Bajaj calls the Platina 110 its 'mileage champion'. It has been the cornerstone for the company's sales in the 100 - 110 cc segments and even after five years, it continues to rake in good numbers for Bajaj Auto. In fact, it was the 7th highest selling motorcycle in May 2019, with 59,938 units sold which is a massive 97 per cent growth over the 30,412 units sold in May 2018. But Bajaj believed that the Platina had room to be even better. With this thought, the Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear was developed. It is basically a Platina with a 5-speed gearbox and a few other updates. We spend some time with it to see whether the 5-speed gearbox on a 110 cc motorcycle makes sense or not!
So, what's new?
Quite a bit, actually! The biggest update of course, is the 5-speed gearbox. Two things which immediately caught my attention are the link type gear-shifter and the all-down gear-shift pattern which is similar to any of the 100 - 110 cc bikes with a 4-speed gearbox. Bajaj says that the 'H' in H Gear stands for 'Happy' and 'Highway' and the H Gear is more of an eco-system than just being a 5-speed box.
And a part of that eco-system is the updated part analogue part digital instrument console which now gets a gear shift indicator along with a gear position indicator as well. Then, the front disc brake gets bigger with its size increasing from 220 mm to 240 mm. The 3D 'Platina' lettering on the fuel tank is new too and so are the H Gear decals on the rear panels. The last update is the quilted seat which feels more or less the same as far as seating comfort is concerned.
How does it ride?
It is an entertaining 110 cc motorcycle to ride! The Platina 110 H Gear has a nice spread of torque in the lower revs and it comes in handy when you are riding in the city. The new 5-speed gearbox is up for quick shifts and feels precise too. The idea of adding a 5th gear was to add an 'overdrive' gear which basically allows you to keep cruising at higher speeds with lower revs. This translates into better efficiency. In fact, the ARAI certified fuel efficiency for the Platina 110 H Gear is 84 kmpl, which is one of the best in the 100 - 110 cc motorcycle segment. The Platina H Gear also has a marginally better top speed. With a bit of coaxing, we saw 85 kmph on the speedometer and the bike can easily cruise at about 70 kmph, if you are looking to do some amount of highway riding. Bajaj sure has sense of humour too! When you shift up from the fourth gear to the fifth gear, the gear position indicator shows an 'H' instead of a '5'.
The Platina always had the best-in-class suspension travel with 135 mm up front and 110 mm at the rear, giving it a comfortable ride quality. It happily laps up all kinds of undulations on tarmac and it's up for quick direction changes too. Plus, the bigger front disc along with Bajaj's anti-skid braking system (Bajaj-speak for Combi braking system) makes for better braking too.
The Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear drum brake variant is priced at ₹ 53,376 (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the disc brake variant that we rode is priced at ₹ 55,373 (ex-showroom, Delhi). For that price, the Platina H Gear, with all its updates makes a good case for itself. The claimed fuel efficiency is one of the best in its segment and the performance on offer is pretty good too, especially with the new gearbox and a bigger disc brake. If you are in the market for buying a 110 cc commuter, the Platina 110 H Gear should definitely feature in your consideration set.
Photography: Pawan Dagia