Hero Motocorp has comfortably been on the top spot of the Indian two-wheeler market for more than 15 years in a row. What helped them to this position was their large range of commuters, which had enough products to cater to differing tastes and requirements. What they lacked though was the excitement factor – Hero’s commuters were all too staid and boring, both in terms of design and performance.
That has changed now. At the 2014 Indian Auto Expo held earlier this year, Hero unveiled the Splendor Pro Classic, a café racer styled bike based on the common or garden Splendor. It’s a bike that broke the mould of unexciting commuters, and it is now officially on sale in India. We take it out for a quick spin to see what it has on offer.
Right from the time we took the Splendor Classic from the showroom, till the time we returned it, it caught the eye of nearly everyone on the road. Honestly, I’ve never seen a 100cc commuter bike garner as much attention as this one. Then again, the Splendor Classic is no ordinary commuter bike. Its café racer inspired styling stands out, especially in this bright shade of red, which for reasons unknown is named ‘Solid Maroon’ by Hero. While the fuel tank is akin to the standard Splendor, what sets the Classic apart are the round headlight, the solo rider saddle, the ubiquitous café racer rear cowl, low-mounted handle bar, and chrome fenders and mirrors.
The Splendor Classic not only gets café racer-like styling, it gets similar ergonomics too. The low handlebar is, well, lower than the stock Splendor Pro, but the foot pegs remain middle set. This posture doesn’t feel really comfortable, but it sure does feel sporty and cool. It’s great for posing, but not so great if you plan to ride for long durations. On the brighter side, the solo rider saddle is quite spacious, allowing even generously-sized riders like yours truly to sit comfortably.
It may look sporty, but the Splendor Classic certainly doesn’t have the punch to match. Still, it feels quite sprightly for a 100cc motor. While this is the same tried-and-tested engine that powers most of Hero Motocorp’s commuters in this segment, it has been fettled with to make it slightly more powerful. It feels relaxed at speeds less than 60 kmph, but anything more and its starts to sound strained. The Splendor Classic is best restricted to intra-city commutes.
Thanks to its diminutive dimensions, the Splendor Classic is quite nimble, making riding through traffic a cinch. Don't expect it to handle like a sport bike though. The suspension isn’t really soft, but it does deliver a fairly compliant ride.
The bike comes equipped with 130mm dia. drums on the front and rear wheels. Braking efficiency feels more than adequate under 50 kmph, but as is the case with drum brakes, their effectiveness tends to reduce at speeds above that.
Launching the Splendor Pro Classic was a bold move by Hero Motocorp. In a segment where practicality rules the roost, introducing a motorcycle with unique design that can seat only one person requires guts. Hero should be appreciated for infusing some fun and excitement in an otherwise dreary category.
At Rs 48,650 (ex-showroom, Delhi), we feel the Splendor Classic is priced well. It isn’t very practical, but it will definitely turn heads wherever you go. If you’re in the market for an affordable commuter, and want something that will set you apart from the crowd, the Splendor Pro Classic is a bike worth taking a look at.
Special thanks to Adyar Motors, Chennai, for providing us with the Hero Splendor Pro Classic for the review
Disclaimer: This review is purely based on the test conducted by "ChooseMyBike.in". All views expressed in this review are that of ChooseMyBike.in's, and not of the manufacturer's.
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|Engine||Air Cooled, 4 - Stroke Single Cylinder OHC|
|Power||8.2 bhp @ 8000 rpm|
|Torque||8.05 N-m @ 5000 rpm|
|Chassis Type||Tubular Double Cradle|
|Suspension||Front:Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
Rear:Swing Arm with 5 Step Adjustable Type Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
|Fuel Tank Capacity||11|