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If any movie from the Mad Max series were to be shot and directed in Nepal, we can definitely see the Motorhead Scrambler in at least one of the scenes. That’s purely going by the aesthetic appeal of the Scrambler, which is its strongest suit. The post-apocalyptic retro, steam-punk appeal of the Motorhead Scrambler is a definite crowd-puller, but living up to the aesthetics is a long order. Where does it stand in that spectrum? Read on. INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Motorhead Scrambler is an exhibitionist, styled à la mode.

With retro styling making a comeback, this Scrambler is something to look forward to (the Purists won’t disagree). The visually irresistible styling of the Motorhead Scrambler tries to hark back to the classic heydays of motorcycling only to be disappointed by the chintzy cycle parts. You get blacked out inverted front forks, around LED headlamp cluster and a stainless steel fender (no pun intended). Other scrambler ingredients include bar end mirrors, tires on spoked rims, a chiseled tank, a short padded seat, a slip-on steel muffler, and a spheroid tail light.  Contemporary additions include a digital speedometer and a USB charger.

IS IT A PERFORMER?

A lot of motorcycles have star quality, but they just can’t perform when it comes to real riding.  The Motorhead Scrambler is that kind of star who gets lost on a stage.

Although it is powered by a Loncin-sourced 223cc oil cooled engine, the motorcycle only delivers 16.7 BHP of power at 8000 RPM and 17 Nm of torque at 6500 RPM. That’s quite low for 200-plus motorcycles in the market. All this power is transferred to the rear wheel by means of six-speed constant mesh transmission. Take an open road, whack the throttle open and the motorcycle roars forward with a grunty note. However, that movement is short-lived because you have to constantly shift to access the top power, and this gets demanding after some time. Mild vibrations creep around the frame and the bar-end mirrors before the motor start to lose its steam. Our speedo-indicated 100 kmph with some effort before the motor felt dyspnoeic.  So, there are not many surprises on highway cruising. One area where the Motorhead Scrambler didn’t disappoint was the brisk acceleration that would be fine for short runs.

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?

The ride quality is surprisingly enjoyable on the Motorhead Scrambler because the motorcycle is not much heavy.

The flat and wide handlebar compliments the rider’s triangle, though the steering has a large turning radius. Seating position is relaxed and upright that also makes for a comfortable ride feel. The seat cushioning feels just about right. The seat height, however, is not accessible to riders of all sizes. And the pillion may complain about the seat length, the tight seating position and the absence of a grab-rail. Because of its lean dimensions, the scrambler is easy to chuck around. Well, in some ways, it is a fun motorcycle to ride. Thanks to its lightweight, the Scrambler is ideal for city riding and exhibits decent road manners. The suspension is set up slightly on the stiffer side. The inverted front forks and rear mono shock with air damper absorb the sharp bumps and potholes pretty decently. The motorcycle gets dual-sports 110/90-R17 front and 130/80-17 rear tyres which offer good grip and instill confidence on the rider. Stopping power is impressive with front and rear hydraulic disc brakes. ABS is absent though.

THE BIG QUESTION THEN

Even though retro motorcycles are the talk of the town right now, the Motorhead Scrambler slips away on too many fronts. It misses out on refinement, quality, and the overall value for money proposition.

There’s no denying the sheer appeal of its design, however, what you wear doesn’t matter if you can’t perform.

At the pricing level of Rs 4, 35,000, there’s still no way the Motorhead Scrambler is able to justify such a high asking price. Although the Scrambler brings to the table plenty of personas, it fizzles out because of the unrealistic aspirations.

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