Can the addition of 5th gear in a 110cc commuter make a considerable difference? We ride the Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear to find the answer.
From being the best-selling commuter in its heyday to barely making a difference on sales charts, the Bajaj Discover has somewhat lost its charm for the commuter buyers. It’s no wonder, then, that the company has shifted its focus towards the Platina in the recent past. From the launch of the Platina ES in 2015 to entering the 110cc segment in December last year, every update has given the brand an equivalent push in the numbers game. While the motorcycle has been performing on the sales charts, out on the road, the need for a fifth gear has been somewhat evident. Bajaj has noticed this downside and acted upon it in the Platina 110 H-Gear.
Engine and Transmission
The Platina 110 H-Gear is powered by the same motor that does duty on the 110, as well as the Discover 110, and it continues to develop 8.5bhp and 9.81Nm. This makes it the torquiest motor in its class. All the torque on offer, along with short gears, makes it extremely easy to ride in the city. It allows you to move up the gears at low speeds – you can quickly move up to the 5th cog at speed as low as 35km/h. For the most part during our test ride, I found myself riding in 4th during city jaunts and in 5th during highway hauls. This can also have an adverse effect on fuel efficiency figures. The Platina has always been known as an extremely judicious sipper – this one lives up to that expectation. Interestingly, the Platina 110 H-Gear’s claimed efficiency 84km/l is better than the Platina 100’s 82.5km/l.
Coming back to the transmission, the 5th cog is indeed a welcome change – not just for the Platina but also for the segment itself. This addition makes it quite easier to ride this motorcycle on the highway too. The motorcycle doesn’t demand too many shifts, and that’s really a good thing bearing in mind that it isn’t the smoothest transmission out there. Switching between the first few gears is relatively seamless, but you do experience some false neutrals while shifting from fourth to fifth.
Ride and Comfort
The 110 H-Gear too, just like the other Platinas, scores well in terms of comfort. The seat cushion is on the softer side, which makes spending long hours on the saddle rather stress-free. It is equally comfortable for the pillion as well, thanks to the long seat and the wide rubber footpads. The telescopic front forks and the gas charged suspension at the rear offer an impressive ride quality over bad roads.
The Platina 110 launched in December last year wasn’t offered with a disc brake option. The 110 H-Gear has been fitted with a 240mm disc up front and a 110mm drum setup at the back. Of course, in line with the new regulations, the 110 H-Gear comes with an anti-skid braking system. Braking performance is par for the course.
Design and Features
The Platina 110 H-Gear looks identical to its namesake. The boxy headlight, the U-shaped LED DRL, golden 3D badging on the tank, long seat and the 5-spoke alloy wheels – all have been borrowed from the Platina 110. In fact, the Platina’s design hasn’t changed much since the time it was first launched. That said, the design is not a deal breaker in this class of motorcycles. Bajaj has, however, fitted it with a semi-digital instrument cluster, which comes with a tripmeter, a low battery indicator and a clock. The bike also comes with a shift assist that indicates upshifts and downshifts. It isn’t the most accurate system though. During our test ride, we often saw the display urging to upshift from 4th even when the motorcycle was already in the top gear.
Price and Value
Priced at Rs 55,373, the disc brake variant of the Platina 110 H-Gear is more affordable than most of its rivals. And despite the affordable price, the Platina 110 H-Gear sports features like the semi-digital instrumentation with gear shift assist, LED DRLs and gas charged rear shocks. Overall, the Platina continues to perform its commuting duties well, and the addition of the fifth gear has definitely made it more efficient and highway friendly.
- Bajaj Platina 110 H-Gear
Engine: 115cc / Single-Cylinder / 2-Valve / DTS-i
Power: 8.5bhp @ 7,000rpm
Torque: 9.81Nm @ 5,000rpm
Price: Rs. 55,373 (ex-showroom Delhi)
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