With a target to boost the sales of its Platina range, Bajaj Auto has introduced a new variant of the motorcycle. Christened as the Platina 110 H Gear, the new variant boasts several upgrades over the standard 110 cc variant of the bike. We spent a few hours on the saddle of the Platina 110 H Gear on the highway around Pune to find out how does the new package perform in real-life conditions.
Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear Styling
The styling isn’t very different from the 100 cc and 110 cc Platina products. Thus, you would spot a LED DRL with a halogen headlight equipped fascia on the Platina 110 H Gear. The headlamp continues to feature a body coloured mask with corresponding graphics.
The more significant changes sit behind the fascia as the cockpit of the Platina 110 H Gear features a semi-digital instrument console. The left side of the instrument console includes an analogue speedometer, while the rest of the information is available on the digital display. Apart from the regular ride related information such as an odometer, one trip meter, battery indicator, fuel gauge and a clock, the digital screen comprises a first-in-class gear position indicator and gear shift guide. The gearshift guide recommends the rider to either upshift or downshift a cog depending on the engine speed. The information is uncluttered and easy to read, even in bright sunlight.
The handlebar continues to feature all the regular switchgear, including a pass button, although you would see a plastic cover near the front brake lever. The cover hides the mechanical combi-braking system (CBS) while aiding the aesthetics. We will talk about the CBS later in the review.
The fuel tank capacity remains at 11-litre, although Bajaj has added a 3D Platina logo on the tank to give it a more premium feel. The fuel-filler cap, as on the standard model, has a chrome finish.
The “Why Buy” data from 2018, compiled by Bajaj Auto, suggests that Comfort is the fifth most considered aspect by today’s buyer and the company has ensured that it gives enough attention to the department. Thus, to offer a better ride quality, it has installed a Quilt pattern seat with extra padding. This pattern is currently only available on the H Gear variant. The saddle feels spacious and well cushioned, and we are sure that the customers in this segment will appreciate the feature. That said, I found the seat to be a tad narrow towards the fuel tank for my liking.
The passenger comfort is further enhanced with the installation of wide footrests with rubber padding. A similar treatment is also given to the footrest on the saree guard, in case the pillion decides to side with both legs on one side of the motorcycle. A single-piece pillion grab rail at the back ensures sufficient space for the passenger to hold the bike.
The rear is finished with a conventional tail light and, similar to the front, clear screen blinkers for subtle and commuter-ish styling. The fit and finish feels sturdy and at par with its rivals in the 100-110 cc segment. To ensure that the H Gear variant stands apart from the standard Platina range, Bajaj Auto has given the motorcycle two new paint options and revised graphics for a refreshed look. The dual-tone colour theme on the Platina 110 H Gear includes Black/Blue and Black/Red paints.
While the styling has undoubtedly seen some upgrades, the mechanical specifications are the leading protagonist on the Platina 110 H Gear.
Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear Engine and Performance
The engine displacement and performance numbers of the Platina 110 H Gear are identical to the standard Platina 110. Thus, the 115 cc air-cooled, single-cylinder engine deliver 8.6 PS of max power at 7,000 rpm and 9.81 Nm of peak torque at 5,000 engine revs. However, unlike the standard Platina 110, the H Gear variant comes with a five-speed gearbox. The fifth gear, which Bajaj Auto calls H gear, works as an overdrive to offer better fuel economy on the highway. The ARAI-certified fuel economy stands at 84 km/l. We could not test the actual economy due to time constraints, but Bajaj Auto officials said that the motorcycle would deliver 70-75 km/l in real life riding conditions.
The motorcycle accelerates to 0-60 km/h mark effortlessly. In fact, the second gear redlines at 60 km/h before the speedometer needle stops going forward. The third cog will take you until 80 km/h while the fourth gear tops out at a little over 90 km/h. The fifth gear saw a top speed of 105 km/h on the analogue speedometer.
On the lower side, the third gear can be engaged at just 20 km/h without stalling the engine although the motor starts to deliver smooth acceleration from 30 km/h in that particular gear. The fourth gear starts to pull cleanly post 40 km/h mark. The fifth gear can be used from as low as 35-40 km/h mark although you would have to downshift for quick overtakes on the highway. Speed of 70-80 km/h in the top gear is the ideal spot for cruising on the highway as the engine feels relatively stress-free at those levels. The five-speed gearbox felt nice and smooth, although I did suffer from a couple of false shifts in my three-hour long ride experience.
The anchoring department has also witnessed an upgrade with the H Gear model. While the base variant of the Platina 110 H Gear uses a 110 mm/130 mm drum units at the rear and the front wheels respectively as standard, but it can be bought with a 240 mm rotor at the front. The braking system does not use a hydraulic CBS tech. Instead, Bajaj Auto has installed a mechanical CBS to the motorcycle. The hardware applies some pressure to the front brake as the rider uses the rear brake pedal. The system distributes the braking power for better stability.
We tested the disc variant of the motorcycle for the first ride experience, and we were content with the braking performance. The front disc offers a good bite and sheds speed at decent speeds.
Comfort, as we mentioned before, has been one of the most critical aspects while developing the Platina 110 H Gear. Here’s what Bajaj Auto has done to improve the ride quality.
Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear Ride Quality
The new Platina 110 H Gear has the same shock absorption setup as the standard Platina 110. Thus, the suspension department comprises conventional telescopic forks at the front with 135 mm travel and twin-sided, Nitrox-charged springs at the back with 110 mm travel. The setup delivers a comfortable ride experience, filtering our most of the undulations on the road. The “Comfortec” seat with its quilt pattern and generous padding further enhance the ride quality of the motorcycle. However, as mentioned above, I did find the saddle to be too narrow for my choice towards the fuel tank.
Bajaj Auto has also worked on improving NVH characteristics, and the Platina 110 H Gear delivers a smooth and refined ride experience. Vibrations are absent unless you are trying to redline the motorcycle in every gear. Even with the speedometer-indicating highway cruising speeds, the bike felt refined and stress-free. You would get a tingling sensation from the footpegs towards the top speed, but the Platina 110 H is not designed to extract performance and go apex hunting. It is meant to be a commuter motorcycle with a laid-back ride experience, and it does its job well.
The city-friendly rider’s triangle, with tall set handlebar and forward set footpegs, further ensures a comfortable riding stance.
So what’s the final word?
Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear Verdict
The Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear is a significant step-up over the standard Platina 110. The addition of a fifth gear along with a gear position indicator and gearshift assist gives it an edge over its rivals in the segment. The styling, build quality and feature list will catch the attention of potential buyers in the space and help the brand boost its sales in the Hero MotoCorp dominated territory.
The base variant (front drum brake) of the Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear is priced at INR 53,376* while the disc version is available at INR 55,373*. In comparison, its rivals such as the Hero Passion X Pro, Honda Dream Yuga and TVS Victor 110 retail at INR 58,050*, INR 55,226* and INR 56,682* respectively.
*Ex-showroom Delhi prices
Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear Specifications
|Engine||115 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled DTS-i|
|Max Power||8.6 PS @ 7,000 rpm|
|Max Torque||9.81 Nm @ 5.000 rpm|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic with 135 mm travel|
|Rear Suspension||Twin-sided springs with Nitrox canister and 110 mm travel|
|Length x Width x Height||2006 x 704 x 1076 mm|
|Ground Clearance||200 mm|
|Seat Height||807 mm|
|Kerb Weight||118.5 kg|
|Tyre Size – Front||80/100-70 Tubeless|
|Tyre Size – Rear||80/100-70 Tubeless|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||11 litres|
|Front Brake||130 mm Drum / 240 mm Disc|
|Rear Brake||110 mm Drum|
|Safety||Mechanical Combi Braking System|
|ARAI Certified Fuel Economy||84 km/l|
|Ex-Showroom Delhi Price||Drum: INR 53,376|
Disc: INR 55,373