Hero Splendor: Top 5 Reasons Why It’s India’s Best-selling Bike

  • Jun 3, 2024
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Reliable engine, high mileage, comfortable suspension and more…the Splendor Plus ticks all the boxes that a commuter bike should

Hero Splendor: Top 5 Reasons Why It’s India’s Best-selling Bike

The Hero Splendor (Splendor Plus as of now) has been an absolute legend in the Indian motorcycling industry and the bike regularly sells nearly 2.5 lakh units every month. But a lot of people classify the Splendor as a mileage king with the focus solely on how frugal it is. But trust us, the Splendor is a lot more than that. So here are five things about the Hero Splendor Plus that make it India’s best-selling bike: 

  1. A Versatile And Reliable Engine 

Specifications

Hero Splendor Plus

Engine

97.2cc air-cooled engine

Maximum Power

8.02PS at 8000rpm

Maximum Torque

8.05Nm at 8000rpm

Transmission

4-speed

The Hero Splendor Plus’ 97.2cc engine is economical and is extremely reliable. But again, that’s something we all know. How it really stands out is thanks to how versatile it is. It’s obviously more than happy in the city, but if your daily commutes involve riding through the highway too, the Splendor’s engine is surprisingly smooth to maintain speeds of 80-85kmph (speedo-indicated) all day long. This ability to do both city commutes and highway runs with ease is what makes it very special in its class. In our comparo with the Honda Shine 100, the Shine 100’s short gearing made it a nice commuter. But unlike the Shine 100, the Splendor’s gearing is just that little bit taller. The consequence isn’t felt all that much in the city but makes quite a positive difference when out on the highway. 

Hero Splendor Plus Engine

And of course there’s the mileage part. While the Hero Splendor Plus mileage (Xtec 2.0 variant) stands at a claimed 73kmpl right now, here’s what mileage the Splendor Plus Xtec returned in our real-world tests: 

 

Hero Splendor Plus Xtec Mileage 

City

83.2kmpl

Highway

95.8kmpl

This combined with the near 10-litre fuel tank means even your real-world riding range is more than 700km. Be gentle with your right hand and that range can very well go up by around 100km. The cherry on the cake is the ownership cost. The Hero Splendor Plus spare parts price is not only cheap but they’re also readily available, backed by Hero’s massive service network. For example, an air filter costs just Rs 217 and you can get engine oil for Rs 1,100 (both prices including 28% GST).   

  1. Suspension That’s Well-tuned For A 100cc Bike

Specifications

Hero Splendor Plus

Front suspension

Telescopic fork

Rear suspension

5-step preload-adjustable twin shocks

Front tyre

80/100-18 (tubeless tyres)

Rear tyre

80/100-18 (tubeless tyres)

Front brake

130mm drum brake

Rear brake

130mm drum brake

ABS

Combined Braking System (CBS)

The Hero Splendor Plus’ suspension is plush and super comfortable. But again, that’s something you expect from a 100cc commuter, right? The way this bike stands out is with just how sophisticated it feels. There’s absolutely no need to slow down for bad roads and the suspension just absorbs everything that comes its way. Carrying heavy loads? No problem. Carrying heavy loads on ghat roads or bad roads? It’ll do its job without any complaints. Couple that with the healthy 165mm of ground clearance and it means that the Splendor Plus is very well-equipped to handle our bad roads. 

  1. It’s Very Easy To Get On And Ride 

Dimensions

Hero Splendor Plus

Wheelbase

1236mm

Ground clearance

165mm

Kerb weight

112kg

Fuel tank capacity

9.8-litres

Seat height

785mm 

Everything about the Splendor Plus screams accessibility. It’s a bike that almost everyone in the family can get on and ride. The 785mm seat height and 112kg, both are amongst the lowest in the class and that not only makes it very accessible for riders of different heights and sizes, but also makes the bike very easy to maneuver through tight spaces and parking lots. 

  1. Feels Very Stable, Even On The Highways 

Hero Splendor Plus Xtec

We talked about the Splendor Plus’ softly sprung suspension feeling nice in the city. But what’s more impressive is that the same suspension doesn’t feel out of place or wobbly out on the highway. Even if you’re cruising at speeds above 85kmph and need to change directions quickly, the suspension doesn’t misbehave.  

Hero Splendor Plus Xtec

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What further aid the Splendor’s highway skills are the bigger 18-inch wheels at both ends. Some manufacturers would prefer giving their 100cc commuters 17-inch wheels, for the smaller, lighter wheel would mean slightly better mileage. But Hero has retained the 18-inch wheels combo throughout the years, and while it doesn’t really affect the mileage a lot in the real world, where the bigger wheel is a heck of a lot better, is when the roads get bad. In our test, the Shine 100’s 17-inch wheels made it feel quite nervous when encountering bad roads, especially ones with gravel. The Splendor, on the other hand, just glided over bad roads effortlessly. 

  1. Is Loaded With Features 

Hero Splendor Plus Xtec Features

Despite being a humble 100cc commuter, the Hero Splendor Plus is quite feature-loaded. With the newly launched Splendor Plus Xtec 2.0, the bike has a segment-first LED headlight, hazard lights, fully digital LCD console with Bluetooth connectivity and a lot more. These are all features you’d generally find on much bigger bikes and it’s very nice of Hero to give these to the Splendor.

But Of Course, It’s Not All Good 

Hero Splendor Plus Xtec

These things said, it’s obviously not all sun and rainbows, as the Splendor Plus has its flaws, just like a human being. Its prices start from Rs 75,441 and go up to Rs 82,911. That’s quite expensive for what is a 100cc bike, at the end of the day. In fact, for Rs 80,944, TVS offers the Radeon’s disc brake variant. So you’re not only getting a disc brake up front, but also a larger engine. Heck, for Rs 77,216, (all prices ex-showroom Delhi) you can get the Bajaj CT 125X, which is not only more powerful, as purpose-built for ruggedness, but also gets a front disc brake. More about the Splendor Plus variant-wise prices here: 

Hero Splendor Plus Variant 

Price (ex-showroom Delhi)

Splendor Plus Drum Brake

Rs 75,441

Splendor Plus i3S Drum Brake

Rs 76,786

Splendor Plus i3S Drum Brake Black And Accent

Rs 76,786

Splendor Plus i3S Matte Axis Grey

Rs 78,286

Splendor Plus Xtec Drum Brake

Rs 79,911

Splendor Plus Xtec 2.0

Rs 82,911

And talking about braking, we’re not too happy about the Splendor Plus not getting a disc brake at the front, even in its top variant. A disc brake would’ve improved braking performance significantly and hence made it a safer bike. For perspective, here’s the difference between the braking performances of the Radeon and the Splendor in our 60-0kmph test: 

Bike

Braking Performance (60-0kmph)

Hero Splendor Plus Xtec

24.46m

TVS Radeon

23.07m 

Now while stopping about a metre and a half earlier might not sound like a lot, it’s quite significant for bikes that will mainly be ridden in the city. Bikes are obviously a lot closely packed in traffic, and the reaction times are a lot lesser. So, every metre can make quite a difference.  

The Hero Splendor is as human as it gets: It has its flaws but is still a loveable bike

And finally, Hero hasn’t changed the Splendor’s engine capacity ever since it came out. The brand is staying in the 100cc segment, especially with the Splendor as many customers associate 100cc engines with frugality. And that, honestly, isn’t technically true. In our tests, even the Radeon, with its 110cc engine, returned 73.68kmpl in the city and 68.6kmpl out on the highway, which isn’t too far off from the Splendor’s claimed 73kmpl mileage.

Hero Splendor Plus Xtec

Summing up, even if the Splendor has its own set of flaws, looks like it’s stuck in time, and is pretty expensive for what it offers, it is still embraced wholeheartedly by its target audience as it is the default answer for those who want a no-nonsense commuter bike that’s lives up to its ‘fill-it, shut-it, and forget-it’ principle.

Hero Splendor Plus XTEC
Hero Splendor Plus XTEC
Rs. 79,911
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