Review: Mahindra Pantero
Think about a 100cc motorcycle and there are some obvious names that pop - Honda Dream Yuga, Hero Splendor, Bajaj Discover, and so on. A Mahindra Pantero would probably not be the first thing to come to your mind; if it even comes to mind that is. The Pantero is Mahindra’s second attempt in the 100cc segment after the ill-fated Stallio, and this time things seem to have started on the right foot.
The Pantero still looks exactly the same as the Stallio, though Mahindra claims it's an all new bike. Visually, it's not awe-inspiring, but it is in line with the competition. Body graphics and a thick rubber strip running though the center of the tank add a bit of distinction to the bike compared to the other 100cc bikes available.
Riding the Pantero for a while makes the bike’s intentions clear - this is no-nonsense commuter bike. With that fact accepted, it manages to impress. Seating position is upright and the gear pattern is all up, very much like the Hero Splendor. Seats are well cushioned to keep the rider comfortable even on long rides.
The optional digital speedo and fuel meter is easy to read and comes with features like trip meter and digital clock. That said, we would suggest buyers to opt for the analog pod, as they are more reliable in the long run.
The 106cc motor makes 8.4bhp and 8.5Nm of torque and it feels refined. It has a strong low and mid-range performance, but push the engine above its comfort zone of 7000rpm and vibration starts creeping in. The Pantero can clock a top speed of 85kph, although it sounds happiest cruising at 65-70kph. Riding the Pantero in city traffic, it managed to cough up a respectable mileage of 48.9kpl.
The ride is pretty impressive on the highway. There is no vibration and the suspensions swallow most of the uneven surface. Even the city’s worst potholes did not mange to shake the Pantero's composure.
Riding for a long distance is not a problem, but stopping it is. The drum brakes upfront feel inadequate for the job, and most of the times, the brake leaver has to be pressed hard to stop the bike. We would have preferred a front disc-brake option over a digital speedo. This was the only notable grouse we have with the otherwise fairly sorted product.
Overall the Mahindra Pantero did manage to impress with little value features that are usually not seen in this segment. Add to that the aggressive price tag of Rs 44,190 (ex-showroom Chennai) and the Pantero makes a strong case for itself.
Single cylinder, 106.7cc, 8.4bhp, 8.5Nm, 4M, 120kg, Rs 44,190 (ex-showroom Chennai)
Mahindra has put all its resources together and come up with a solid product, which also offers good value for money.