Hero Splendor iSmart 110: A First Ride Review That Answers All Your Questions

Published On Jul 16, 2016 By for Splendor iSmart BS4 at Gaadi.com

Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi What is it? The Splendor iSmart 110 is another addition to Hero’s wide range of motorcycle lineup. It carries over the i3S technology from the 100cc iSmart and offers it with a more powerful 110cc motor. The motorcycle is developed completely in-house, right from research and design to development and testing, has been carried out at the Hero Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT), Jaipur. It’s also the only BS IV compliant motorcycle in its category that won’t need any tinkering come April 2017.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi Why should I care? How often do you hear that a vehicle provides more power and more kilometres-per-liter? Every time you go one step up on the performance ladder, you climb down a step on the fuel efficiency side. The Splendor iSmart 110 offers more power compared to its 100cc sibling while also improving upon the fuel efficiency figure and is ready to take on the competition. It beats its prime rival, the Honda Dream Yuga, in the performance department. Hero’s latest offering dishes out 9.4PS of power and 9Nm of torque while the Honda Dream Yuga’s 110cc engine makes 8.3PS of power and 8.6Nm of torque.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi What’s i3S? i3S stands for idle Start Stop System, which turns off the bike if you’re idling for more than five seconds in neutral. This is great for extracting more mileage out of every litre of petrol, especially in the stop-and-go city traffic. When you need to get moving, just pull the clutch lever, slot it in the first gear and roll on. The engine swiftly comes to life as soon as you pull that clutch lever. Saving fuel could not have been easier. And if you don’t want the engine to turn off and on frequently, you can just turn the i3S button to ‘OFF’ position and the iSmart won't interfere with the running engine.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi This is Hero’s first indigenously developed motorcycle. Is it just as good as their other products? The correct answer is: — It’s better and the long version is: — It’s all that you’ve come to expect from the brand, and then some. After all, carrying the Splendor name means that iSmart 110 has certain standards to live up to and a lot of expectations to meet.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi Is the older Splendor iSmart being discontinued? Nope. Both the iSmart bikes will continue to be on sale but the new bike will be slotted above the older 100cc variant. If you’re short on budget you can still go with the older model but the new one offers a lot more for only a slightly higher price. What’s so good about the iSmart 110? The bike’s engine is refined, fuel efficient, reliable and nimble. Both, the engine and the exhaust note, sound polished. The seat is plush and comfortable. I was able to ride it for an hour straight without feeling like I was participating in the ‘Iron Butt’ contest. The seating position is perfect with upright ‘commuter style’ handlebars and I think I should be able to ride it all day without complaints. Another rare thing I found with the bike was that the saddle was very accommodating and despite my 6-2 stature, I felt at home. Let me make it very clear that this is not the case with most commuter-class motorcycles. My knees usually brush against the handlebars while turning, but not with this one. So, the deal-breaker I was expecting from the iSmart 110 was nowhere to be found. For those ‘red light GP’ fans, there’s even a quick shifter-like feature. While accelerating hard, just release the throttle and you can upshift without the clutch lever. For reliability reasons, the gearbox doesn’t allow you to downshift without engaging the clutch. To bring it back to a halt, you can either use the progressively-tuned rear brake to slow it down gradually or grab the front brake lever for a sharp bite.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi But I want some style too… Don’t worry, that’s covered. The bike, especially in this dual-tone electric blue paint job, looks stunning. The all-black mechanicals give it a stealth appearance and a dash of red adds spark to those charcoal-black components. I hate chrome but the minimalist use of shiny metal around the muffler adds to the character instead of looking tacky. The fuel gauge and speedometer needles in the instrument console do a fancy sweep when you turn on the ignition. There’s also a digital display for the odometer and trip meter readings. The LCD gets a cool blue backlight, which stays lit if the key is in the ’ON’ position. The iSmart and i3S decals on this bike don’t scream about the features this bike is packing. They rather convey the message in a more subtle manner compared to its 100cc brother.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi How is it better than the 100cc Splendor iSmart? For starters, there’s more power and more torque because of its all-new 110cc TOD (Torque On Demand) motor. This vertically-mounted engine betters the 100cc iSmart’s fuel efficiency figure by 6 per cent. Extracting that extra mile out of an already efficient engine is a marvellous achievement. The Splendor iSmart 100cc was good for 102kmpl under ideal test conditions. The new 110cc variant has a 10mm longer wheelbase for better stability and at 165mm, its ground clearance is also 5mm more.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi Why don’t you just tell me the exact mileage figure? Well, that’s a tricky one. You see, all new two wheelers need to comply with the BS IV emission norms and all the existing ones will need to meet the BS IV criteria by April 1, 2017. In this transition, the authorities are also reworking the process of calculating the fuel efficiency. The new method of determining the fuel efficiency figures is expected to closely emulate real world riding conditions but it’s not final yet. Meanwhile, you can sit tight and wait for the detailed review. I'll be able to deliver a verdict about the fuel efficiency figures once I get to ride the motorcycle during my daily commutes for a considerably longer duration. Keep an eye out for the review on our website. You can follow me on Twitter and I’ll notify you about the review as soon as it’s posted on Gaadi.com.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi Are there any other features? The headlamp comes with three different modes of illumination. First, there is the low beam, then, the high beam and finally, the brightest of them all is turned on using the pass switch. While low beam is easy to decipher, the difference between the regular high beam and that actuated with the pass switch is that of intensities. So, even if you’re riding with your high beam on, you can use the pass switch to make the headlamp glow even brighter. There’s also a luggage hook close to the saree guard which can be locked with the motorcycle’s key. Light-weight alloy wheels and tubeless tyres are also part of the package.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi Is the bike all sunshine and rainbows or is there something I might hate? For two-wheeler riders, visibility is the key. If others can see you, you’re less likely to get into an accident. That’s why bigger capacity motorcycles are mandated by law to have an always-on low beam headlight. Such a feature is seen in high-end motorcycles and it’s available with the iSmart 110. I myself keep my scooter's headlights on low beam even during the day. It gets problematic when people think that I’ve forgotten to turn off the headlight and keep reminding me to turn it off. I ignore them completely but when someone else from my family is riding the same vehicle, they decide to turn it off during daytime to avoid getting annoyed. The iSmart 110 doesn’t have a headlight on/off switch, so you don’t have a choice and some owners might discover their limit of patience. Another notable thing is that the handlebars start to get buzzy by the time you reach 70kmph. It’s smooth till about 60kmph but once I pushed it out of its comfort zone, the engine promptly conveyed its displeasure. And yes, the horn isn’t loud. Perhaps Hero should’ve equipped it with a louder unit or a pair of dual-tones. How much does it cost? Hero’s latest offering is available at a price of Rs 53,300 (ex-showroom Delhi). In Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad, it’s priced at Rs 53,100. The ex-showroom prices for Bangalore and Chennai are Rs 53,800 and Rs 53,700, respectively.Hero-Splendor-iSmart-Dynamic-Right-Profi Is there something you don’t know yet about the bike? You mean, other than the fuel efficiency? Well, a couple. When the instrument console is doing its complete sweep, the display shows a wrench icon, which is usually meant to tell the owner that it’s time to visit the service centre. I’ve contacted Hero MotoCorp officials to know more about the feature and how it works and once I have a response, I’ll update it here and notify followers about it on Twitter. Another thing I’m not sure of yet is how comfortable the suspension setup will be on broken patches. The closed test circuit Hero gave me was 3km long and smooth with quite a few turns. In such a limited space with smooth tarmac, it was difficult to gauge how comfortable the suspension would be when ridden on non-existent roads. This will also be part of my detailed review, which should appear on our website within the next month or so. Photography by Siddharth

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