Now before you begin to question why Royal Enfield, KTM and Benelli haven't been included in this equation, I implore you to comprehend the stark similarity between the Bajaj Dominar 400 and the Mahindra Mojo. We'll let Royal Enfield skip this one simply because of its retro styling and very basic equipment when compared to the likes of these two; the Himalayan also happens to have the off-road adventure touring card up its sleeve. And we'll skip the KTMs and Benellis because of the vastly contrasting nature, and purpose of the motorcycles. What we are left with is two motorcycles that have modern naked styling, touring intent, comparable equipment features, similar dimensions, and would probably hold the attention of the same type of motorcyclist (riding-wise and budget-wise). Plus, both these motorcycles have equally entertaining tag-lines; 'Unleash your Mojo' and 'Dominate the Night' (dramatic much?).
The powder room
Both the Dominar 400 and the Mojo are styled along the lines of new-age, naked sports tourers. Mahindra may admit that the Mojo is a tourer, but Bajaj have decided to call the Dominar a power cruiser (Ducati may still be scratching their heads in bewilderment). While the Mojo has a facade that could appear bulky and awkward, it does have a certain charm to it that a few enthusiasts would really love. Let's face it, it does look rather intimidating and could be mistaken for a larger motorcycle. The eyebrow-like LED strips above the headlights may make the Mojo appear like an angry owl, or one of the Angry Bird video game characters maybe, but it does look quite nice. The Dominar 400's headlight setup on the other hand, while still quite beefy, looks the more proportional of the two. And that mosaic-like LED setup looks fresh and appealing, although it could very well be mistaken for one of the transformer's heads.
The Mojo's instrument cluster consists of an analogue tachometer that lights up with the revs, and a digital readout for the speedometer and other information. It can, however, get a bit hard to read in direct sunlight and is overly bright during night riding, which reduces a bit of vision in completely unlit situations. Bajaj have yet again gone more of the way of the Diavel with the Dominar's speedometer console. It gets a split console, with the handle-mounted one being all digital and quite easy to read, and the tank mounted LED-one with warning lights.
The tank on the Mojo is angular and chunky, and it gets these thick radiator shrouds on either side that compliment the exposed twin-rib chassis. Bajaj's fledgling on the other hand, appears to have the better tank design of the two. It could very well be a Botox-induced Pulsar NS 200 tank, but it does appear well-sculpted and mature. The elongated single seat setup on the Mojo seems functional, but the Dominar's split-seat setup looks wider and could very well be the more comfortable one. The protruding tail end on the Mojo is unconventional and looks quite nice by itself but compare it to the rest of the motorcycle and things start to get a bit disproportionate. The Dominar's tail end looks nice and thick and sports Bajaj's typical vertical twin-strip setup. But wait; doesn't the Diavel also have something quite similar? And where the Mojo unnecessarily gets two metal finished silencers (that do sound quite nice, actually), the Dominar gets a nice thick, matte-black finished single silencer that adds to its overall appeal.
Beneath the surface
On the mechanical front, the Dominar 400 gets a beam-perimeter frame which is quite rigid and should help with high speed stability. The Mojo on the other hand, gets a twin-tube, exposed chassis that looks nice and solid. But because we've had the chance to ride this bike extensively, we can safely say that it's not the greatest chassis out there. It's prone to flex at higher speeds, which can make choosing lines precisely quite a daunting task. But, that being said, the Dominar makes use of 43mm telescopic forks at the front while the Mojo features more premium upside down forks. At the rear, the Dominar 400 and the Mojo both get a multi-step adjustable mono shock.
At the front, both motorcycles are shod with a 320mm disc with radial-mounted callipers. The Mojo's are made by Jjuan, a Spanish firm that works with Mahindra Racing, while the Dominar gets brakes from Bybre. At the rear, the Dominar 400 comes with a 230mm disc while the Mojo comes with a slightly bigger 240mm disc. The Dominar 400 and Mojo share the exactly the same tyre profile; but the Dominar gets locally made MRF Revs C1 rubber that are quite decent for touring duties. The Mojo on the other hand, sports Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres, which, aside from being more expensive, also provide an immense amount of traction. Where the Mojo does fall short is ABS, it simply doesn't get any at this point. While the more expensive, ABS variant of the Dominar 400 does; twin-channel at that. And even this, more expensive variant, still comes in cheaper than the Mojo.
When it comes to dimensions, both motorcycles are quite similar. While the Dominar may be slightly longer, wider and shorter than the Mojo, it's the Mojo that has a slightly longer wheelbase. And – surprise, surprise – both motorcycles have exactly the same kerb weight – 182kg. So let's face it, neither of these two are going to be competing in any ballet competitions anytime soon. But this weight should be absolutely fine when out cruising at highway speeds. It's just that the Mojo will get fair distance further; it gets a 21-litre fuel tank, while the Dominar gets a measly 13-litre one. Maybe Bajaj still remembers the crotch-destroying 18-litre fuel tanks on the original, first lot of Pulsars.
The Dominar 400 and Mojo, both get liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engines. While we know for a fact the Mojo's engine is an absolute gem, the Dominar's engine shares some base components with the KTM 390 series; and we can all agree that the one on the KTM is definitely a bomber of an engine. The Dominar's engine, however, has been tuned for more tractable power delivery and more accessible torque to cater to its cruising agenda. It develops a peak power of 35hp and 35Nm of torque from the 373.3cc mill which is equipped with Bajaj's Triple Spark Technology – the art of throwing in an extra spark plug that only Bajaj truly understands. It also gets an all-new six-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch as standard. The Mahindra Mojo's 295cc unit makes 27hp and 30Nm. So the Dominar 400 does lead in terms of power output and torque figures, which would be expected from the extra 78cc of displacement. But the Mojo's engine is no pussycat, once it hits the 4,500-5,000rpm mark, there is this surge of power and torque that makes this motorcycle feel a lot more powerful than just 27hp. It also gets a six-speed gearbox (minus the slipper clutch) which works quite well, give for some rather confusing ratios in the higher gears.
If both these motorcycles are designed with cruising long distances in mind, ergonomics are the most crucial part of these contenders. Having already covered massive distances on Mahindra's steed, we can safely say that things do get a bit painful on longer stints. While the seat is fairly comfortable, there is almost negligible thigh support. Which means that, once you cross that two-hour mark of continuous riding, sore-butt syndrome should definitely come knocking. Sitting pillion on the Mojo is not so good an experience. And the foot pegs are rather forward-set, which isn't really a problem per say; but, if they were slightly rear-set, things would just be better. The handlebar is nice and wide, and rather comfortable. Of course, we haven't ridden the bike yet but Bajaj seem to have kept these issues in mind when designing the Dominar 400. The seating position is nice and neutral. The handlebar is on the lower side and the foot pegs are in the mid-bike position. The seats are nice and wide and should provide ample thigh support. One concern that did pop up was the width of the foot pegs. Thanks to the wide-set perimeter frame, which the foot pegs sit on the outside of, the seating stance on the Dominar 400 is going to be rather wide as well. But we'll just have to wait until the January 2017 test ride to find out if this concern is unfounded.
Unleashed or dominated?
The Mahindra Mojo and the Bajaj Dominar 400 are both expected to be extremely competent motorcycles for the offering price. But Bajaj Auto has taken a good swing at us all with the price of the Dominar 400. The base version of the Dominar 400 has been priced at Rs 1.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the dual-channel ABS version will set you back Rs 1.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), giving it immense value for money. The Mahindra Mojo is priced at Rs 1.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which is a fair bit more expensive; and there's no ABS available at this point anyway. So at the end of the day, it all boils down to personal choice. Both motorcycles have their positive aspects as well as their negative ones. Although, at this point in time, the Dominar 400 does appear to be the more promising of the two. But we'll take a more definitive call on that once we actually ride the Dominar in January 2017. So until then, you have the choice of stepping into both showrooms and taking a test ride. Or maybe, you could just decide which motorcycle's tagline you prefer better.
|Bajaj Dominar 400||Mahindra Mojo|
|Fuel capacity||13 litres||21 litres|
|Bajaj Dominar 400||Mahindra Mojo|
|Front suspension||43mm Telescopic Forks||Upside Down Forks|
|Rear suspension||Multi-step, adjustable mono shock||Multi-step, adjustable mono shock|
|Brakes (F/R)||320mm Disc/ 230mm Disc||320mm Disc/ 240mm Disc|
|Tyres (F/R)||MRF Revs C1 110-70 R17/ 150-60 R17||MRF Revs C1 110-70 R17/ 150-60 R17|
|Engine and Gearbox|
|Bajaj Dominar 400||Mahindra Mojo|
|Gearbox||6-speed with slipper clutch||6-speed|
Bajaj Dominar 400
Standard variant - Rs 1.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
ABS variant - Rs 1.50 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Standard variant - Rs 1.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Touring variant - Rs 1.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Mahindra Mojo review
Baja Dominar 400 launched
Bajaj Dominar image gallery