While the premium motorcycle market in India continues to grow, the entry level segment too is getting regular upgrades. Bajaj has been introducing upgrades for its Pulsar and Discover range, however the Indian bike maker has now turned its eyes on its Platina, and given it a major upgrade. As customers are getting spoilt for choices, manufacturers are pampering them with more & more features and newer technology. The Platina ES promises to do something just like that. We find out how good is the Platina ES, thanks to Raigad Bajaj in Panvel.
The Platina was first launched in 2006. Its design was based on the earlier Wind 125, whereas the engine was sourced from the CT 100. But the new Platina ES gets a bunch of upgrades beginning with a wider body than before. The colour scheme has changed and even the shades on offer are a lot trendier than before. The new Platina ES comes with three colour options, with a new bright 'Electron Blue' shade. It also gets new graphics. Other elements that highlight the looks of the bike are the five-spoke matte black alloy wheels, graphite-coloured engine and a black exhaust with a chrome heat shield. Though the main criteria of choosing a bike in this category is price and mileage, the looks are pretty neat for an entry-level motorcycle. The bike does feel broader than the Platina, which is still very flat and basic in styling.
The instrumentation is basic with a speedometer on the left and a fuel gauge with a neutral indicator on the right side. Getting started on the bike is now a smooth affair, as it comes with an electric starter. A slight push of the starter button and it fires up instantly. The seating posture is upright and the saddle height (798mm) is ideal for riders with average height. With a kerb weight of 108kg, it is a very light bike to handle and maneuver too, though, it has a flip side of not being very stable at speeds above 60km/h and has a top speed of 90km/hr. The skinny tyres don't help too much either, as they are added for better fuel efficiency and lighter weight.
The New Platina 100 ES receives two major upgrades, first is the new 102cc DTS-i engine, which produces 8bhp of power at 7500rpm and 8.6Nm of maximum torque. The Platina gets 99.27cc engine and both are different. The DTS-i gets the twin spark-plug technology that helps in better combustion, which means better performance and fuel efficiency too. The second change is the introduction of an electric starter, which isn't available on the Platina. A four speed transmission, with an'all down' pattern is mated to this engine.
I must mention that the suspension of the Platina is absolutely impressive. The way it handled potholes and broken roads with aplomb, was a surprise and frankly, I didn't expect this from an entry level motorcycle. The SNS (spring in spring) suspension does a fantastic job. Engineers at Bajaj have definitely understood the Indian rider's plight due to bad roads. Also, the seat is pretty comfortable even on a prolonged ride and long enough to seat two comfortably.
On the road, the bike comfortably cruises at 50-60 km/hr, though overtaking does need some planning. The vibrations from the engine are well contained. Somehow, I struggled to keep the rear view mirrors in a fixed position as they kept changing directions at will. Better quality of mirrors is certainly desired.
The brakes, 110mm drums, front and rear are ordinary and the stopping power could have been better. However, the bike I rode was a brand new one, so probably the bite would get better after some more running, once the brake liners settle in.
Another highlight of this bike is its high ground clearance. At 190mm, the highest in the segment, it is a boon on semi-urban and rural terrains. It was evident in the way the bike climbed up a footpath with a height of almost 10 inches, without touching anywhere.
Bajaj claims a fuel efficiency of 96.9 km/l for the Platina ES, which is by far the highest as compared to competition and also its USP. The fuel tank has a capacity of 11.5 litres. A 12V, 3Ah zero maintenance battery is now offered on this bike. With a price tag of about Rs 52,000 (on-road, Mumbai), the Platina ES is well priced and with the high fuel efficiency, is a good value for money product too. Where other brands excel is engine refinement, but that does come at a higher price tag too.
Source : MotorOctane