Hero Splendor Pro Review-The Legendary Commuter
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The pros: Affordable machine with all basic features, frugal engine, lightweight, comfortable and maneuverability is quite easy.
The cons: Ordinary looks, difficult to control at high speed, suspension system needs to update. Tyres loose its grip at high speed.
The crux: Splendor has a glorious past, and it is still selling like hot cakes, but keeping the competition in mind Hero MotoCorp need to upgrade the bike as a whole.
The word ‘Splendor’ means something magnificent and splendid in appearance, well for us, Splendor means a bike which made commuting easier than ever before and has been ruling the Indian market for last two decades. Launched in 1994 as Hero Honda Splendor, it changed the fortunes of the alliance (Hero & Honda motorcycles) and still it is the most selling bike for the Indian manufacturer - Hero MotoCorp. In these years, Splendor is the most common sight's to be seen on the Indian roads; therefore it doesn’t need any further introduction.
In last 20 years, Splendor has received subtle changes here and there but the basic design remains unchanged, though it looks pretty contemporary than the earlier version. Its mild changes offer a slightly more inclined convex headlamp, slight changes in the graphics and a multi reflector tail lamp. So, even if you compare earlier and latest avatar of this bike you won’t be able to differentiate both bikes in a single glance. The mature styling provides it a universal acceptance, and it also associated with its image, so manufacturer doesn’t want to take the risk with it, as the earlier attempts like Super Splendor,Splendor NXG failed to leave an impact. The utility oriented design, which we also refer as no-nonsense design also helps the manufacture to keep the cost low and make this bike affordable, which is one of the key factors for its popularity in the country.
Switch Gear and Ergonomics:
Hero Splendor Pro comes with a well sorted out switch gear having almost everything on the left hand including horn, light and turn indicator switches, while the self start button is given on the right hand. The regular big rear view mirrors provide a better view in comparison to some other competitors. The seat is big and wide, but cushioning could have been better. The handle bars and foot pegs are placed precisely, which allows the rider to sit in a very comfortable position. What it lacks is that the tank doesn’t provide thigh support; therefore it is difficult to control the bike at high speeds.
Engine and Performance:
Hero Splendor Pro uses the same 97.2cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine, which produces a maximum power output of 7.3 bhp. The power doesn’t reflect and it feels like the power of the bike is pretty low. Recently, Hero MotoCorp started to use APDV (Advanced Pro Digital Variable Ignition), which helps to achieve better ignition by using microcontroller. By using APDV, the engine becomes more frugal, and this reflects in the mileage of the bike. But if we see the larger picture, the 97.2cc motor is good for nothing than doing normal commuting from point A to point B.
Ride and Handling:
Hero Splendor Pro is bolted on a tubular double cradle frame, which helps it to weigh only 109kgs. The bike uses hydraulic suspension in both front and rear, while the swing arm is an old school tubular one, the combined effect of this old fashioned set-up is that the Splendor has stability issues over 70kmph. It uses 18-inch wheels at both ends, with 2.75x18-inch section tyres. The skinny tyres provide adequate grip, but the high speed performance is poor. Splendor has a soft suspension, but it filter through bigger pot holes. Overall, Hero MotoCorp needs to update, its suspension unit and the swing-arm to maintain the legacy of the bike. However, the bike sails through the traffic like nothing and maneuverability is quiet easy. The flick and agile nature of the bike makes it a good commuter and it is also the biggest plus point associate with this bike.
No doubt Splendor has a glorious past, and it is still selling like hot cakes, but keeping the competition in mind Hero MotoCorp need to upgrade the bike as a whole. However, the manner in which it performed on our city roads surely impressed me. I still love this bike as most of us still do, have ridden it in the past but feel that a couple of changes could make the experience far better and elongate its withstanding legacy.