What Maruti Suzuki is to four wheels, Hero MotoCorp is to two! The Indian bred motorcycle company was one of the first to enter the buzzing two wheeler scene. Back in 1984, Hero Cycles of India and Honda Japan entered a joint agreement to make motorcycles for the Indian market. The famous “Fill it, Shut it and Forget it” was not just a gimmicky line for its products to sell instead it showed the confidence and reliability of Hero motorcycles.
Hero Motorcycles have often been identified as the best commuter solution in the world with their robust and durable range of products but many tend to forget, they have also initiated many new segments in the country like the CD Sleek; which had a unique appeal considering its design. Then came the CBZ, a boy crush of all college goers including mine. India’s first sports bike with disc brakes and a muscular design made the CBZ an icon of sorts. This was followed by the higher displacement Karizma, a serious sports bike for the restless generation.
Just as we thought that Hero is done entering and creating new segments…well…there is a new one that it entered last year. Shocking everyone out there, the company entered the cafe racer scene with its Splendor PRO Classic being the second Indian bike maker after Royal Enfield to do so. In fact, the PRO Classic is the world’s most economically priced cafe racer at Rs 50,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
So what is a cafe racer motorcycle? It is a light weight bike made for a short dash basically from one cafe to the other. Has a short handle bar, preferably single seat with mirrors planted beside the handle bar or at a peculiarly low position! While they look pretty radical compared to conventional offerings, the rider has to stoop down stretching his legs to the rear and his head placed closer to the console cheating comfort for performance and speed.
The Splendor Pro Classic comes with a single cylinder 97.2 cc motor which makes 8.36 PS of power and 8.05 Nm of torque and also comes mated with a 4-speed gearbox. Now these numbers might not prove sufficient to dig a great hole on the tarmac nor will it scrape your riding leathers around corners but then perhaps the Classic is not meant to do all that. It is more for the class who want a bike which looks fast, is unique and doesn’t make them spend a fortune to own one. Since it is based on the ever so popular Splendor series, even cost of ownership is a rock bottom low. And then at 50 kmpl, who would be complaining about efficiency. So the Pro CLASSIC is a lifestyle alternative for a beginner class of riders. It is a spicy garnish over a standard preparation. We will reveal more on our experience with the Pro CLASSIC in our next chapters.