Hero MotoCorp is aiming to play the role of an environmentally conscious automobile manufacturer with the iSmart. But it’s also appealing to the Indian sentiment that obsesses over fuel economy. The iSmart was initially available with a 100cc engine, and featured a start-stop system called i3S. The system is similar to the one found in cars. If the gear lever is in the neutral position when the bike comes to a stop, and is idling, the bike will shut itself off. To start the bike up again all you need to do is simply press the clutch in, and the engine will come alive.
This technology is now available in the new and improved 110cc version of the iSmart. The bike was developed completely in-house by Hero MotoCorp and is built on a new chassis, which offers more rigidity. The bike also gets a brand new 110cc ‘Torque on Demand’ engine, which develops 9.4bhp and 9Nm of torque. This brand new engine is the only BS IV compliant motor in its segment.
The engine is fitted onto a tubular steel frame with telescopic front forks and a set of hydraulic rear shock absorbers. The engine is quite refined and power delivery is on par with some of the better 110cc commuter bikes available in the market today. On the whole, the Hero Splendor iSmart 110 rides quite well, has a comfortable riding position, and handles quite well in the city.
The bike does have some quality issues though, and it falls short when you compare it with the TVS Victor for instance. Also, in terms of overall design, it’s really not especially attractive – but, then again, none of the 110cc commuter segment bikes have progressed much in terms of design.
The iSmart is certainly a good motorcycle for the environmentally friendly and cost conscious customer. It’s practical and the start-stop system works well. However, the quality could be improved – and so could its overall refinement.