Header Ads

Only For The Chosen Few | Hero Splendor Pro Classic Full Review

hero splendor pro classic

Café Racers are stripped down versions of classic motorcycles – light in weight, light on power and optimized for speed and handling rather than comfort for everyday commute. Of recent, café racers are used by avid riders for the sheer joy of riding one. As they say – modern motorcycles are too high tech and thus lack a soul – but these age-old café racers have their souls intact.

The name Café Racer originated in UK in the 1960s typically associated with group of riders who modified their motorcycle to have the characteristics of racing motorcycles of their time and occasionally assembled at a café to have short races amongst themselves. Typical Café Racers have few things in common such as – lowered clip-on handle bars, elongated narrow fuel tank, narrow single seat with a hump at the back – to give their motorcycles a look and feel of the racing bikes of the 1960s.

hero splendor pro classic

The craze behind these bikes has increased so much that even manufacturers have decided to build stock café racer versions of their own classic models. In India, Royal Enfield became the first manufacturer to offer a stock café racer – the Continental GT. To the surprise of many, Hero MotoCorp became the second manufacturer in India to offer a stock café racer – the Splendor Pro Classic.

The Splendor Classic has all the characteristic looks and features of a true café racer – a big round clear lens headlamp, lowered handle-bar, flat-narrow tank, elongated seat with a back hump and a light weight chassis. The Classic is same as the Splendor Pro in terms of engine, gearbox and chassis.

It would be unfair if we evaluate the Classic as we evaluate the modern bikes for their latest technology, comfort levels and practical use. Café Racers aren’t meant to have all these things. They are stripped-off of all comforts and extra weights to optimize for short distance rides. Nowadays owning a café racer is a matter of style and symbol rather than the practical use of it - and the Classic does scores high on it.

Big round headlamp, elongated single seat with a back hump, lowered handle bar, plenty of chrome plating, generation-old spoke wheels gives it a classic retro look and believe me turns almost everyone’s head towards itself. It garners awe from every socio-economic class, be it the filthy rich class or the lower middle class, everyone loves the look and style and wants to have their hands on it.

hero splendor pro classic

The Classic is an efficient ice-breaker, wherever you take it people start staring at the bike with a big grin on their face. They approach you and start asking about it as if they have seen something crazy yet stylish. Even the Ninjas and R1s get ignored when the Classic is around. This bike is a certain crowd puller and you would definitely want to be the owner of this unique piece of machinery. Oh but wait, it could get annoying at times answering to so many awe-struck strangers in a day, you just wish to zoom off as soon as the signal turns green if you are stuck at a red signal for too long.

Many of you would be skeptical about the ride position due to the lowered handle-bar and awkward seat design. It is possible that you would develop pain in the back, shoulders and wrists after riding it for the first time (if you are not used to ride in that position) but then it is not a bike for the common man. It’s a collector’s bike, a statement of passion and love towards bike riding. You ride your soul with a café racer and not seek a comfortable commute.

I rode over 400 kms on the Classic including a 200 kms single day Mumbai-Lonavla-Mumbai trip and never felt any pain at any part of the body (I assume I am used to the riding position). Infact, I found the riding position and ride experience exciting enough to ditch my regular ride and take it out daily to different places, just couldn’t get enough of the Classic.

Another point of debate is the small, power-less 97.2 cc engine which produces just 8.36 PS of power. The engine is same as the one you will find on the regular Splendor and thus could be a big turn off for few. The max you can push this bike is upto 90 kmph beyond which it really cannot go (only a steep downhill can take it to 100 kmph but that’s not safe at all). It’s not even a bike on which you can fancy your chance to win a drag race (probably it could win a drag race against its own siblings – regular Splendors).

hero splendor pro classic

But then, there is no stock café racer that is available for half-a-lakh rupees. The only other stock café racer – the Continental GT – can rob you off over two lakh rupees, that's a big gap with no other option available to fill. Well you can always take your old bike and get it modified at a local workshop into a café racer with few thousands of rupees but only a handful of people can convert your bike into a true café racer and the availability of such people across the country is very low.

As I have said before, owning a café racer is not the same as a regular modern bike. You need to be an avid lover of bike riding, only then you may enjoy a café racer truly. They are not meant to be comfortable, they are not meant to burn the tarmac, they are not meant for your long trips, they are meant to give you a whole new ride experience and the Hero Splendor Pro Classic definitely gives you a refreshing ride experience. As Hero rightly says it is for the #LoverOfLife

hero splendor pro classic

Photography - Rahul Chawla

No comments

Powered by Blogger.