The Evolution of Hero Splendor : A Journey through Time

The Hero Splendor, a beloved motorcycle among Indian riders, has evolved over decades into the iconic bike it is today. Join us on a journey through its history to discover its remarkable transformation.

From its humble beginnings to its current status as a symbol of reliability and affordability in the Indian motorcycle market, the Hero Splendor has won the hearts of millions with its sleek design and efficient performance.

hero splender

Each generation of the Splendor has brought new features and improvements, making it a timeless choice for enthusiasts. Initially produced under a joint venture, it's now solely manufactured by Hero MotoCorp. Featuring a 97.2 cc engine, the Splendor has been a best-seller in India.

Throughout its evolution, various models and generations have been introduced, each with its own enhancements. In this article, we'll delve into the history of the Splendor, its different models, and the changes made in each generation.

A Journey of Evolution: The History of the Hero Splendor

Born to Ride: In 1994, the Hero Splendor arrived on the scene, heir to the Hero Honda CD100 and CD100 SS. Its mission was clear: provide reliable, fuel-efficient, and affordable transportation for India's growing middle class. This 97.2cc steed, with its 7.44hp engine and 4-speed gearbox, offered practicality at an attractive price point.

Constant Improvement: The Splendor didn't rest on its laurels. 2004 saw the Splendor Plus arrive with multi-reflector lights and updated graphics. In 2007, the Splendor Plus received a facelift with alloy wheels and revised bodywork. The same year, the Splendor NXG debuted, boasting self-start, alloy wheels, and a premium instrument cluster. While offering advanced features, it ultimately discontinued in 2015 due to lower sales.

Milestones and Innovations: 2009 welcomed the Splendor 1 Crore edition, celebrating its impressive sales figures with unique graphics and an all-black paint scheme. In 2011, Hero Honda became Hero MotoCorp, and the Splendor Pro emerged with new bodywork, self-start, alloy wheels, and the APDV ignition system. 2014 saw the launch of the Splendor iSmart, incorporating the groundbreaking i3S technology for idle-stop fuel savings. The journey continued in 2022 with the Splendor+ Xtec, featuring a digital speedometer, LED DRL, USB charging, and, of course, i3S technology.

More Than a Motorcycle: The Splendor transcends its mechanical form. It represents the aspirations of the Indian middle class, becoming a cultural icon featured in movies, TV shows, and advertisements. Used by politicians, police, and everyday citizens alike, it has even spawned a vibrant customization scene.

Economic Powerhouse: The Splendor's success extends beyond individual riders. Hero MotoCorp, its manufacturer, is the world's largest two-wheeler producer, with a significant market share in India. The Splendor's contribution has boosted the Indian automobile industry and created countless employment opportunities.

A Legacy Enduring: The Hero Splendor's story is one of continuous evolution, adapting to changing needs and preferences. It's not just a motorcycle; it's a symbol of India's progress, aspirations, and cultural identity. The Splendor's legacy as a reliable and accessible companion is sure to continue for years to come.


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Hero Splendor: A Legacy Launched in 1994

Instant Success: Introduced in 1994, the Splendor, then known as the Hero Honda Splendor, captured the Indian market with its affordability, fuel efficiency, and reliability. The 97.2cc engine offered practicality, while the initial variants (Splendor, Plus, Super Splendor) catered to diverse needs.

Evolution and Expansion: Through the years, Hero MotoCorp expanded the Splendor lineup with modern designs and improved features. The NXG (1997) offered a sleek look, the Pro (2010) boasted increased power and efficiency, and the iSmart (2014) introduced idle-stop technology for even better fuel economy.

Sales Milestones: The Splendor's success is undeniable. It became the first motorcycle in India to cross 1 million sales in 2001 and surpassed 25 million units sold by 2013. Today, it remains a top choice, with over 3 million units sold annually.

Beyond a Motorcycle: More than just a vehicle, the Splendor embodies the aspirations of the Indian middle class. It's a cultural icon, featured in movies, TV shows, and advertisements, even used by politicians and police. Enthusiasts customize their Splendors, creating a vibrant subculture.

Economic Impact: The Splendor's success extends to the economy. Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest two-wheeler manufacturer, owes much of its success to this iconic motorcycle. It has boosted the Indian automobile industry and created countless jobs.

A Legacy Enduring: The Hero Splendor's evolution story showcases its ability to adapt and innovate. It's not just a motorcycle, but a symbol of India's progress, aspirations, and cultural identity. The Splendor's legacy is sure to continue for years to come.

Hero Splendor Models

The first generation of the Splendor was launched in 1994 as the successor to the CD 100. In 2011, a version with power start and a new engine was introduced. The Splendor was the top-selling motorcycle in October 2016, with over 250,000 units sold. However, in October 2017, it was overtaken by the Honda Activa as the best-selling two-wheeler.

Here is a list of the different models of the Splendor from 1994 to the present:

  • Hero Honda Splendor 1994 (1st Generation) - This model conformed to Bharat Stage emission standards from 1994 to 2004.
  • Hero Honda Splendor Plus 2004 (2nd Generation) - This model was updated with alloy wheels and complied with Bharat Stage 2 and 3 emission standards.
  • Hero Honda Splendor 1 Crore Special Edition - This model featured all-black paint in the body, engine, and alloy wheels.
  • Hero Honda Splendor NXG (Next Generation) - This model had self-start, alloy wheels, and a new premium analog instrument cluster with a trip meter.
  • Hero Honda Splendor Pro (3rd Generation) - This model introduced self-start, alloy wheels, and a new premium analog instrument cluster.
  • Hero Splendor Plus (3rd Generation) - The Splendor Plus retained the features of the previous model but had the Hero Motocorp logo.
  • Hero Splendor Classic (1st Generation) - This model was styled like a cafe racer with classic design cues. It was eventually discontinued.
  • Hero Splendor iSmart (1st Generation) - This model was an updated version of the Splendor NXG, with added i3s technology.
  • Hero Splendor Pro (4th Generation) - This model featured a new design for the instrument cluster, tank, and body.
  • Hero Splendor Plus i3s (4th Generation) - This model included idle start-stop technology, new color schemes, and graphics. It complied with Bharat Stage 4 emission standards.
  • Hero Splendor iSmart 110 (2nd Generation) - This model had a completely new design and a brand new 110cc power plant. It complied with Bharat Stage 6 emission standards but was later discontinued due to low sales.
  • Hero Honda Splendor Plus XTEC (5th Generation) - This model, launched in 2022, featured updated all-black graphics, an all-digital instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity, and other advanced features.

Here is the table of Hero Splendor models and variants with features:

Model Launch Year Engine Features
Hero Honda CD100 1985 97cc air-cooled, 4-stroke Electronic ignition system, Illuminated speedometer, 4-speed gearbox, Neutral and flasher indicators
Splendor 1994 97.2cc air-cooled, 4-stroke Fuel efficient, Lightweight
Splendor Plus 2004 97.2cc air-cooled, 4-stroke New graphics, Modern look
Splendor NXG 2007 97.2cc air-cooled, 4-stroke Sporty look, Alloy wheels
Splendor Plus (2007) 2007 97.2cc air-cooled, 4-stroke 8.02PS power, 8.05Nm torque, 4-speed gearbox, 9.8L fuel tank, 80 kmpl mileage, Sleek design, Various colors
Splendor Pro 2010 97.2cc air-cooled, 4-stroke 8.36PS power, 8.05Nm torque, 4-speed gearbox, 11L fuel tank, 90 kmpl mileage, Sporty design, Various colors
Super Splendor 2005 125cc air-cooled, 4-stroke 10.8PS power, 10.6Nm torque, 4-speed gearbox, 12L fuel tank, 55 kmpl mileage, Muscular design, Various colors, Digital-analog instrument cluster, Tubeless tires, Maintenance-free battery

Hero Splendor Series Bikes: Specifications and Prices

Feature Splendor Plus Splendor Plus Xtec Splendor iSmart Super Splendor Super Splendor Xtec
Engine Displacement 97.2 cc 97.2 cc 97.2 cc 124.7 cc 124.7 cc
Weight 112 kg 112 kg 112 kg 122 kg 122 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 9.8 L 9.8 L 9.8 L 12 L 12 L
Mileage 55 kmpl 70 kmpl 70 kmpl 55 kmpl 70 kmpl
Brake Type Drum Drum Drum Drum Drum
Transmission Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual
Max Power 8.02 PS 8.02 PS 8.02 PS 10.84 PS 10.84 PS
Starting Price (Ex-showroom Delhi) ₹71,882 ₹73,194 ₹71,882 ₹75,942 ₹87,218

Technological Advancements in the Hero Splendor

The Hero Splendor has been a mainstay on Indian roads for decades, constantly evolving to meet the needs of its riders. Here's a closer look at some of the key technological advancements that have kept the Splendor at the forefront:

Engine Upgrades:

  • 2003: Splendor Plus: 97.2cc engine delivering 7.5 bhp and 7.95 Nm torque.
  • 2007: Splendor NXG: Refined 97.2cc engine producing 7.8 bhp and 8.04 Nm torque.
  • 2010: Super Splendor: More powerful 125cc engine generating 9 bhp and 10.35 Nm torque.
  • 2023: Splendor Plus BS6: Latest 97.2cc engine producing 7.91 bhp and 8.05 Nm torque with BS6 compliance.

Fuel Efficiency Improvements:

  • 2005: Splendor Plus i3S: Auto engine shut-off at idle for over 5 seconds, improving fuel economy.
  • 2010: Super Splendor: Advanced Tumble Flow Induction Technology for enhanced fuel efficiency.
  • 2023: Splendor Plus BS6: XSens technology optimizes air-fuel mixture for better combustion and fuel efficiency.

Additional Advancements:

  • Integrated braking system: Improved safety and braking performance.
  • 5-step adjustable suspension: Enhanced rider comfort and handling on diverse terrains.
  • Advanced digital meter: Provides comprehensive information about the bike's performance.
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Enables call and SMS alerts, real-time mileage indicator, and more.


Hero's commitment to continuous improvement has kept the Splendor a leader in the Indian motorcycle market. Its technological advancements have contributed to:

  • Enhanced performance and power delivery.
  • Improved fuel efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  • Increased safety and rider comfort.
  • Added convenience and connectivity features.

The Hero Splendor's story is a testament to the power of innovation in driving success. By embracing technological advancements, the Splendor has remained relevant and beloved by riders for generations, and continues to set the benchmark for affordable and reliable motorcycles in India.

Hero MotoCorp : A Legacy of Awards and Recognition

Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest two-wheeler manufacturer, boasts a long and illustrious history of accolades across various categories. Let's delve into some of their most notable achievements:

Industry Awards:

  • 2023: VIDA V1: Green Two-wheeler of the Year Award at the Turbocharged Magazine Awards.
  • 2022: #LadkiChalaRahiHai campaign: Gold at IMPACT Digital Influencers Awards 2022 Best Automobile Category & Best Cause-Led Campaign.
  • 2021: Manufacturer of the Year at the Autocar Awards.
  • 2020: Motorcycle of the year- Exhibit Auto Tech Awards 2020.
  • 2018: Best launch - Two wheeler at the CNB Auto Expo Awards for Excellence.
  • 2017: Indian MNC of the Year by All India Management Association (AIMA).
  • 2016: Overdrive - 'Viewers' Choice Scooter of the Year - Hero Maestro Edge.
  • 2014: Motorbeam - Bike Manufacturer of the Year.
  • 1995: National Award for outstanding contribution to the Development of Indian Small Scale Industry (NSIC Award).

Corporate Recognition:

  • 2023: One of the "Best Organisations for Women" by The Economic Times.
  • 2023: Coveted company award by Institutional Investor magazine for the 4th consecutive year.
  • 2022: 31st National Award: Innovative Training Practices 20-21 by The Indian Society for Training and Development.
  • 2022: Best Medical & Wellness Centre category at the ET Health Award.

Beyond Awards:

Hero MotoCorp's commitment to excellence extends beyond awards. They are recognized for:

  • Strong market leadership: Maintaining the top position in the Indian two-wheeler market for over two decades.
  • Innovation and technology: Pioneering electric vehicles like the VIDA V1 and investing in research and development.
  • Sustainability practices: Focusing on eco-friendly manufacturing and reducing carbon footprint.
  • Social responsibility: Contributing to various initiatives like education, healthcare, and skill development.

Future and Legacy

The Hero Splendor boasts a rich history in India, earning its place as a beloved motorcycle among consumers for decades. Its iconic status is a testament to its enduring appeal, marked by consistent reliability and timeless design.

Looking ahead, Hero is poised to further enhance the Splendor, exemplified by the successful introduction of the cafe racer version. This demonstrates a willingness to blend innovation with the Splendor's classic charm.

The Splendor's legacy is deeply ingrained in Indian culture, prominently featured in media and serving as a dependable mode of transportation for millions. Its enduring popularity ensures its continued prominence for years to come, maintaining its status as a cherished favorite among Indian consumers.


In conclusion, the Hero Splendor stands as a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of Indian engineering. Its journey from a humble commuter bike to a cultural icon reflects the aspirations and progress of the nation. As we look ahead, the Splendor's legacy is set to continue, with each new iteration promising to uphold its tradition of excellence. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a newcomer to the world of motorcycles, the Hero Splendor remains a symbol of India's spirit and a timeless choice for riders across the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Hero Splendor zoomed onto Indian roads in 1994, not as the first Hero Honda creation, but as a successor to the well-established CD100. It quickly became a game-changer in the two-wheeler scene.

Several factors fueled the Splendor's rise to fame:

  • Affordability: Competitively priced, it opened the door to the world of motorcycles for a large chunk of the Indian population.
  • Fuel efficiency: Renowned for its excellent mileage, a crucial factor in a cost-conscious market.
  • Durability: Built to last, it tackled the demanding Indian roads and weather conditions with ease.
  • Ease of use: The simple design and operation made it beginner-friendly.
  • Reliability: It earned a reputation for being dependable and requiring minimal maintenance.

Initially, it was manufactured by Hero Honda, and after the separation of the joint venture, it is now produced by Hero MotoCorp.

The Splendor has undergone several upgrades, including improved design, added features like self-start and alloy wheels, and compliance with updated emission norms.

The Splendor+ Xtec offers a digital speedometer, LED DRL strip, black alloy wheels, and i3s fuel-saving technology.

While the Splendor faced competition from other models, it continues to be a popular choice in the Indian market due to its reputation for reliability and fuel efficiency.

The Hero Splendor comes with a 97.2cc air-cooled engine .

Yes, the Hero Splendor Plus is equipped with a self-start feature for added convenience.

The BS6 Hero Splendor Plus produces a power output of7.9hp, slightly increased from its predecessor.

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