We get astride the Bajaj Platina ES, to find out if it lives up to its working class commuter claim.
The Platina will soon complete a decade since it was born at Bajaj Auto here in India.The motorcycle has helped Bajaj garner substantial sales volume, as it is one of its most fuel-efficient and low maintenance offering in the entry-level motorcycle segment. Bajaj Auto recently hopped on to the right path by launching two motorcycles - the Platina ES and the refreshed CT100 - in the entry-level segment, not only to offer variety, but also to cater to this vast market.
For the new Platina ES, which is now equipped with a self-start function, Bajaj Auto claims a higher mileage figure than before.
Bajaj Auto’s technological base has been strengthened by the help of the Mattighofen-based motorcycle specialist – KTM – because of whom they now produce one of the world’s most advanced single-cylinder motorcycle engines right here in India. The one thing similar to Bajaj's economy and performance bikes is the value-for-money price-tags they offer across the range. And now, the Indian brand is once again paying attention to the neglected commuter segment and the mass-market consumer.
As simple as it may sound, reviewing the Bajaj Platina ES was actually quite interesting. A ride about Pune’s heavy traffic quickly made me realise just how easy the Platina ES was to live with. It is an efficient people mover, and even if it only moves two at a time, it does so gently.
The Platina ES is long and sleek in the flesh, with a refreshed front fascia that it largely carries forward from the regular Platina. But overall, the ES is almost completely redesigned. The bright red motorcycle provided to us looked smart in the flesh. Its front cowl is reworked to form a solid panel now - the black visor seen on the previous model has been dropped. Protected by the cowl is an old school, all-analogue instrument panel, displaying a speedometer, odometer and a fuel gauge via twin chrome-rimed meters. Handle grips are soft to touch and are of decent quality, so are the black levers. Mirrors work well to provide a broad view of the approaching traffic. The well-curved fuel-tank has a filler-cap hinge provided for convenience. Moving on, a long, flattish and dual-tone saddle is provided with a grippy seat-cover for the rider and pillion. Body-coloured grab handle make way here.
The Platina ES now has a completely blacked out engine that helps carry on the all-black theme, which includes the rims, the exhaust pipe and the chassis. The chrome exhaust cover is the only part that stands out in the shadowy backdrop.