New Hero Splendor Plus Xtec: Likes and Dislikes
We’ve ridden the most feature-rich Splendor Plus money can buy, here is what we liked and disliked
Three decades. That’s almost how long the Splendor name has been in service. It is undoubtedly one of Hero MotoCorp’s favourite children. Arguably, even the nation’s most beloved motorcycle. When you look back at its evolution over the years, it has changed and graduated on many fronts, just like us humans. Incrementally learning, continuously growing, staying up to date with time. And in the age of everything digital, the new Hero Splendor Plus Xtec is geekier than before. So, after having received its round of new tech and features, it’s not only the most expensive Splendor you can buy, but also the most feature rich. Here’s what we liked and disliked about the new Splendor Plus Xtec.
1- Incredible Fuel Economy:
Petrol prices have never been higher. In fact, this motorcycle has seen thirty years of rising fuel prices. Environmental norms have changed, it has seen that too. It has made the BS6 transition as well. No matter what you throw at the Spendor, this bike has been consistently great at being frugal with its fuel consumption. And, it still is!
City - 83.2kmpl
Highway - 95.8kmpl
With a 9.8-litre fuel tank, a full tank of fuel will help you cover over 900km between stops. That’s Pune to Bangalore in one tank! In 2022, that’s not only unheard of but also promises huge savings. So, if you’re just a commuter, in theory, a tank of fuel can even last you a month.
2- Ideal Daily Rider
This motorcycle has a very reliable heart. The 97.2cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder sloper engine has stood the test of time in various parts of India. The build quality is hardy and industrial, yet with the BS6 transition, it feels so refined and gentle. The power you get is a modest 8.02PS and torque of just 8.05Nm. But if you match that to its low Kerb weight of 112kg, there is enough peppiness to be had from its four-speed gearbox. Here are some performance figures for you.
0-40kmph - 4.19 seconds
0-60kmph - 8.51 seconds
0-80kmph - 16.38 seconds
30-70kmph (3rd gear) - 10.09 seconds
40-80kmph (4th gear) - 13.8 seconds
3- Handling, Ride Quality and Comfort
Be it the city or a village somewhere in India, this motorcycle is known for its easy and effortless handling. If you are not demanding too much work from it, the daily dodging of potholes and zipping through traffic is effortless.
In fact, the front fork is pliant, it soaks in undulations well and ensures you’re not wrestling the handlebars for control. The rear gets a bit of preload adjustability and it doesn’t matter if you’re riding solo or two-up (we’ve even seen four-up), the ride quality is more than adequate.
The riding posture is very neutral and upright, and the well padded single seat makes easy work of long commutes.
4- Going Digital
It’s the digital age. Even Hero’s scooters have made the transition to LCD screens and bluetooth connectivity. Hence it is nice to see the Splendor Plus get an Xtec variant. It gets a decent orange back-lit all digital cluster. It features real-time mileage readout, Bluetooth connectivity for call and SMS alerts.
The Splendor Plus Xtec also gets a USB charging port now. It’s a useful feature on daily commuters like this. It’s positioned under the instrument cluster, so it’s convenient to charge on the go, but the positioning of the port could have been better in my opinion.
While the braking on the Splendor Plus Xtec does not feel inadequate, it can be a whole lot better with a single disc brake setup in the front. Yes, the combined braking system ensures a progresive and linear dive to a full stop, but Hero could have given us a front disc brake as an optional extra.
Brakes (front / rear) - 130mm drum / 130mm drum (with IBS-integrated braking system)
Tyres (front / rear) - 80/100-18 / 80/100-18
60-0kmph braking distance - 24.46 metres
2- Is it still as affordable?
The Splendor was more than just a motorcycle, it was looked at as an investment. You could get one for not a lot of money, and then forget about retiring it for at least 10 years. But in the quest for staying ahead of the curve and relevant with the times, has Hero pushed the price for the new Splendor Plus Xtec variant a bit too high?
The Hero Splendor Plus Xtec costs Rs 73,200Price(ex-showroom, Delhi). Today however, a 110cc buyer has the option to get one for a price of rupees fifty nine thousand onwards. Makes you wonder, do the Splendor’s new features justify the extra Rs 13,000 asking price?
Meanwhile you can also look at the TVS Radeon which costs between Rs 59,925 - 74,966(ex-showroom, Delhi), the Honda CD 110 Dream that ranges between Rs 66,033 - 69,251(ex-showroom, Delhi), or the Bajaj Platina 110 which costs between Rs 64,278 - 69,216(ex-showroom, Delhi). If Hero had managed to price the Splendor Plus Xtec a few thousand rupees less, the package would be well rounded. Especially considering how the top variant of the Bajaj Platina 110 gets both, a disc brake and ABS too.
At the end of the day, the Splendor Plus is a champion of the masses. We do see these new additions being welcomed by many. After all, it continues to serve and excite despite its humble background. Should you buy it? Certainly. If you do not mind spending a bit extra for a few new features, this motorcycle will not disappoint. But, if you don’t mind giving the features a skip in favour of practical bits like disc brakes and ABS, you can maybe look at the options given above.