Bajaj has always been one step behind the likes of Hero Motocorp in the commuter segment. But now, with the new Platina 100ES, it bays for a chunk of the Splendor’s market share. We find out if it packs the bite to pull it off.
We’re not going to beat around the bush here – as far as styling goes, the Bajaj Platina 100ES looks staid and dull. It is not an offensive design, but it isn’t exciting to behold either. The bright red amd blue colours on offer do spruce the looks up a bit though.
Nevertheless, what it doesn’t have in the aesthetics department, it more than makes up for it with very good build quality. The plastics used on the switchgear feel good on the touch, and all the painted and powder-coated surfaces are finished quite well.
It is a petite motorcycle, the Platina. Nevertheless, it suits even tall riders well. The ergonomics are typical of a commuter – an upright posture aided by a tall handlebar and middle-set foot-pegs, which feels quite comfortable. And thanks to the presence of a long seat, at no point of time would you feel cramped, even with a pillion on-board.
The 102cc engine that powers the Platina is a smooth-running motor that offers zesty performance. It develops 8 bhp and 8.6 Nm of torque, which allows the lightweight bike to zip to 40 kmph in a jiffy. The energy remains till you hit 60 kmph, post which it wanes gradually. This is an engine that doesn’t enjoy being pushed, so although it can reach a smidge over 80 kmph, it feels quite stressed at that speed. Ride it in an unhurried manner, and you’ll enjoy the smoothness of the engine, as well working up and down the slick 4-speed gearbox.
The biggest draw of the Platina 100ES is its headline mileage figure. It is one of the most efficient motorcycles on sale in India, with an ARAI-tested mileage of 96.9 kmpl. In the real-world, it translates to over 85 kmpl, if you ride with care.
The compact dimensions and lightweight make the Platina an extremely agile motorcycle. You can flick it into and out of gaps, nary a care. While it is no cornering demon, it feels stable and planted through turns.
The ride quality is quite good too. It feels pliant, and soaks up bumps and potholes with ease. Sharp bumps do filter through though, at speeds over 40 kmph. Overall, you won’t be bothered by bad roads when on the Platina.
The Platina employs 110mm drum brakes on both wheels. While the braking on offer feels more than adequate for city riding, it leaves a lot to be desired when braking from speeds over 60 kmph.
The Platina 100ES comes with a host of standard features such as electric start, alloy wheels, a pass light switch, and a maintenance-free battery.
The Platina 100ES is one capable little commuter. It may not be the smartest-looking 100cc bike around, but in terms of sheer performance and rideability, it blows its competition out of the water with its smooth-yet-strong performance, and agility. You get everything you will require in a daily rider - smoothness, a supple ride, dexterity to manoeuvre through heavy traffic, and of course, epic fuel efficiency. The brakes are only adequate; we feel that they should have been stronger, but that's only at speeds in excess of 60 kmph; the Platina doesn't feel really comfortable over those speeds anyways.
At Rs 45,252 (ex-showroom Delhi), it poses exceptional value for money. If you are looking for a no-nonsense bike for your everyday commute, with comfort and efficiency as your top propriety, we suggest you take a closer look at the Bajaj Platina 100ES.
|Engine||DTSI with exhaustec|
|Power||8.1 bhp @ 7500 rpm|
|Torque||8.6 Nm @ 5000 rpm|
|Chassis Type||Single Downtube with cradle|
|Suspension||Front:Hydraulic, Telescopic Type, 125mm travel
Rear:Hydraulic, SNS Type, 100mm travel
|Fuel Tank Capacity||13|