Despite its phenomenal fuel-efficiency, the quaint little Mofa — powered by a single-cylinder, two-stroke, 22cc engine that puts out a measly 0.8 bhp — was elbowed out by the competition during its production years. Its feeble power output and incredible slowness were held against it. And its name, a contraction for “Moves Faster”, appeared an irony. But Enfield India offered Mofa — manufactured under a specially-created entity called Enfield Mofa at the company's Anaikaraipatti plant in the late 1980s and early 1990s — only as a better alternative to the cycle.
Twenty-eight-year-old Anand Mohankrishnan, son of S. Mohankrishnan, a man with an ability to work on out-of-production classics — rediscovers this fact once a week, when he takes the bike out to ensure its critical parts don't atrophy. “Occasionally, I challenge myself to a race and pit myself against an unsuspecting cyclist,” says Anand. The Mohankrishnans treat it as a delicate showpiece that has to be shielded from damage. “The Mofa soared in popularity long after Enfield India ceased to produce it. The air of wackiness, lent by an engine designed for sprayers, an oddly-hidden frame tank and a total lack of suspension (barring, of course, the spring-loaded suspended seat), became apparent only when these bikes began to dwindle in numbers,” explains Mohankrishnan. “Most of these bikes have been fed to scrap yards.”
This 1990 Mofa has been saved from such a fate. For long the proud possession of Brigadier A.D. Venkateshwaran (who purchased it at a military canteen in 1990), his wife was determined to have it sold to a scrap dealer a few months ago. The Mohankrishnans — who are relatives of Venkateshwaran — intervened.
Explains Mohankrishnan, “As my brother-in-low sells and services critical parts for power sprayers, I felt encouraged to take this bike. Given this advantage and the fact that the Mofa represents a rare and largely unknown side of the legendary Enfield company, we will keep this low-powered bike going for ever.”