The new Rodeo is not just another facelift, but an attempt to incrementally improve an already very good product. The 125cc Z series engine got better with the Dual Curve Digital Ignition System (DCDI), which marginally increases the performance while not compromising mileage. Do not expect jaw-dropping acceleration since the power delivery is very linear and smooth, however, the RZ is zippier than its predecessor and rides seamlessly even with pillion on board. Moreover, Mahindra claims best in class 0-60 acceleration of 9.35 seconds, which is better than the Suzuki Swish's 9.4 seconds record.
I rode the Rodeo RZ on various terrains of Mumbai Film City for couple of hours only to explore its relaxed handling and damping characteristics. The telescopic forks in front and a single shock absorber at rear do their job neatly. This, coupled with its superior ground clearance of 154 mm, makes it a very practical two wheeler on today's road conditions.
One of the greatest features is the roomy floorboard that allows the rider a variety of foot positions. There is a foldout hook to keep your things in place. The under-seat storage has been increased to 22 litres and it's LED-illuminated, too. And yes, the seat is wide and offers comfortable riding posture.
The instrument cluster is completely digital and houses tachometer, trip meter, odometer, clock, acceleration timer and over speed alarm. The display is colour-customisable and there are seven colours to choose from. Some may find this cheesy but I'm sure there will be takers for this. However, the display turns red when you are overspeeding - a remarkable feature unlike the coercive beep of the side-stand alarm. Other features like front fueling and 12V mobile/MP3 charger will definitely come in handy.There is nothing earth-shattering about these latest changes to the Rodeo. But if you are looking for a powerful yet fuel-efficient, trendy yet affordable urban transportation, then you will find the RZ at the pinnacle of the scooter world.
** Price hasn't been announced yet but expect it to remain largely unchanged. Click Next for more photos