Vida V1 Pro v Hero Splendor: How it started v How it's going!

Hero’s first offering in the EV space cleverly combines old-school practicality with new-age technology for a better tomorrow
The first-generation Splendor was powered by a 97cc engine and the V1 Pro’s hub-mounted motor has a nice whine to it.
The first-generation Splendor was powered by a 97cc engine and the V1 Pro’s hub-mounted motor has a nice whine to it.Shot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

The Indian motorcycling scene would be drastically different if the Hero Splendor didn’t exist. It’s vital to highlight the word ‘drastically’ here because the Splendor is largely responsible for India’s transition from scooters to geared motorcycles. It’s a bike that put many Indians on two wheels for the first time and over the last two decades, has been the preferred mode of transport if simplicity is what you’re seeking from a bike. The Hero Splendor is driven by a tried-and-true, incredibly dependable engine that doesn’t skimp on performance. It gets the basics right, ticking all the boxes for practicality, dependability and comfort. It exudes an air of invincibility which is why it is one of the best-selling and longest-running production motorcycles in the world.

The example which you see here belongs to a dear friend of mine, Omkar. His father brought this Splendor home in 2004 and since then, it has been the Ithape family’s staple workhorse. Over the last two decades, this bike has never let them down, conquering what ever came its way.

A bike that delivers an incredible 70kmpl and also ‘refuses to die’, is as sustainable as an ICE-powered vehicle can get. But it’s Hero MotoCorp’s new electric scooter that truly adheres to the concept of sustainability. The Vida V1 Pro is Hero MotoCorp’s first-ever EV, which cleverly combines old-school practicality with modern tech to ensure stress-free electric motoring. Practicality and comfort level has always been the Splendor’s strong suit and the V1 Pro is no different. Just like the Splendor which is known to be a fill it, shut it and forget it type of motorcycle, the V1 Pro gives you a hassle-free charge it, forget it, riding experience. It features two removable Lithium-ion batteries which Hero claim can deliver areal-world range of 110km, on a single charge. Plenty to get you through a week.

The removable batteries have a handle for easy removal.
The removable batteries have a handle for easy removal.Shot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

The removable batteries aid practicality on the charging front. It’s an excellent feature, especially for users who stay in high-rise buildings where personal charging points aren’t allowed to be installed in common parking lots. It helps those without dedicated parking spots as well. It is future-proof and will make the V1 Pro even more practical, when battery-swapping charging stations become common across the country. Speaking of practicality, the V1 Pro gets a huge 26-litreunderseat storage space, which can easily fit a half face helmet. It also gets a flat floorboard at the front, with a good amount of space for you to move around your feet, and also hooks for you to secure your grocery bags, if you wish to keep them there.

It’s amazing to see how far two-wheelers have come in terms of technology in just a few years. The V1 Pro gets a massive 7-inch touchscreen display on the dash which can control an array of functions. And all this is done to give the rider a more comprehensive user experience. Its features like Bluetooth connectivity with turn-by-turn navigation and call alerts, cruise control, keyless entry and even the reverse function is something I grew fond of over time and started using a lot more than I expected.

Vida V1 Pro gets a massive 7-inch touchscreen display on the dash which can control an array of functions.
Vida V1 Pro gets a massive 7-inch touchscreen display on the dash which can control an array of functions.Shot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

One thing which I absolutely adore about the V1 Pro is its balance between a sporty and a comfortable ride. It does a good job of swallowing potholes on bad roads and undulations on the highways, and at the same time, it’s surprisingly good fun to ride in the twisties as well.

Powering the V1 Pro is a hub-mounted electric motor which produces 6kW of peak power. It gives the V1 Pro an excellent mid-range and the ability to sprint from 0 to40kmph in just 3.2 seconds, making light work of quick over takes in the city. The V1 Pro can also tackle inclines as high as 20-degrees but what’s more commendable is the consistency in its performance, even with a pillion. A factor which the Splendor is renowned for.

The V1 Pro’s hub mounted motor has a nice whine to it.
The V1 Pro’s hub mounted motor has a nice whine to it.Shot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

With the Vida brand, Hero MotoCorp’s aim was to produce a sustainable electric scooter of the future, for the people of today. It was hence very important to make the V1 Pro feel traditional, even though it had to have a multitude of tech features, and I think they’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head. The V1 Pro gets all the basics right but it also uses tech as a catalyst to uplift the scooter’s capabilities. It’s highly practical, has a good amount of real-world range and feels solid and built to last, just like the Splendor. But more importantly, it’s also helping the Vida achieve sustainability with zero emissions without compromising on things such as performance, comfort and practicality. It’s safe to say that with the Vida V1 Pro, Hero has definitely knock edit out of the park.

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