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Hero Splendor iSmart review

  • Published On: 25 April 2017
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Hero has endowed its popular Splendor with its engine stop-start iSmart technology. How effective is this fuel-saving tech?

Front tracking
Rear lights
instrument cluster
Engine
Front assembly
Side
Front tracking
Rear lights
instrument cluster
Engine
Front assembly
Side

The Splendor has pretty much been the definitive 100cc commuter since its launch in 1994. It’s maintained its top-dog position in the segment ever since, which is undoubtedly a good bit thanks to the umpteenth updates it’s received over the years.

Hero has now gone and introduced its innovative, fuel-saving start-stop technology that it calls i3S (idle stop and start system) into the 100cc segment with a new variant of its stalwart – the Splendor iSmart. The peg of this bike is fuel-economy, of course, but does the technology work for everyday riding?

On the outside
The bike looks quite restrained, and doesn’t veer too far away from the Splendor’s simple design. What does enhance its appeal is the two-tone paint scheme; the. Hero has provided the iSmart with a smart, two-tone colour combination, and i3S badges on either sides of the tank.

The clear headlight, with its pilot lamp and halogen bulb, is quite powerful and lights up the road quite nicely at night. Behind the bikini fairing is the instrument cluster which gets an analogue speedometer, odometer, trip-meter, a fuel-gauge, an i3S indicator (it’s a switchab) and side stand indicator, followed by other basic warning lights. You hold on to soft palm-grips and the switch-gear too are top-drawer. One complaint is that the rear-view mirrors don’t offer a good view of what’s behind.

                             

The iSmart comes with a saddle with contrast red stitching, which looks quite nice and sporty, but the tail-section with the coloured split grab rails and boxy tail-lamp from the Splendors of the old look like a mismatch. What does word in the bike’s favor in the looks department though, is the all-black treatment for the 18-inch alloy wheels, the engine, exhaust and chain guard. Overall build quality too is quite impressive.

Power Torque
The bike uses a 97.2cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine that can be fired up by electric start or a kick start lever. It makes a maximum of 8.36hp at 7500rpm and 8.05Nm at 4500rpm and comes paired to a slick-shifting four-speed gearbox and a light clutch. Power delivery is quite linear and the bike is quite responsive from low revs, making this light bike quite easy to ride in the city.

                             

The i3S stop-start technology works quite efficiently too, shutting the engine off within five seconds of stopping at a signal; the bike jumps back to life the moment you pull the clutch lever. With the i3S system switched on, the bike delivers 57.2kpl, which drops to 56kpl with the tech switched off. While the gain in fuel economy isn’t stark, the system surely negates the need to switch the engine on and off at signals.

From the saddle
The bike is suspended on a telescopic front forks and a pair of hydraulic rear shock absorbers, both of which work in tandem to offer decent ride quality. The ergonomics are also quite sorted, and you sit nice and upright; even the pinion seat is quite comfortable.

Grip from the MRF tubeless tyres is also quite good, but where the bike lacks a bit is in terms of stopping power when coming to halt from high speeds; how the bike could use the option of a front disc-brake! For regular running though, the brakes are adequate.

Is it worth the money?
All in all, the Splendor iSmart is quite a nifty commuter. It’s refined, easy to ride in the city and quite fuel-efficient too; i3S tech plays a part here too. Plus, at ₹47,250 (ex-showroom, Delhi), it’s well priced too.

Author: Droom

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