Is the new DZ variant of its Duro scooter capable of outdoing its rivals?
Mahindra 2-wheelers’ Duro has recently been revamped and we’ve brought out our magnifying lens to look beneath the surface and tell you all that you want to know about this latest DZ variant.
The Duro bears more than a passing resemblance to the 125cc scooter class-leader, the Suzuki Access, its rounded mudguard and front apron looking virtually identical to the Suzuki. A neat touch on the Duro DZ are clear lens, flush-fit front indicator lights, over which resides an improved headlight with wide reflector and halogen bulb, both of which were sorely missed on the previous scooter.
The instruments are clearly laid out and easy on the eye. The speedometer is marked with a green economy riding zone between 30kph and 50kph, and a fuel-gauge prominently set to the right. You get comprehensive switches with push-to-cancel indicators and comfortable control levers that feature the safety of a brake-lock clamp. What’s however unchanged are a pair of irregularly shaped palm grips which hamper the riding experience. The Duro DZ offers generous storage capacity with a lockable glove compartment under the handlebar, plus another below its seat, in addition to the bag-hook-equipped flat floorboard.
The pillion footrests are archaic and a tad crude. And apart from a nice, body-colour and alloy grab handle, the new DZ could also do with better rear-end styling. The fit-and-finish and overall quality have long ways to go before they are up to speed with the industry standard.
Mahindra has made a good effort to improve the Duro engine, which remains a four-stroke, air-cooled 124.6cc single-cylinder unit with a variator controlled, automatic gearbox. An electric starter is standard, and the carburettor is now optimised with revised feeder hoses. Another improved area is the ignition system, having adopted dual-curve mapping that allows enhanced economy when riding with a light throttle hand and still allowing for cracking power delivery when called for. Peak power output remains close to earlier (8bhp at 7500rpm) from this long-stroke engine, with 8.1bhp now liberated at 7000rpm, while maximum torque made is 0.91kgm made at 5500rpm.
Performance feels the same, but the DZ feels a little out of its league once past 50kph. It’s mid-and top-end power delivery is disappointing for a 125cc scooter. The Duro engine does however always remain smooth, with no complaints regarding refinement.
The Duro DZ provides a comfortable, wide seat and the riding position is upright as on most scooters, with Mahindra having upgraded the suspension which was a major bugbear on the previous Duro. The front shocks are now telescopic forks, with the rear shock absorber damping rates re-tuned, and the handlebar raised in an effort to cure the poor riding position of the older Duro. There still remains ground to cover for the Duro DZ’s riding position is dangerously off-track and severely hampers riding this scooter safely. The Duro has always suffered from a floorboard positioned too high and close to its seat, and it’s surprising that Mahindra has failed to resolve these basic, crucial flaws completely. So although the ride quality has improved, the Duro is still a scooter that feels dicey going round corners and one has to ride with extra caution to stay safe.
The Duro DZ offers 130mm brakes front and rear, and these provide decent stopping power, with good feel at the levers.
Mahindra 2-Wheelers is gradually climbing its two-wheeler learning curve, but this isn’t happening as quickly as it has to and is no reason for us to recommend a Duro DZ to scooter buyers. Yes, there are a few tangible improvements, notably to the suspension on the DZ, but this scooter still trails too far behind supremely talented 125cc rivals and smaller capacity Indian scooters which are available in the same market.
Price Rs 42,332 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Type 124.6cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, four stroke
Power 8.1bhp at 7000rpm
Torque 0.91kgm at 5500rpm
Power to weight 71bhp per tonne
Wheel base 1270mm
Ground clearance 155mm
Chassis & Body
Wheels Pressed steel 10'inches
Tyres 3.5 x 10 inches
Front Telescopic forks
Rear Stressed engine, single shock
Front 130mm drum
Rear 130mm drum