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Review: Mahindra Rodeo RZ
Driven August 2012
'All new.' There’s that phrase again. And this time, it’s plastered all over the Rodeo RZ. So, is it? Nah, not really. What it is, though, is an improvement on what was already an accomplished and capable scooter. Apparently, customers of the older Rodeo feedbacked that it had poor ground clearance, and that fuel efficiency wasn’t great. Mahindra has now rectified these issues so there’s a lesser chance of you being in a foul mood every time you pass over a speedbreaker on the way to the pump.
Looks-wise, it seems as if Mahindra hired a rainbow for its Rodeo assembly line. And it’s no bad thing at all – since the body panels are still a bit anonymous-looking, the brighter colours help. So, everything’s still the same, and that’s no bad thing either. You get a well-kitted-out scooter that boasts features most of its rivals don’t.
A digital instrument cluster that changes colours (don’t ask why), a tachometer, a fuel filler in the front apron and telescopic front forks among others. Even better, despite reworking the carburettor to deliver better fuel efficiency, the Rodeo’s 125cc motor doesn’t seem to have lost any of its performance, delivering 8bhp and 9Nm with considerable gusto.
The sprightly performance is also because the Rodeo is a compact little scooter – certainly tinier than comparable 125cc scooters.
There might be people who think it’s not good for a 125cc scooter to be the size of a TVS Scooty, but I say why not? Other than the lack of size, the Rodeo packs more punch in every other department. After all, light weight, good fuel efficiency and features are what customers ask for in this segment, though not necessarily in that order.
With its performance, features and value for money, the Rodeo is a very real contender for ‘best scooter in the country’. So why is it not the best-selling scooter in the country? Because it doesn’t have the visibility of a Honda. It’ll be interesting to see if the Rodeo RZ turns into a little bull in the scooter-china shop.
125cc, single cylinder, 8bhp, 9Nm, automatic, 111kg
Not as new as Mahindra claims, but a brilliant scooter nonetheless