First Ride

2016 Hero Splendor iSmart 110 review, test ride

We get astride Hero MotoCorp’s first-ever completely in-house developed motorcycle, the Splendor iSmart and take it for a quick spin.

DETAILS
  • Make  Hero MotoCorp
  • Model  Splendor
  • Edition  iSmart 110
9
photos
The Splendor iSmart 110 wasn’t a wholly unexpected motorcycle, as we had already seen it at the 2016 Auto Expo. What was unexpected, however, was how quickly Hero MotoCorp would take it from motor show to showroom – in just a little over five months. And while it might carry a very familiar name and suffix, what makes this new iSmart special is that it is the first all-new motorcycle to roll out of the Hero’s Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur. So, is this the same definition of words “all-new” that the company has been throwing around for years, or do those words carry more gravitas this time around? A brief ride on some isolated Gurgaon roads let us answer that question.
 
Design
 
At first glance, especially if you're looking at the bike in its red-silver, two-tone colour scheme, you're immediately reminded of the 100cc iSmart. But give it a second look and you quickly realise that there are a lot more details here. It's a distinctly larger bike with a more mature design. That being said, the two-tone paint job still is one of the most striking visual features of this bike. It really gives this new iSmart a much more premium look and it looks especially handsome in the blue-black combination. This two-tone theme even carries over on the backs of the mirror, which really is a nice touch and the overall paint finish is top notch. The subtle graphics, which include a large, faint tracing of the letters 'i3S' on the tank along with name and company badges done in a not so in-your-face size, are a classy touch. The taller, more sculpted tank fits well even within the proportions of a frills-free commuter motorcycle, and when you actually get into the saddle, you immediately realise just how comfortable it is to grip with your thighs. There are a lot more really well thought-out design details such as the new, pointier bikini fairing, sharper trapezoidal headlight, new clear lens indicators and even a redesigned split grab rail at the back that doesn't look like a chopped up single piece unit any more. Even the angular tail-lamp unit integrates extremely well into this new design. The new instrument cluster requires special mention. It features two analogue dials for the speedometer and fuel gauge, along with an LCD panel for odo and trip information. The blue accents inside the cluster look quite spiffy and even though it’s not breaking the mould in terms of amount of information available, it manages to look like one of the most premium units in this class of bike. Looking at this new styling as a whole, suddenly, you feel a little let down by the skinny forks and skinny tyres, as they are a strong reminder about which class this new bike plays in as well. But play as it might in this people mover class, the overall fit and finish of the bike is quite remarkable.
 
Ergonomics
 
The Splendor iSmart 110 features a fairly standard upright commuter stance. But as mentioned before, the tank is extremely comfortable to grip with your thighs and it really helps the rider feel one with the bike. Not only that, the seat itself is also quite comfortable and has been made longer to better accommodate pillions. When you get on the bike, it feels fairly substantial for its class, without feeling intimidating in any way.
 
Engine
 
At the heart of this bike is the brand new 110cc air-cooled engine designed and built in-house at Hero MotoCorp. As compared to the company’s bread-and-butter 100cc sloper motor that has plied Indian roads for over three decades, this one’s cylinder has been lifted to a higher angle, though it’s not as upright as the one from Hero’s 125cc bikes. Speaking to Markus Feichtner, head of engine design and development at Hero MotoCorp’s CIT, we were told that the choice to lift the cylinder angle was made to better aid cooling in the monsoon, as the sloper has a tendency get covered with the mud spray from the front wheel. Thanks to friction-busting technologies, as well as optimised flow and combustion, this motor manages to put out 9.5hp at 7500rpm and a healthy 9Nm of torque coming in at 5500rpm. And staying with current regulations, the motor is BS-IV compliant, making it the second bike launched this year in this segment that meets these more stringent emissions norms.
 
Gearbox
 
The four-speed gearbox itself is a pretty slick shifter with adequately spaced out ratios which work well with the motor’s torque spread. And while it does stick to the Splendor’s classic, all-up shift pattern, the lever now gets a nub at the front (instead of the flat pedal like on the standard Splendor), making it easy to shift using just your toe.
 
See more about:  splendor, ismart, review
comments powered by Disqus

notSet

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
What's in this issue?

Trending Now
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

Maruti S-Cross long-term review, final report

Maruti S-Cross long-term review, final report

Jan 9, 2017
The more we drove it, the more it endeared itself to us.
2016 BMW 330i GT review, test drive

2016 BMW 330i GT review, test drive

Jan 4, 2017
The revered ‘330i’ badge is back, but it now points to a very...
2016 Hyundai Elantra petrol long-term review first report

2016 Hyundai Elantra petrol long-term review first report

Jan 3, 2017
The new executive sedan has an easy-going character that’s best...
Volvo XC90 T8 Excellence review, test drive

Volvo XC90 T8 Excellence review, test drive

Dec 21, 2016
The range-topping Volvo XC90 is designed to save the environment while...
Mahindra Verito long term review, fifth report

Mahindra Verito long term review, fifth report

Dec 17, 2016
The oldest long-termer in our fleet chugs along but is now showing signs of...
Latest News
Ford Mustang to be present at the Autocar Performance Show
The muscle car will be showcased from January 19-22; it comes with a...
4 hours ago   1 picture
Ducati 1299 Panigale Superleggera launched at Rs 1.12 crore
At 156kg, the Superleggera is about 10kg lighter than the standard Panigale;...
6 hours ago   3 pictures
2017 Nissan GT-R to be showcased at Autocar Performance Show
The sportscar is powered by a 570hp 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6; does 0-100kph...
8 hours ago   1 picture
Tata Hexa vs rivals: Specifications comparison
Tata is betting big on the Hexa, its properly loaded premium crossover will...
9 hours ago   1 picture
Tata Hexa price, variants explained
Tata Hexa is priced from Rs 11.99 lakh; comes in three trim levels; powered...
10 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
When seated at the rear do you buckle up?



or View results
Always
  20%
 
Sometimes
  31%
 
Never
  49%
TOTAL VOTES: 275

Vote now
Which one of these bikes would you choose?



or View results
. Mahindra Mojo
  7%
 
Bajaj Dominar 400
  57%
 
Royal Enfield Himalayan
  36%
TOTAL VOTES: 1881

Vote now
View previous Polls »