With scooters fast becoming the weapon of choice as commuters in a market where affordable two-wheelers still rule the roost, entry-level motorcycles have their work cut out. The Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear then, is an effort by the bike maker to offer some 5-speed novelty in the crowded 100 – 110cc space. What’s new? Read on!
Appearance & Features
The Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear is pretty much a Platina in terms of appearance. Available in Black with burgundy or blue decals, the H Gear also gets 3D lettering in Gold on the fuel tank, a really bright LED DRL above a DC headlight system, a quilted cover for the long and softly-padded seat and seriously wide footrests for the pillion. It cuts a commuter-ish picture from all angles, although in a way which is stylish and proportionate.
In terms of features, this brand new Platina gets a gear indicator for its 5-speed gearbox, which not only displays the gear selected but also suggests the right gear for the speed the motorcycle is being ridden at. Sharing the display with this technology is a clock, a digital fuel-gauge for the 11-litre tank, a tripmeter, an odometer and tell-tale lights. The display is flanked by a chrome-lined analogue meter for speed. The Platina H Gear also gets a combi-braking system which is mechanical and activates braking equipment at both ends once the rear brake is used.
Also Read: Bajaj Avenger Street 160 First Ride Review
Along with 17″ alloys at both ends wrapped in 80/100 tubeless rubber, the bike offers the options of a drum and disc brake variant, where the latter comes fitted with a 240mm disc. The Platina 110 H Gear also offers the longest front fork travel in the class, where at 135mm, it is only the Discover 110 whose forks offer 5 mm more. In terms of pricing, the Drum brake version asks for INR 53, 376, while the one with a disc wants INR 55,373 (All prices Ex-showroom, Delhi).
Performance, Ergonomics & Handling
Powering the Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear is a 115cc single-cylinder motor which puts out 8.6 PS @ 7,000 rpm and class-leading torque of 9.81 Nm at 5,000 rpm. The figures and even the bore and stroke numbers are identical to the Discover 110. However, to expand the healthy low and mid-range, the H gear gets a 5-speed gearbox, where the 5th ratio is what Bajaj likes to call as the ‘H Gear’ or the ‘Happy Gear’.
Since the motorcycle belongs to a segment where most users short shift into the highest gear to extract the maximum distance from every drop of fuel, the 5th gear here is more like an Overdrive, which allows the bike to be long-legged, while it’s doing highway speeds. As a result, since the engine is still relaxed at a relatively higher speed, the Platina H Gear boasts of an ARAI FE number of 84 km/l! Bajaj says that in the real world, the bike can easily return 70 km/l+! A few comments on the bike’s YouTube video corroborate just that.
The engine on its own is refined and smooth, starting from idle until it hits the mid-range. Within that range, where it will spend most of its life cycle, the smoothness of its performance is such, the chassis, handlebar, footpegs, saddle and all other touch points are isolated by the engine’s functioning. Since the motor develops its peak torque early, tractability is strong, where even shifting into 5th as early as when the bike’s just doing 25 km/h, doesn’t result into any protest from the engine in the form of a snatch, hiccups, jerks or whatever you wish to call it.
The Platina H Gear can easily hit 60 km/h on its speedometer, post which, progress is slow until it gets to its needle-indicated top speed of 100 km/h. Since we are discussing performance, when asked to spin at its limit, the engine does send some vibrations to the bike’s touchpoints, but since the motorcycle will very rarely be ridden like that, it doesn’t count.
In terms of ergonomics, the softly-padded seat and the controls allow for a seriously comfortable riding position, which is enhanced by that engine’s smoothness in its prime operating range. The long seat offers loads of space for the pillion too, where the flat rear footrests offer space even if it’s a Yeti-sized foot. With comfort as one of the highlights in the product brief, the Platina H Gear does score high on that count. The long-travel forks up front swallow everything that is thrown at the bike, the rear Spring-on-Spring twin shocks do just that, and with its long-ish wheelbase, the Platina H Gear is a pretty stable machine too. On the braking front, the front disc brake is rich in feedback and bite, and the combi system works to good effect too.
The Best Commuter Motorcycle?
If you consider the price, features, on-paper fuel economy numbers, the Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear does cut a Champion picture. During our time with it, it did impress us too. However, it has to slug it out against some really popular products in the segment. Products which have a strong tried-n-tested impression in the minds of buyers. The Platina H Gear has a lot of novelty working in its favour though, and as a product, it feels robust too.
|Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear Specifications|
|Engine (cc)||115cc, Single Cylinder|
|Power Output||8.6 PS @ 7,000 rpm, 9.81 Nm @ 5,000 rpm|
Ground Clearance (mm)
|Kerb weight (kg)||118.5 kg|
|Tyre size – Front & Rear||80/100-17 Front & Back|
|Fuel tank (lts)||11 litres|
|Brakes: Front (mm)& Rear(mm)||240mm Disc, 110mm Drum|