Hero Splendor iSmart 110 Review
Bike Tested: Hero Splendor iSmart 110
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 60,000/-
The iSmart 110 is completely a Hero product and innovation developed at CIT, Jaipur
It’s been five years since the Hero and Honda separation, yet the Indian motorcycle giant has always been overshadowed by the latter. It’s products were perceived as somewhat inferior and were thought to be same in design as that of Honda’s by conventional Indian masses. However, it’s been quite sometime that Hero MotoCorp has been bringing it’s own innovation into the otherwise Hero-Honda products. Well, this year, Hero has stepped-up by developing their first completely in-house motorcycle and branding it as ‘Splendor’, a name which Hero owes its fortune to. The Splendor iSmart 110 may sound like just a big-bore version of its previous iteration but it is much more than that as it carries the 100% Hero essence.
Styling – To begin with, the iSmart styling is evident as this one gets similar graphics with a refreshed feel. The colour scheme has also been kept similar with negligible updates. However, this is where the similarity ends. The headlight has a trapezoidal shape which seems to have been given keeping in mind the growing trend for it. The tank gets some curves giving it a beefy look, while the traditional fuel cap has been replaced by a much more modern looking one. The rear has been revamped with the new grab-rails and an updated tail-lamp which looks sharp. The overall styling is kept modern and pleases the eye.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The quality of plastics also feels much better while the footrest holders have a matte texture which also give it a modern feel. The instrument cluster is completely updated and looks very neat. It also gets a small digital display with a blue back-light that displays a trip-meter, odometer and a service reminder. Basic, but functional. The absence of a tachometer isn’t sorely missed but the addition of it could’ve made the iSmart 110 a feature loaded bike, just as Hero’s scooters are. Anyway, the switchgear is standard except for the missing headlight button because the bike features an all-time running headlight (AHO).
Ergonomics – Sitting on the motorcycle, one expects comfort and the Hero delivers yet again. The seat is evidently longer while its width remains the same. The footpegs are a little centre-set while the traditional heel gear-shift is here to stay. At 115 kgs, the Splendor iSmart 110 feels fairly easy to move around and while mounting on to the centre-stand. The seating stance for both, the rider and pillion is relaxed and the rubber-clad footpegs feel comfortable.
The Intelligent Start-Stop System works flawlessly and saves a lot of fuel
Performance – The new 110cc i3S engine producing 9.38 BHP certainly feels much more powerful than the previous one. Hero characterises this engine with ‘Torque-on-demand’ and it does stand true to it. Start the engine and there’s this crisp firing you hear. Heel down your way through the gears and you realise how smooth the motor is. The bike makes you ride it the way it wants to be ridden – smooth, relaxed and sober. The economy range on the speedometer lists 30-50 km/hr but the iSmart 110 feels quite comfortable even at 65 km/hr after which it loses out on throttle response and the engine feels stressed. As our testing location was a secured area with virtually empty roads, the top speed the motorbike could do was barely 95 km/hr. However, considering its just a 110cc commuter, the Splendor behaves pretty good. The best part? Cross a speed bump and this commuter still pulls from 20 km/hr in fourth gear; a fifth gear wasn’t missed so much. Overall NVH levels are pretty impressive and Hero seems to have done some real good work at CIT.
The iSmart 110 is a perfect commuter that carries on the legacy of the Splendor
Riding Dynamics – The Hero Splendor iSmart 110, like any other commuter, is a bliss to ride. It’s light, peppy and cheerful. The 10 mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor does nothing to affect the bike’s ability to tackle typical road conditions such as dodging potholes. However, if this Splendor were to go through one, the suspension setup doesn’t do that well to take care of it. Add this to a low overall weight of 115 kgs and you’re in for a ride! The brakes on the iSmart 110 also fail to impress. With drum brakes both front and rear, stopping power isn’t as effective and you end up slamming the rear brake as the front simply lacks any feedback. In any case, the Ceat Zoom tyres felt extremely grippy because a wheel lock-up was actually very difficult to do.
Verdict – With the times moving ahead, Hero has given an essential update to the Splendor iSmart by launching a 110cc version. There’s no doubt that the iSmart 110 deserves to be Hero’s new flagship as it does define new standards for the desi manufacturer. Since the conventional masses are still hung-up on the Splendor brand, the the new i3S is a worthy upgrade for those looking for a new splendor with yet a hint of the old one that was once loved by all. With a price tag of barely Rs. 57,000/- (on-road, Delhi), the Hero Splendor iSmart 110 sure does enough for what it’s meant. It carries with it a soul of a workhorse yet elegant enough to keep captivated a deserving owner.
* Sharp, modern styling gives a refreshed look to the Splendor series
* All-time Headlamp On (AHO) is an important safety feature
* Impressive NVH levels
* Flawless automatic start-stop system
* Well-balanced dynamics
* Improved overall finish on plastics
What’s Not So Cool
* Front brake lacks necessary feedback
* No optional front disc brake on offer
Alternatives – TVS Victor 110