Hero Splendor iSmart Review
Bike Tested: Hero Splendor iSmart
Price OTR Navi Mumbai: Rs. 57,200/-
It may be just a commuter, but the iSmart is completely extraordinary in its class.
“Revolution is a spectators sport. The majority will sit in the stands and watch the factions fight. At the end they will choose side with the team that is winning”. This line has been pretty much the epitome when it comes to the automotive world. A technology comes, promises more efficiency and the world agrees and later on the entire bandwagon follows. We know, you don’t completely agree when it comes to this particular scenario. However, when did anyone think that this could happen. A 100cc motorcycle coming with a system which was last seen on cars which cost more than two million rupees. Hero MotoCorp, as the world knows, has been on aggressive level 99. Co-operating with technology partners around the world has led them to come up with this, the Hero Splendor iSmart. A product which will change the fate of the common commuter. Why? Because the bike and the brand are icons and when icons take a step, the world stands up and takes notice. Hero MotoCorp’s iSmart is all about that, yet again it may not sound exciting, but it is. 10 million copies sold worldwide till date and selling 1 million units per year speaks for itself. We are the first people to ride the Hero Splendor iSmart22 and we give you a sneak peek into the future.
Three tone color scheme, split grab rails, racing strips on the rear cowl, aluminium pegs and a large headlight cowl is what lends the Splendor iSmart a distinct look thanks to all these elements being brand new to a commuter motorcycle. Once parked outside for the world to gauge at, everybody gave it superbike level of attention. All styling elements come together well and give this commuter a fresh look while retaining the iconic lines to some extent. The tank is a smaller version of the Honda Unicorn when viewed in most angles.
The instrument cluster is also a brand new unit with a new additional feature called side stand indicator, a first for Hero. Rest of the meters are analog which includes the fuel gauge as well. Switchgear is a traditional Honda unit with everything being controlled on the left side while the right side has a new red colour starter button and the engine kill switch place now hosts the start-stop system’s on and off switch. Alloy wheels, kick start, electric start and engine guard come as standard fitment. Extremely comfortable riding position with low seat height, raised handlebars and rear set footpegs. Tank is well sculpted to accommodate your thighs and for gripping the tank.
Hop on to the motorcycle, start the engine with a kick and the engine will idle for 30 seconds and then shut off. The Hero Splendor iSmart has been programmed to do so, if you keep the start stop switch “on” then the i3S (Idle Stop-Start System) system works. The system truly comes into action when you are riding. Come to a stop and put your bike into neutral and after 5 seconds the engine shuts off. All in the interest of saving fuel. However, later on, no need to start the engine the conventional way. Just depress the clutch and the starter motor brings the engine back to life. As you might have understood, it’s the idling that stops and not the engine, engine continues to work. If you stop idling the bike, fuel saving begins. All in all, we can say that the system is absolutely flawless and works like a charm and there isn’t anything unnerving or irritating about it.
Powering this motorcycle is the famous “97.2cc” engine which produces 7.69 BHP of power at 7500 RPM and 8.04 Nm of torque at 4500 RPM. As always, the Honda engine is flawless, super smooth with excellent NVH levels. The motor redlines all the way smoothly and shouts out the same commuter soundtrack we are used to listening. Coupled with the motor is a 4-speed gearbox, which is surprising. Since this bike has the technology to save fuel, a 5-speed transmission would have been better. However a 5-speed unit robs the mid-range which a 4-speed box delivers instantly almost like an electric motor. A speed of 60 km/hr is easily obtained which makes the Splendor an excellent city slicker in our crowded traffic conditions. Top speed of 80 km/hr is what one should expect.
Ride quality is excellent and handling is netural. It can run the smallest diameter of rings around a person when it comes to taking a u-turn. A 8.7-litre fuel tank and 99% surety of delivering up to 70 km/l reminds us of the “fill it, shut it, forget it” slogan. 500+ kms of range on a single tank of fuel is one of the things that makes commuters go gaga over this machine. Handling is neutral. The Splendor iSmart feels planted at all speeds thanks to the stiff and competent tubular double cradle frame. Braking is good. The brake liners are specially developed for this bike which gives good bite, feel and of course better stopping power. Front brakes as always don’t inspire any confidence and rear brakes do most of the job in these motorcycles. A front disc brake should be an option for this technologically advanced bike.
The Hero Splendor iSmart may be the same bike with a different skin and features, but it’s the technology which it hosts make it the first bike in the world with a start-stop system, something which was recently introduced to the world. This system saves 10-15% of fuel and considering fuel prices and “mileage conscious” consumers in our country, buyers should find this bike excellent value. Why value you may ask? It’s because the bike is priced just Rs. 2000/- higher than the regular Splendor (without stop-start). Technology is playing a vital role and Hero MotoCorp knows it very well and so do other manufacturers. With this, a new innings begin for Hero and we hope Sachin Tendulkar alike success awaits them because this is a small pawn in their stable with more eco motorcycles to come.
The Splendor iSmart offers hassle free performance which Hero MotoCorp is known for in the commuter segment. At just Rs. 2000/- more than the regular Splendor, the iSmart variant is complete bang for the buck.
* Smooth and frugal engine
* i3S technology works flawlessly
What’s Not So Cool
* Nothing digital on the cluster