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Bajaj Platina CNG: Read Everything About Bajaj’s First CNG Motorcycle
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Bajaj Platina CNG: Read Everything About Bajaj’s First CNG Motorcycle

Featured Stories by Team Drivio | Nov 07, 2023

Bajaj Auto has confirmed it is working on launching CNG variants of its commuter motorcycles, with the first model likely to be a CNG version of its popular Platina 110cc bike

  • Bajaj is developing a CNG variant of its 110cc Platina commuter motorcycle for the Indian market.
  • The Platina CNG is expected to be priced competitively around Rs76-80k to undercut rivals.
  • It will likely use a detuned version of the 110cc engine targeting mileage of 65km/kg.

With high petrol prices, CNG bikes have surged in popularity for offering superior fuel economy and lower running costs. Bajaj’s arch-rival TVS already retails the Star City Plus CNG commuter, and Hero is also gearing up to launch CNG variants soon. By introducing a Platina CNG targeting its stronghold commuter segment, Bajaj aims to be at the forefront of this fast-growing trend.

Expected Engine Specs & Performance

Bajaj’s upcoming CNG bike is likely to be powered by a modified version of the Platina 110’s 115.45cc DTS-i engine tuned for CNG fueling. The air-cooled, single-cylinder motor on the Platina kicks out 8.6PS power and 9.81Nm torque on petrol. On CNG power output could be slightly lower but torque may improve.

TVS has tuned the 109.7cc engine on Star City Plus CNG to deliver 8.2PS and 8.7Nm, so similar figures can be expected from Platina CNG. Lower combustion temperatures should also enhance engine longevity. With 3.8 liters of storage, the mileage could be in the ballpark of 65km/kg. Performance will stay adequate for urban commuting.

Expected Features & Equipment

As a commuter-focused CNG motorcycle, Platina CNG is not expected to boast premium features. It should get essentials like an electric start, a chrome muffler cover, tank pads, and durable tires. Following its petrol sibling, a semi-digital instrument console can be anticipated.

Being a CNG bike, an analog fuel gauge for the CNG cylinder along with a digital odo/trip meter will be included. Safety norms mandate that CNG variants must have separate fuel lines, and corrosion-resistant metal components, and be painted in specified colors. Bajaj will integrate the necessary CNG hardware while limiting costs on other features.

Anticipated Pricing & Positioning

With attractive affordability critical for CNG bike buyers, Bajaj will have to price the Platina CNG competitively. The Platina 110 has a sticker price between ₹70-74k on-road depending on variant. The TVS Star City Plus CNG retails at ₹77k on-road in comparison.

Considering the CNG components will increase costs, pricing around ₹76-80k can be expected for the Platina CNG, undercutting the TVS model. This will fend off other rivals while attracting CNG buyers even from the pre-owned market. Being the most affordable CNG bike will align with Bajaj’s positioning focus.

Section 1: Platina Petrol vs Rivals

The Platina 110cc plays in the budget commuter segment, seeing rivals like Hero Splendor+, TVS Radeon & Honda CD110 Dream. By reputation, it aces practicality but lacks pizazz vs rivals. The frugal 115cc DTS-i motor returns 96kmpl mileage, offsetting lower 8.6PS power.

Neutral handling from telescopic forks/twin springs along with 130mm drum brakes ensure reliable city riding. Key traits like tubeless tires, electric start and tank pads cater well to target audience but some rivals offer more flair.

Section 2: CNG Bike Market Dynamics

CNG bikes comprise just 5% of the commuter segment currently but are experiencing rising uptake. With CNG prices nearly half of petrol, operating costs are 40% lower despite reduced mileage of 65km/kg. This drives ownership savings of ₹9000/year for moderate users, recouping the premium for CNG variants.

As reliability of OEM CNG kits improves and filling infrastructure expands, 2W buyers are becoming more receptive. CNG's greener credentials also attract customers. Consequently, OEMs see major room for growth in commuter CNG bikes. Bajaj's foray aims to seize first-mover advantage here.

Section 3: Outlook for Platina CNG Success

The Platina CNG targets a strategic sweet spot in the market. With its strong 110cc brand imprint over two decades, Platina enjoys high awareness. This combines well with growing popularity of factory-fitted CNG bikes. Leveraging this, Bajaj can become price leader in the budget CNG motorcycle category.

By undercutting the TVS Star City Plus, Bajaj can entice its large commuter customer base to switch to CNG without compromising trust in Platina's proven value. Capitalizing on rising CNG demand and keeping the Platina CNG affordable will be key to tap into a lucrative opportunity

Conclusion

Bajaj's upcoming Platina CNG motorcycle has strong prospects despite stiffening competition. Its clever leveraging of Platina's equity with the timely value of a factory CNG kit can strike a chord with masses. Keeping pricing ultra-competitive without compromising fuel economy or reliability will be crucial though. Overall, the Platina CNG looks well-primed to put Bajaj in the CNG bike driver's seat.