Hero Splendor Pro Classic Long Term Review – Initial Report
Long Term Test No. 71
The Splendor Pro Classic is high on style and is an attention grabber while being extremely frugal too
When we say the word Splendor, what comes to most people’s mind is the boring looking yet highest selling commuter bike from the house of Hero. But, add the word Pro Classic after Splendor and what you get is something totally different. Last year, Hero came up with a more stylish variant of the Splendor for those who would want to have a stylish bike but aren’t willing to spend big money for it. Enter Splendor Pro Classic. It is essentially a reworked version of the standard commuter bike which gives it a Café Racer look thanks to the clip-on handlebars and the single seat with a covered cowl behind. We have it in our long term fleet since sometime to find out how it is exactly.
Not really meant to be a volume churner, the normal Splendor is enough for that, the Splendor Pro Classic is aimed more towards brand building and providing a different experience to customers at an affordable price. The overall styling of the bike looks good but the dimensions are a bit too small making it more suitable for shorter riders. The round headlight in line with the Café Racer differentiates it from the normal bike which comes with a rectangular headlight. This combined with the cowl cover, moulded seat and clip-on handlebar and retro looking indicators set the bike apart in a crowd of bikes. It certainly is an attention grabber which a rider may or may not like.
Being a Café Racer, the riding posture of the Splendor Pro Classic is a lot different from the usual Splendor. You can’t sit upright and ride through town since the handlebar demands you to be in a committed riding position. However, the footpegs haven’t been relocated and remain at their original location which results in a slightly awkward riding position. While a duck down riding posture is not a problem for shorter trips, it becomes a problem on longer rides. The seat is well contoured and provides decent space for the rider to move around. It goes without saying that it is purely a single seater bike and the rear seat has been replaced by a cowl along with the deletion of the rear footpegs and the centre stand as well. Talk about weight reduction!
The Pro Classic’s charm is the heads it turns for very little money spent
While shorter riders would find the lower seat height of the bike and the low overall height a boon, taller riders will find it tough to adjust to it since it requires bending down a bit too much. Once you adjust to it, the bike is fun to ride within the city. Want to sneak into a gap or quickly switch between lanes? No problem, the Splendor Pro Classic will help you do just that with its tiny footprint. The suspension while not a very modern unit provides reasonable level of comfort over broken roads. Flick it around a corner (yes, you can do that) and the bike doesn’t complain except for the tyres which aren’t the grippiest ones out there.
Powering the Splendor Pro Classic is the years old 97.2cc engine from the Splendor. Developed originally by Honda, this mill produces 8.36 BHP of power at 8000 RPM and 8.4 Nm of torque at 5000 RPM. The figures are slightly higher than the other Splendors and the peak power lies in the top-end which makes you want to rev the engine till the redline. But, you have to rely on your senses to adjudge when has the bike touched redline since there’s no rev counter which would have been an excellent addition to the bike. In terms of fuel efficiency, it remains more or less similar to its siblings and delivers around 60 km/l in the city with a mixed riding style.
While the power is decent for its segment, the brakes feel a bit disappointing. Yes, they do their job well but that initial bite is missing and I ended up using engine braking more often than I would have liked. The tyres also aren’t the best when it comes to either grip or sturdiness. They lose grip on the slightest hint of loose gravel or water on the road which doesn’t instil much confidence in the rider to flick it around corners. Also, these tyres are prone to punctures with me facing the issue twice in a short span of time.
Summing it up, the Splendor Pro Classic is a good attempt by Hero MotoCorp at providing its customers with a stylish bike at an affordable price. It has the looks which make people turn their head, is light on the pocket and is quite fun to ride too. Slight weight reduction and a wee bit of extra power makes it sprightlier than the normal Splendor. The target audience of the bike remains a question since rural folks would prefer a bike which can seat two people while the city folks would prefer something more powerful. But, there certainly is a niche segment who would buy the bike just for its classic looks. Riding in the city has never been more fun.
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta
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