“Would you like to ride in the Mountain Trail, from Delhi to Leh” was the first sentence of the call I received from the Mahindra Two wheeler guys.
They wanted me to ride their new innovation motorbike, The Mojo 300cc from Delhi to Leh. The event was called the Mountain Trail.
“Yes” was my answer.
I had a week’s time to prepare myself for the Mountain Trail. The flag off was from Gurgaon , Bikers Café on the 24th of July 2016.
I did my usual homework about knowing the machine im going to ride – The Mojo 300cc.
The MOJO comes equipped with a state-of-the-art engine with DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft), low friction piston and rings, advanced EFI (Electronic Fuel Ignition), iridium spark plug, resonator fitted intake system and twin exhausts.
Yes. I was impressed with the specs and very excited to ride this unique machine.
I landed up a day before in Delhi to test ride the Mojo.
Mr Deepak Saxena & Varun Chaddha at Khandelwal Automobiles , Moti Nagar, handed over the Mojo and explained everything I needed to know about the bike.
I rode on the streets of Delhi, getting to know this roaring machine, heads turned around and immediately fell in love with the Mojo.
Mountain trail Day 1: 24th July 2016, Sunday,Delhi to Chandigarh -260kms
As a usual practice of mine, I said a small prayer and attached the Buddhist flags to the handle and set off for a journey of a lifetime.
Our flag off was from the Bikers Café in Gurgaon at 11:30 am.
A well-organized welcome by the Mahindra Mountain Trail team at the café, made me feel comfortable immediately. To my amazement there were around 30 riders who were on this Mountain trail. We were made to register for the event and followed by a hearty breakfast.
The whole atmosphere was very electric and I could sense a feel of brotherhood in the air already, as the music played loudly “Got my Mojo riding”, the Mojo Anthem.
On the occasion, words of encouragement were said by, Mr.Naveen Malhotra, Senior General Manager, Marketing & Product Planning, Mahindra Two Wheelers.
He announced, “What makes this even more exciting is the association with youth icon and avid biker Ranvijay Singh and ace filmmaker Nagesh Kuknoor, who will be joining this trail for the Chandigarh to Leh leg.”
We were introduced to the Mahindra on-road team and the expedition leader Mr. Surbhit Dixit.
The moment had come where all the 30 riders were eager to commence the historic journey of the first ever Mahindra Mojo Mountain trail biking expedition from Delhi to Leh .
Mr Naveen , did the flag off and we were on the roads with the roaring Mojo. The Delhi traffic tested our riding skills and once we hit the highway to Chandigarh, the Mojo was flying with ease at 120kmph.
A small incident came to my notice, which showed the greatness of the Mahindra team and their love for the Mojo.
One of the riders had a small defect in the headlight and the service vehicle was behind. Mr Govindarajan – DGM of R & D, who was also riding with the team, came to sort the problem out. One of the participants asked, why he needs to look into the problem, when the service team is there. To which he humbly replied, “ the vehicle doesn’t know who is operating on it, so what difference does it makes to the problem, moreover if I can solve the problem, it will help everyone”.
My respect for him & the Mahindra team increased since that moment.
Mostly everyone was riding at an average speed of 120kmph, Chandigarh came quickly and we rested for the day in comforting rooms.
Mountain Trail Day 2 : 25th July – Chandigarh to Manali – 310 kms
I was curious and excited for the fact that the Mojo would be entering the mountain terrain and avid biker Ran Vijay & ace film director Mr. Nagesh Kuknoor would be riding with us.
We started early, since it was a long day today with lot of hairpin bends to deal with. 50 kmph was the average speed and the occasional 100s. It was a delight to watch 28 Mojos in a single line roaring into the hills, as if a tiger has entered the jungle.
We took a short break near Beas river as soon as we entered Manali , crossing Mandi and Kullu. Everyone looked tired after long hours of riding.
My belief in the Mojo increased by the day, and I became more and more confident with this amazing piece of machine. The Mojo was like a sweet poetry in motion on the hills.
We got a strict briefing from our leader, regarding the start time next day. We had to cross our first high mountain pass – The Rohtang Pass and reach Keylong. This crossing had to be done before 6 am because of some regulations of the Government. So our wake up call was at 3 am and 4 am departure.
Mountain Trail Day 3 : 26th July – Manali to Keylong – 115kms
I woke up to the sound of heavy rainfall at 3 am, and lot of hustle bustle amongst the participants.
With a delay of an hour, we started the day’s journey with our rain gears. Today the Mojo would be tested in the rains.
At Gulaba we got our permits checked and started the climb towards the first mountain pass of our mountain trail – Rohtang Pass (3,980 m)
The Mojo was smoothly flying on its first real ascent.
A quick breakfast at Marhi did well to our morale on a wet morning.
Within no time we were on the zero point of Rohtang Pass. After few photo sessions, we started our descend towards Keylong.
This time the Mojo was tested for it’s off road skills.
A quick lunch at Koksar and permits checking, gave the timely rest to our backsides.
The rest of the journey till Keylong was dusty and smooth, crossing potato fields, and small hamlets.
The last petrol pump before Leh , at Tandi , is surely not missed by anyone , just before reaching Keylong.Keylong is the district headquarters for the Lahaul Spiti area, and at an altitude of 3,080 m.
By this time, I had learnt to control my bike and started speaking to it quite often.
Mountain Trail Day 4 : 27th July – Keylong to Sarchu – 107 kms
Once again I woke up to a roaring downpour. Though today’s riding distance was lesser, but had to cross the mighty Baralachla pass (5,030 m) to reach Sarchu (4,300 m)
With the weather god’s on our side, the rains stopped as soon as we started from our hotel.
I could see some tensed faces. I too was a little tensed since we were going to go above 14000ft and with the weather packed didn’t know what to expect. We crossed Darcha and stopped for a short tea break at Zing Zing bar, just before the Baralachla pass climb started. I realized how important is to have these short breaks.
Slowly & steadily, in a linear fashion, the Mojo Tribe reached Baralachla pass.( 5,030 m)
After descending from the pass, we once again stopped for a quick tea session at Bharatpur and by early evening reached Sarchu.
This was a testing night for the whole group, since we were at a high altitude and Sarchu is known for its chill winds.
Sarchu is a small location at 4,300 m, nesting on the border of Himachal & Jammu & Kashmir. What divides the two States is the huge Sarchu river. There are small makeshift tents and Army settlements.
Though Sarchu has a very beautiful landscape, the wind at night makes staying there very difficult.It was a quiet evening for the team.
My mind was thinking about the next day, where we had to cross 3 higher mountains passes.I was a bit nervous and anxious, but I trusted the Mojo for an awesome ride.
It was amazing to see the ever-ready Mahindra Service team fine-tuning everyone’s bikes, even at this altitude. They did an awesome job.
Mountain Trail Day 5: 28th July – Sarchu to Leh – 250kms
The final day had come. The whole team was anxious. Our leader gave us final instructions for the day and we commenced the epic journey with our Mojos.
The Mojo had no problems on the Gata Loops -22 loops (4,190 m), and crossed the Lachungla pass (5,059 m) and Nakeela Pass (4,739 m) without any difficulty.
Pang (4,600 m), a small-tented stopover, was our next pit stop for lunch, before we crossed the second highest motor able pass in the world – The Tanglangla Pass at 5,328 m.
The road to Tanglangla pass was fantastic, thanks to the Border Road Organisation (BRO), they have done an amazing job to make our journeys smooth and comfortable.
My heartbeat became faster as we were nearing the second highest pass in the world.
Yes we did it. We reached Tanglangla pass with our Mojos.
After a quick session of selfies , we started our descend and entered Ladakh.
Small beautiful hamlets, fields, streams, monasteries, open space filled the landscape. I cut down on my speed and was absorbing the beautiful landscape around me. The poet rider in me was alive again, I started to sing and the Mojo gave me accompaniment.
We passed beautiful villages of Rumste, Gya, Upshi, Thiksey, Shey to finally reach Leh.
At the hotel, all the bikers were welcomed by a local customary scarf ( Khatask) and a local drink ( Kahwa).
I kissed my bike, and thanked god that everyone reached safely.
It was a moment of joy. The Mountain Trail experience with the Mojo Tribe was amazing. I made friends, brotherhood prevailed in my thoughts had a great time together.
It was now time for celebrations.
Got my mojo riding ……
About the Mahindra Mountain Trail team
An every-ready, very helpful, inspiring, knowledgeable team of experts made this journey look so simple. It is because of them that our ride became comfortable and enjoyable.
- Govindarajan – Dy.G.M. R & D
- Anish Thakkar – Marketing Manager
- Prashant Shinde – Sr. Manager PMG
- Mahinder Choudhary – Territory Manager Customer Care Punjab
- The Mojo Tribe – Brotherhood for ever.
Just riding with the Mojo Tribesmen for a week, felt like we had been riding for ages , such was the effect of brotherhood. We understood and helped each other during difficult times on this trail, and that kept us going.
30 roaring Mojos on road made a lot of difference, and i felt that.
Me & The Mojo – “A wild horse to tame”
- Im not a technical person to give statistics about the bike performance etc. I have been riding all kinds of motorbikes all over India and outside India also, since I was 15 years old. When the Mojo was handed over to me, I realized it’s “ A wild horse to tame”. Once you tame it, learn to control it, understand it – it’s a beautiful, powerful and elegant piece of machine – just like a wild horse.
- It took me a complete day to tame or understand the Mojo. Mr Govindarajan , who was riding along with us, had tested the Mojo on all different terrains. It was very interesting to know from him, a lot of details about this fantastic piece of the Mahindra innovation.
His love for the machine clearly showed in his approach towards the Mojo.
He said, “Once you ride a Mojo, you wont feel to ride any other motorbike again”.
Trust me … its true.
- written by Prateek Deo – CEO, Life Away From Life , who was also riding in this event by Mahindra Two Wheelers – The Mountain Trail