero is certainly no exception.
The bike certainly has a very stylish aura about it, and that’s saying a lot considering its target consumer, who for the longest time believed an upgrade to a higher displacement motorcycle was the only way to get a few on lookers finally turn in their direction.