Bike Review: Hero Splendor iSmart 110 to buy or not?
The motorcycle that was proudly known as ‘Desh ki Dhadkan’, has been completely updated. Is it still worthy of being ‘Desh ki Dhadkan’, lets find out.For a model that needs no introduction, Hero Splendor iSmart 110 has a lot of details to be disclosed as it is hardly the same machine underneath the most popular label. A passerby might say it is the same wine in a new bottle, Hero says it is comple
The motorcycle that was proudly known as ‘Desh ki Dhadkan’, has been completely updated. Is it still worthy of being ‘Desh ki Dhadkan’, lets find out.For a model that needs no introduction, Hero Splendor iSmart 110 has a lot of details to be disclosed as it is hardly the same machine underneath the most popular label. A passerby might say it is the same wine in a new bottle, Hero says it is completely new compared to its predecessor, almost bolt to bolt.
Following the unveil at the 2016 Auto Expo early this year, the motorcycle has been launched pan-India earlier this week, at an ex-showroom price of INR 53,300 (in New Delhi).
Hero Splendor 110 iSmart is based on an optimised version of the familiar double cradle frame, that has better rigidity and provision for the company’s first self-developed engine introduced on the Duet and Maestro Edge scooters last year. In other words, the new Splendor is Hero MotoCorp’s first (global) motorcycle to be designed and developed completely in-house, and the first model to be crafted by the company’s recently inaugurated Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) at Jaipur.
The new engine is a highlight of the Splendor 110 iSmart in many ways, not the least of which is its compliance to BS IV standards, that makes it the only engine in its class to be so. This should have been aided by the incorporation of Hero’s patented i3S technology (Idle Stop Start System) that was introduced on the iSmart 100 version of the Splendor.
The motor is a 110 cc air-cooled single-cylinder unit much like the 100 cc engine, but produces 9 percent more maximum power and 12 percent higher peak torque than the latter. The figures are 9.4 PS at 7,500 rpm and 9 Nm at 5,500 rpm respectively.
The new engine has a near-flat torque-curve from the mid to high rev range (between 3,000 rpm and 7,500 rpm) compared to the Hero Splendor iSmart 100, that has prompted them to name it the TOD engine (Torque On Demand). In simple terms, the engine is said to be capable of providing a consistent pulling power throughout the turn of throttle in city riding condition, that it would be comparably effortless to accelerate the bike during slopes, slow downs and gear shifts. The bike is capable of accelerating from 0-60 km/h in 7.45 seconds under test conditions. The improvement in the pull of the motorcycle and simultaneously the mileage are said to be contributed significantly by the low-friction characteristics of the new engine that is applied on every moving part possible, in addition to optimised air-fuel flow and combustion.
The company claims that the motorcycle offers the best-in-class power and acceleration, surprisingly fuel economy too. Hero hasn’t put a number to the mileage while claiming that it is the highest in segment on the iSmart 110, but did mention that it would be upwards of 68 km/l. No doubt this is complemented by the brand’s i3S.
During our ride what we felt was not a great deal of difference in performance that you would experience riding a 125 cc motorcycle immediately after a 100 cc one, but we have to admit there was an extra eagerness to rev and push in the Splendor iSmart 110 compared to the iSmart 100.
It is one thing to mimic the characteristics while developing a replacement to a proven engine, but what Hero has done is a at a whole new level as they have made a better motor despite being their first attempt at it. In the process, Hero MotoCorp changed the orientation of the engine from near-horizontal to near-vertical, which given an air-cooled engine has visibly improved the cooling efficiency.
The same goes with the chassis, as the new frame is said to offer enhanced agility and comfortable ride. We did experience a sharper response from the bike while negotiating the urban hurdles, which as a complement to the added performance is a boon to the young audience that the Splendor iSmart 110 targets. The company says this bike has a much better sync between the chassis, suspension and tyres that it offers improved front-rear balance to enhance handling and reduce the chances of fishtailing or twitching under extreme circumstances.
Over the skin, the new Splendor has a noticeably longer seat that measures 35 mm more than the iSmart 100’s. This will no doubt enable a lesser tiring experience while riding for a long time as the rider and/or the pillion will have more space to move forth and back to counter bottom sore. The overlapping merge of the seat on the fuel tank is cleverly finished as it adds a style-factor to the entire bike giving it a sporty feel.
Augmenting the same, the plain instrument console is replaced with a part-analog part-digital meter cluster that gets an embossed bezel improving its presence. There is more on function too to it as it has a service due indicator, apart from digital trip meter and odo. A digital clock would have been a great value addition but is not provided.
The most noteworthy of them all is the Automatic Headlamp On (AHO) feature on the Hero Splendor iSmart 110 which is a first-in-segment offering. Unlike what the name suggests, the headlamp will not be turned On automatically during low-light conditions or at night, but it will stay on whenever the engine is running. Hence an On/Off switch for headlamp is not provided.
To conclude, the Hero Splendor iSmart 110 has changed the appeal of the Splendor brand from classic to catchy; it would no more be reckoned just as a daddy’s go-to bike.
Type Air Cooled, 4 Stroke Single Cylinder , OHC
Max. Power 7 Kw @ 7500 RPM
Max. Torque 9 Nm @ 5500 RPM
Compression Ratio 10:01
Transmission & Chassis
Clutch Multi-Plate, Wet Type
Frame Tubular Double Cradle
Ground Clearance 165mm
Fuel Tank Capacity 8.5 Litre
Reserve 2 Litre
Kerb Weight 115 Kg
Max Payload 130 Kg
Front Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
Rear Swing Arm with Adjustable Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
Front 130mm Drum
Rear 110mm Drum
Wheels & Tyres
Front 2.75 x 18-4 PR | 80/100-47 P Tyre w Tube | Tubeless Tyre
Rear 2.75 X 18-6 PR | 80/100-54P Tyre w Tube | Tubeless Tyre
Battery MF4 3Ah
Headlamp HS1 Bulb (35W/35W)
Taillamp P21/5 Bulb (5W/21W)
This article has first appeared in Rushlane.com