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Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear: Road Test Review


Does the Platina 110 now pack the right tools to dethrone the Hero Splendor, the king of commuter motorcycles?

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Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

Trusty. If there had to be one motorcycle that personifies the feeling, it has got to be the Hero Splendor. Ever since its launch in 1994, it is the template of what a commuter motorcycle is in India. Other manufacturers picked up this very same template and replicated bikes in their own flavour. Just to provide you an insight, there have been 45 motorcycles in the last 25 years that have gone head-to-head with the trusty workhorse and failed. Yes, those many motorcycles have attempted to dethrone the Splendor, India’s most trusted people mover, and all of them have, to varying degrees, failed. Is a 5th gear and some cosmetic features going to be enough to do the job? Does the Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear have what it takes to finally instill fear in that immortal workhorse we all know as the Splendor?

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

H is for?
H is for highway. Bajaj is vehement that one calls the fifth cog as ‘Highway Gear’ and not fifth. The focus of the motorcycle is to be as great out on the highway as it would in the city. And amongst the commuter lot, the only other sub-110cc motorcycle that had a fifth gear was the Bajaj Discover 100, which has been off the shelves for quite some time. Hence, this is the only commuter that you can get with the extra fifth gear. So, does the fifth gear errr… the H-Gear actually aid in the Platina’s highway abilities?

Yes, it does. Where most 110cc motorcycles would struggle to go beyond 75kmph, the Platina 110 H-Gear manages to pull close to the 90kmph mark. However, rarely would one go beyond 75kmph on such motorcycles. 65-70kmph is the sweet spot. And that is where the H-Gear is helpful because the revs drop down to make for a stress-free riding experience.

Engine refinement is quite impressive, perhaps one of the most refined motorcycles to come out of the Chakan plant. Beyond 75kmph, you do feel a tingling sensation at the handlebar and tank, but at speeds below that mark, it’s virtually vibe-free.

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

H is for ‘High fuel savings’
The main reason for the presence of the H-Gear is that the Bajaj Platina delivers better fuel efficiency figures. It boasts of an ARAI-certified figure of 84kmpl. That is very impressive but not shocking as the Platina has always been great in this department. This figure, however, is 2kmpl more than the Platina 100’s ARAI-certified fuel efficiency result. We had to test this bike to know for ourselves. So far, the best fuel efficiency figures that we have received from any two-wheeler has been the TVS Radeon.

Fuel efficiency

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear

TVS Radeon

Highway

76.82kmpl

63.97kmpl

City

71kmpl

66.29kmpl

Needless to say, the Platina shone through, all thanks to the H-Gear. These are ideal situations. Realistically, one should expect a figure of about 72-75kmpl. Coupled that with its 11-litre fuel tank, and you are looking at an estimated range of 800-825km on a tankful.

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

H is for ‘Happy in the city’
The main objective of a commuter motorcycle is being a great city bike. Highway mile munching is more of a secondary task for majority of the buyers. After spending nearly two hours in the saddle of the Platina 110 H-Gear, there is just one word for the bike. Relaxed. This feeling arises from the moment you swing your leg over that long and comfy seat to the moment you thumb the starter and then, finally start riding the motorcycle.

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

Going over our not-so-perfect roads, there is nothing that upsets the Platina H-Gear’s ride. Bajaj has this marketing campaign revolving around the ride’s plushness which says, “Jhatka Mana Hai.” Riding solo, you do experience a little of those jhatkas, but they vanish with a pillion on-board.

Even under a heavy load, the suspension beautifully soaks in undulations. The Platina also has the longest seat in its class, which means that even two healthy bodies can sit comfortably for short city rides. The grab handle is slim and well-positioned for pillion riders of all sizes.

Acceleration

0-60kmph

30-70kmph in 3rd gear

40-80kmph in 4th gear

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear

7.99 seconds

9.18 seconds

14.09 seconds

 
Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

The engine feels sprightly as she is as quick off the line as its rivals. The engine specs are quite modest. 8.6PS and 9.81Nm from a 115cc single cylinder is par for the course. It is the gear ratios selected which make it a fun bike to zip around within city limits. The first three gears are particularly short. For swift overtakes, the third gear is one’s best bet. Roll-ons in fourth are decent. Riding around at 45kmph in fourth as well as in H-gear is possible. However, on the latter, the swiftness in building up speed is not there as it is very tall. This means roll-ons are time-consuming. Hence, Bajaj is calling it the H-Gear and not fifth gear.

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review
 

Braking

80-0kmph

60-0kmph

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear

40.55m

22.98m

Bajaj has uprated the front disc on the Platina 110 from a 220mm rotor to a 240mm. While we don’t exactly know how much of a difference it is between the two, what we can tell you is that it stops fairly quickly. Since this is a commuter, the bite is not ferocious, but overall braking progression is commendable.

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

H is for ‘High on features’
Bajaj hasn’t fiddled around with the styling of the Platina 110. There are ‘H-Gear’ moniker decals to distinguish between the two bike as well as a new decal scheme with three new colours – blue, burgundy and wine red. The base colour remains black for all of them. Inspect closely and you will find a new 3D ‘Platina’ logo on either side of the fuel tank. Plus, the loooong seat now gets a quilted seat cover, something which the TVS Radeon also has.

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

There is a new semi-digital instrumentation console, with the only analogue bit being the speedometer. The new bit here is that the Gear-Shift-Guide on the digital screen. It is basically a gear position indicator that tells you to shift up or down the cogs. Its main purpose is to serve for better fuel efficiency. Hence, it does indicate you to shift up earlier than you prefer.

Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear Road Test Review

H is for ‘Healthy competition for the Splendor’
The Platina is, without a doubt, one of the most spacious and comfortable commuter bikes out there. It’s feature rich too, and is at ease while being ridden on the highway. It is also the most fuel efficient motorcycle we have ever tested. At Rs 53,376 for the drum variant, the Platina 110 H-Gear is priced nearly the same as the Hero Splendor i3S. And for a premium of Rs 2,000, you also get a front disc option, something which is absent on the Splendor. The Platina is one of the better motorcycles available in the segment but it will be hard to shake off decades of trust and faith the Splendor has garnered. Will it dethrone the Splendor? Not sure. Does it have the tools to do so? Yes, indeed.

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  • Abhishek | 2 months ago NYC BIKE 0 Reply
    Vasant | 3 months ago Combo braking system is required. 0 Reply
Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear

Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear

Rs. 53,875 Onwards
Ex-showroom, Delhi
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