We still think about why the Discover 125 was ever stopped? After all it was the largest selling 125cc motorcycle in the country. After the Discover era, Bajaj rolled out XCD in its place and soon replaced it with Platina. And now comes retuned Platina 125 replacing the engine. Four different bikes inside 4 years. Clear indication of things not going that smoothly for Bajaj in this segment?
The Platina series was developed on the Bajaj Wind 125 base with the CT100 engine and has been much popular after its launch in April 2006. At a catchy price tag of Rs 36000, Bajaj sold 5,00,000 units in first eight months. The 125cc version was launched in Sept 2008 with sales of more than 30,000 units per month. And the new Platina 125 is expected to carry on the baton from here.
The Bike: The natural air cooled 124.6ccc engine is capable of giving you 8.5ps of power. It has a 5 speed gearbox (all down). It features a longer wheelbase and wider rear tyre than its 100cc version. The bike has a 0.5litre larger reserve capacity which doesn’t matter much because the fuel tanks capacity is still kept same at 13litres.However Platina 1265 weighs 3kgs lighter than its old version. Bright headlamps, Ride control switch along with a 12 V 5Ah Maintenance free battery are sure to give you some peace of mind. The ride control switch helps the rider to ride in ‘Fuel Economy zone’ which is also indicated in the fuel gauge meter. Besides that a low fuel indicator is also provided. We didn’t doubt its claimed top speed of 95kmph but we did try to find out its efficiency and were pretty satisfied with its mileage. It returned about 65kmpl in aggressive city riding conditions.
There’s a good chance for that figure to improve if you ride it more sensibly.
Performance: Not living upto anywhere living to expectations we had, Sadly Platina 125 is pretty much disappointing in this segment. There’s only a marginal increase in power from its older version or we say there’s a good chance that you would mistake this vehicle to be a 100cc one. The bike doesn’t feels planted at high speeds(70-80kmph) and further more you will have to settle with its ‘dull’ cornering abilities thanks to its not so good ‘Birla Roadmax’ tyres which can leave you craving for more grip on road. It has an upright seating position in line with other commuter bikes. Moreover unlike its 1000cc version it doesn’t succeed in giving you a plush ride without sacrificing its handling. Another thing we noticed while test riding it was it looks plain and too much stressful riding it without Disc brakes. Platina 125 misses Disc brakes badly. There are no trip meters or tachometers on this bike. A deliberate attempt to keep its cost minimized. But it even with all those, it serves well the purpose of being a commuter bike. It has wide seats and is equipped with 125mm telescopic front and SNS (spring and spring) rear suspension. Handling is not that good when compared with other 125cc bikes. An electric start option is a great relief. Other prominent feature of this bike includes Anti friction bushes in front fork which improves suspension life and an auto choke.
Technology At A Glance
1) Ride Control switch: This features has been specifically introduced to enable the rider to have a non distracting/non intrusive indication of an impending change between Economy zone cruising and Power zone cruising.
It indicates optimum throttle opening for best mileage.
2) Ex-haus TEC: World’s first, the ex-haus TEC (tec expands to torque expansion chamber) improves engine torque at low rpm and is optimized to get maximum performance from engine.
3) SNS Suspension: The spring ‘n’ spring suspension ensures a comfortable ride every time you test it. The SNS rear suspension with longest travel in its class of 100mm, Bajaj used it on several other bikes as well like the DISCOVER 125
Specifications of Bajaj Platina 125:
- Tyre – 124.6cc Naturaal air cooled, park Ignition engine
- Max power – 8.5ps
- Transmission – 5speed gearbox(all down)
- Suspension Front – Telescopic type,125mm
- Rear – SNS(Sping and Spring), 100mm
- Brakes (front and rear)- 100mm Drum
- Tyres Front- 2.75 * 17
- Rear- 3.00 * 17
- Fuel Tank – 10 Litres
- Reserve – 2.5 Litres
- Wheelbase – 1275mm
- Width – 770mm
- Saddle Height – 785mm
- Ground Clearance – 160mm
- Kerb weight – 110kg
- Top Speed – 95kmph
- Manufacturers Warranty- 2 years, 30000kms
- Price – Rs 41,331 (On road, gurgaon, Haryana)
Styling: Premium rugged looks, Contemporary graphics and stylish alloy wheels are the main highlights of Platina 125’s looks. The Platina 100 when first launched in platinum silver color with silver chrome graphics was a huge hit. But here all black styling replaces this theme. Black grab rails, matt finished black silencer with chrome finished foot rest looks good on this bike. The only disappointing thing we noticed was that bike had given away its clear lens indicators and opted for orange ones. Also a new simpler looking fuel lid replaces old but somewhat more stylish fuel lid.
We were quick to enquire this only to get a disappointing answer that now even the Platina 100 would have same changes. Pretty Strange? Apart from that every other detail remains untouched. Even the speedometers and fuel gauge are the same ones. It would have been much more sensible if Bajaj would have striked some similarity between these two variants.
BikeAdvice Verdict: Honestly speaking, Bajaj Platina 125 doesn’t really live upto the Bajaj image. Although new and pretty descent one to ride, the bike needs to undergo several more up gradations before it can really compete with any of the other bikes in the market. Many other 125cc bikes can give you better mileage and with better styling. It’s definitely not recommended for long drives as alloy wheels are of medium quality and drum brakes work pathetic. Sometimes the bike would not start in spite of repeated kicking. But the only good thing about it is its price. Priced at just Rs 41,331 on road against Rs 39,399 (Platina 100) it is aimed at 100cc segment buyers who may look for cheap upgrade to 125cc.Infact its even cheaper than Hero honda splendor motorycle.
While looking competition wise, the bike is expected to take on the like of Super Splendor and Suzuki Zeus. Go for it only if you are a Platina fan or for that matter a Bajaj fan. And more surprisingly the much awaited Platina LPG version seems to be stuck in the garage (like the Sonic) for a long time. Bajaj had already completed its test runs in cities like Ahemdabad and Sangli long time back. But if it comes on road, it will be a boon for many customers who would prefer more value for money bike. While it was still being tested, it had a 5Litre gas tank along with a 10 Litre petrol tank. Also there would be 20% drop in power delivery while it would incur 35-40% less running cost. With rising crude prices, the commercial success of such a bike is anybody’s guess. But we still would have to wait for some time as Bajaj is believed to be sourcing some of the components for the LPG kits from Italian suppliers, is negotiating with the vendors to rationalise costs. Moreover there aren’t enough LPG pumps across the country as of now.