More than a decade ago when Hero Honda launched splendor, it looked a little out of place. Its sleek curves, a visor above the headlights and rounded looks were very different from the boxy shaped motor cycles that were common in those days.
It was not exactly a success when it came out and people were weary to buy a bike that looked out of place. Pricing mattered much more than it did today and few people were willing to shell out a few extra thousands. But as the years passed, more and more people started liking and buying the splendor. Its excellent road handling, decent fuel economy, sleek looks, smooth engines and riding comfort had things going for it. Soon splendor was the world’s largest selling motor cycle brand.
Over the years, Bajaj and TVS woke up to the need of improving their fleet of bikes and many new bikes hit the roads. In the last few years, so many two wheelers, all looking similar and with similar features hit the road that bikes were transformed from brands to commodity. For some time, splendor stayed on because even when it did not have anything special going with it, at least you could find no fault with it. But an upgrade was definitely necessary, and as it usually happens in India, a new version - Splendor Plus was born with only cosmetic changes. It was hardly any different from the earlier Splendor.
But the market was moving from 100cc vehicles to 125cc, and if the 100cc engine remained on the Splendor, it would have lost its position and slipped to the category of budget bikes. So next came the Super Splendor, this time with a 125cc engine delivering 9bhp. Both splendors co-existed in the market.
Now Hero Honda has been constantly upgrading the Splendor to ensure that it doesn’t get buried in the flood of new bikes that keep hitting the market. Besides, it has also used the well known Splendor brand by re-using the brand name as much as possible even when the new version may not have much to go with the old Splendor. The latest offering from Hero Honda is Splenor NXG, which is a 100cc, 7.7bhp bike and hardly looks anything like earlier generation of Splendor. The new Splendor, along with the existing models might help Splendor remain the most selling two wheeler brand ever.