Hero Splendor iSmart 110 Road Test Review — The Smartest Commuter Yet?

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The name 'Splendor' is very familiar in the Indian market. The name is almost synonymous with 'fuel efficiency' in India. The Splendor was initially introduced in the Indian market back in 1994, when Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle had a joint venture.

The Splendor became an immediate success in the Indian market and over the years, the motorcycle received minor changes to keep the design fresh. Later, in 2011, Hero and Honda parted ways and thus, Hero MotoCorp was established.

Under the new brand name, Hero MotoCorp unveiled 15 upgraded products in 2013, including the Splendor with a unique start stop system called the i3S. The latest Splendor to feature this system is the 110cc variant, which has been developed in-house by Hero. So is it the smartest choice for a commuter out there? Let's find out.

Model Tested: Hero Splendor iSmart 110cc

Price: Rs. 53,300 ex-showroom (Delhi)

Hero Splendor iSmart 110 Design

The Splendor iSmart is designed to appeal to the younger audience, and Hero is in the right direction. The motorcycle features a sleek design, and the graphics complement the design very well. The Splendor iSmart has smooth flowing lines, and at the rear, the split grabrail uplifts the overall design of the vehicle.

Looking at the Splendor iSmart from the side, the plastic cladding below the fuel tank and the engine, along with the exhaust finished in black blend well. The little silver tip at the end of the exhaust goes in very well too.

Hero Splendor iSmart 110 Engine & Performance

Powering the Splendor iSmart 110 is a 109.15cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine. Unlike the other Splendor models, the iSmart 110's engine is mounted vertically, and produces 9.2bhp and 9Nm of peak torque. The engine is BS-IV compliant and comes paired to a 4-speed gearbox with all-up shift (N-1-2-3-4) pattern. Hero MotoCorp claims a mileage efficiency upwards of 68km/l.

Initial and low end performance is good, but feels dead in the midrange. The rider has to work the engine to a higher rpm to squeeze out all the performance. Keeping in mind that the Splendor iSmart is a commuter, the engine does its duty well.

The BS-IV compliant engine helps the Splendor iSmart accelerate from 0 to 60km/h in 7.45 seconds and the major highlight about the engine is Hero's i3S technology (Idle-Stop-Start System).

So What Is The i3S Technology?

The i3S or the Idle-Stop-Start technology is a feature to enhance the mileage of the motorcycle. When the rider shifts the gear into the neutral position, and lets go of the clutch, the engine is killed after 5 seconds. When the rider depresses the clutch again, the engine starts automatically. This feature can be turned on or off using a switch on the right hand side of the switchgear, where an engine kill switch is usually found.

Ride & Handling Of The Splendor iSmart 110

The first thing one would notice about the Splendor iSmart is the smooth engine and the soft gearshifts. The Splendor was always known for it's excellent engine, that has very little, or infact, no vibrations at all at low rpm. When the commuter is being ridden hard to utilise all its power at a higher rpm, vibrations are felt.

The rider is seated upright and the stance is very comfortable, thanks to the soft seat and well setup suspension. Being a commuter, the iSmart is not the ideal motorcycle one would expect to get their knee down around a corner. The Splendor iSmart 110 handles decent around corners and feels very nimble, which is a key character of a commuter. The mirrors offer good visibility too.

Braking felt sharp and the drum brakes were adequate, but disc brakes would have been a welcomed feature.

Features On The Splendor iSmart 110

The Splendor iSmart 110 does not boast anything huge, primarily because it is a commuter and cost is a factor kept in mind. Some highlights are the 18-inch alloy wheels finished in black, wrapped with 80/100 Ceat tyres, telescopic front and dual rear suspension, drum brakes for the front and rear, and a semi digital instrument cluster.

The fuel cap could have been hinged to the motorcycle, since it could fall off while refueling and collect dirt, which would eventually make its way into the engine and cause damage.

Instrumentation & Switchgear On the Splendor iSmart 110

As mentioned above, the Splendor iSmart 110 comes with a semi digital instrument cluster with a large analogue speedometer and a fuel gauge on the left. The digital console is on the right side of the cluster, that displays the odo, trip meter, and the service reminder.

Warning lights are located within the analogue speedometer and displays indicator warning, neutral position of the gearshifter, and the side stand warning lamp, which is a new addition.

In terms of switchgear, Hero has kept it simple. The left side features headlight high and low beam (since we tested the automatic headlight variant), headlight pass switch, indicator, and the horn. The right side mount bears the starter and the i3S switch in blue, which the user can turn off the i3S system. The Splendor does not have an engine kill switch.

Pros & Cons Of The Splendor iSmart 110

+ Smooth engine
+ Smooth gearbox
+ Very appealing design
+ Comfort and handling
+ Easy to read instrument cluster
+ Suspension

Switchgear quality
Mid range acceleration
Lack of disc brake

Verdict

Coming to the most important bit - is the Splendor iSmart a smart commuter? If you could bear the quality of the switchgear, live with drum brakes, and you are looking for a serious commuter, the iSmart is very well a clever choice. There is a reason why the Splendor is the best selling motorcycle in India, because it ticks every box a commuter should tick.

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Read more on: #hero motocorp #review
Story first published: Saturday, July 16, 2016, 15:36 [IST]
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