Bike tested: 2012 Mahindra Duro DZ
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 49,000/-
The Mahindra Duro has got its first set of upgrades in the form of the DZ variant. The new Duro incorporates many thoughtful changes to the scooter, making it a better vehicle. Mahindra 2 Wheelers has been careful with the changes to the Duro with customer feedback playing an important role. The company has also done various trial runs with customers to ensure the Duro DZ is actually an drastically improved product. We took the Mahindra Duro on a ride in hilly Lavasa to find out how it fares.
[singlepic id=8290 w=540 h=375 float=center]
Styling – Not much has changed here. Mahindra 2 Wheelers had given its employees the Duro DZ for testing for quite some time and little did people notice that it looks different. Yes, there are slight changes to the styling, like the bigger headlight (with halogen bulb), clear lens indicators, bigger mirrors, larger seat and bigger grab rails. However the overall styling of the Mahindra Duro looks largely unchanged with the scooter still pleasing to look at. The handlebars have been raised slightly, while the tyres now make do with four point mounting. The body uses lots of parts made with fiber, replacing the heavier plastic parts. The overall changes are still minute and could go unnoticed to a layman but the Duro now appears bigger overall.
[singlepic id=8302 w=540 h=375 float=center]
Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – The new instrumentation is finished in black and consists of a odometer, fuel gauge, indicator and high beam warning lights. This is an all new unit and a welcome change from the rather dated white coloured console found on the standard Duro. The dials are now slightly smaller but are easier to read. The speedometer has marking for economy zone (30-50 kmph) which is missing on the old Duro.
[singlepic id=8293 w=540 h=375 float=center]
The bigger mirrors now offer better vision while the switchgear quality could have been better. The switch feel is good but could have been a step ahead. There is ample storage space on the Mahindra Duro. The underseat storage can accommodate a full sized helmet, which is by far the best we have seen in this segment. The front inner box can accommodate some small things as well. The seats are now broader and more comfortable to sit on as well.
[singlepic id=8305 w=540 h=375 float=center]
Performance – The Mahindra Duro continues to be powered by the same 124.6 cc, 4-stroke engine, which produces 8 HP of power at 7000 RPM and 9 Nm of torque at 5500 RPM. Start the engine and the first thing you notice is the silent starter motor. Performance is very good and the Mahindra Duro never feels underpowered, even on steep inclines with a pillion on-board. It reaches 50 km/h quickly and effortlessly and has a top speed of 80 kmph. Power delivery is very linear and the engine is very refined. However power starts trailing once you start reaching higher revvs, clearly showing the lack of top end grunt.
The CVT gearbox is excellent and gives no judder at any speed. It also minimizes engine braking and prevents rapid deceleration when you untwist off the throttle. The Duro returns 53 kmpl as per Indian Driving Cycle and one can expect around 48 kmpl in the real world. This gives the Duro a range of 285 kms on its 6-liter fuel tank. The Duro’s closest rival, the Suzuki Access 125, returns an IDC mileage of 47 kmpl, which makes the Duro slightly more fuel efficient.
[singlepic id=8308 w=540 h=375 float=center]
Ride, Handling and Braking – One of the biggest changes to the Duro DX is the change of front suspension from a unit link type to a telescopic one. The ground clearance too has been increased and is now 155 mm (without load) against the 115 mm in the old Duro. This means that the Duro won’t hug speed-breakers like it used to earlier. The ride quality is now much better and even with the pillion on board, it does not bottom out. The large wheelbase makes the handling more surefooted and predictable. The increased handle bar height makes it easy to maneuver for tall passengers alike, my colleague really appreciated this.
[singlepic id=8309 w=540 h=375 float=center]
The Duro incorporates a very thoughtful new feature known as the brake lever lock. One can simply lock the rear brake by pulling a small lever, preventing the bike from tripping over when parked. The same 130 mm drums take care of braking duty but work better thanks to the improvements in the suspension. The brakes are more effective and the Duro tends to stop easier then its predecessor.
[singlepic id=8315 w=540 h=375 float=center]
Conclusion – The Mahindra Duro DZ is not exactly a facelift. Instead its a new variant of the Duro, which incorporates significant changes. Mahindra will continue to sell the old Duro, with the new one being marketed under the Duro DX moniker. The company has not announced the prices yet, but with the changes being very significant, the Duro DX makes a very strong case for itself, becoming vastly improved. We expect the Duro DX to be priced around Rs. 4000/- more than the standard Duro, making it an excellent alternative in the scooter segment.
[singlepic id=8313 w=540 h=375 float=center]
* Improved Ride
* Brake lever lock
* Underseat storage
Whats Not So Cool
* Switchgear quality could improve
* Top end power