2019 Benelli TRK 502/502X vs rivals: Price, specifications comparison

19th Feb 2019 5:25 pm

We put the new TRK 502s up against the SWM Superdual T, Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Versys-X 300.

Benelli has launched, both, the TRK 502 and the TRK 502X in India at Rs 5 lakh and Rs 5.40 lakh. At these prices, the TRK 502s sit in a space between the entry-level ADV bikes and the 650cc middleweight ADV models. There were many ways we could have done this spec comparison, but we finally decided to put the new Benellis up against the SWM Superdual T (Rs 6.50 lakh) as the latter is now closer in terms of pricing thanks to the Rs 80,000 discount it offers (for the first 350 customers). Also in the TRK’s sights are the two Kawasaki Versys models – the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 (Rs 4.69 lakh) and the Kawasaki Versys 650 (Rs 6.69 lakh).

Note: The Suzuki V-Strom 650XT is also a good fit for this comparison on paper, but its price of Rs 7.46 lakh is considerably higher than the Benellis’, so we have left it out.

Price (ex-showroom India)
Benelli TRK 502/502XKawasaki Versys-X 300Kawasaki Versys 650SWM Superdual T
Rs 5 lakh/5.40 lakhRs 4.69 lakhRs 6.69 lakhRs 6.50 lakh

Powertrain

The TRK 502s, Versys-X 300 and the Versys 650 all use parallel-twin engines, while the Superdual T stands out with its big single. These powertrains however are of varying sizes, with the smallest being the 296cc in the Versys-X 300 and the largest being the 650cc motor in the Versys 650. These engines also sport very different characteristics when it comes to producing power. The Benelli engine, for starters, makes its power relatively low in the rev range, producing 47.5hp at 8,500rpm and 46Nm of peak torque at just 6,000rpm. It is the complete opposite on the Versys-X 300, where its parallel-twin only makes its maximum horsepower and peak torque at a screaming 11,500rpm and 10,000rpm. The Versys 650, meanwhile, sits much closer to the Benellis, with peak horsepower and torque figures being produced at 8,500rpm and 7,000rpm. As for the Superdual T, its motor makes peak figures at 7,500rpm and 6,250rpm. All five motorcycles in this comparison use six-speed gearboxes.

Powertrain
Benelli TRK 502/502XKawasaki Versys-X 300Kawasaki Versys 650SWM Superdual T
Engine500cc, parallel-twin296cc, parallel-twin649cc, parallel-twin600cc, single-cylinder
Power47.5hp at 8,500rpm39.8hp at 11,500rpm69hp at 8,500rpm54.7hp at 7,500rpm
Torque46Nm at 6,000rpm25.7Nm at 10,000rpm64Nm at 7,000rpm55Nm at 6,250rpm
Power-to-weight ratio202.1hp/tonne217.3hp/tonne319.4hp/tonne289.3hp/tonne

Features and electronics

All five motorcycles don’t have much to boast about when it comes to features and electronic rider assists. You won’t see the likes of ride-by-wire, riding modes, full-colour TFT displays or traction control on any of these machines.  However, to list down the features, the newest bikes here, the Benelli TRK 502 and 502X come with simple digi-analogue instrument clusters and non-adjustable windscreens, but the bikes do get switchable ABS. The 502X also gets knuckle guards and a metal bash plate.

Like the TRK models, the Versys-X 300 uses a digi-analogue instrument cluster and non-adjustable windscreen. Additionally, the 300 we get in India comes shod with a few accessories as standard such as panniers, knuckle guards and fog lights. While it does feature dual-channel ABS, the system cannot be disengaged unlike in the Benellis.

Its larger sibling, the Versys 650, also uses a digi-analogue speedometer, albeit with a modern look to it. The 650 is also the only bike here to feature an adjustable windscreen. Like the 300, it features dual-channel ABS, but misses out on the ability to disengage it. The Versys is the most expensive model here, but electronic features are clearly not where the money goes.

The SWM Superdual T is the most basic of the lot. It features a speedometer that is a digital unit, but the display is small and the readouts are elementary – speed, revs, an odo and trip meter, and not much more. The T variant (a step-up from the base Superdual) features a few more accessories, namely the fog lights, engine guard, skid plate, knuckle protectors and the luggage rack.

Dimensions
Benelli TRK 502/502XKawasaki Versys-X 300Kawasaki Versys 650SWM Superdual T
Kerb weight235kg184kg216kg197kg
Seat height800mm/840mm815mm840mm898mm
Wheelbase1525mm1450mm1415mm1510mm
Fuel capacity20 litres17 litres21 litres18 litres
Ground clearance190mm/220mm180mm170mm180mm

Chassis

The chassis is essentially what these motorcycles are all about and they don’t disappoint here, for the most part. The Benelli’s steel trellis frame is suspended on an enormous 50mm USD fork and a preload and rebound adjustable monoshock. While the hardware remains the same on both models, the 502 and 502X are set-up differently. The X is clearly the more off-road-focused model and has a higher ground clearance at 220mm, and seat height at 840mm. Both models also have completely different wheel and tyre specs. The TRK 502 being the road-oriented model comes equipped with 17-inch rims at the front and rear, clad in Pirelli Angel ST tyres. The TRK 502X, meanwhile comes equipped with a 19-inch rim up front instead, and a 17-inch rear with Metzeler Tourance tyres at either end.

The Kawasaki Versys-X 300, meanwhile, uses a steel backbone frame that is paired to 41mm telescopic fork and a preload-adjustable monoshock. It is the only bike in this comparison that misses out on a USD fork. As for the wheels and tyres, the Versys-X 300 rides on a 19 inch wheel up front and a 17 incher at the rear, both clad in IRC Trail Winner tyres.

The frame on the larger Versys 650 is a steel diamond unit that is suspended via a 41mm USD fork and a preload-adjustable monoshock. The Versys party piece here is its higher spec, Showa Separate Function Fork that offers rebound and preload adjustability. At 170mm, it has the lowest ground clearance in this list. It is also the only motorcycle here that is not available with wire-spoke wheels, and it uses 17-inch alloy wheels at both ends with road-oriented Dunlop Sportmax tyres instead. The 650 is clearly more of a sport-touring offering than an all-out ADV bike and in that sense, it is the most direct rival to the Benelli TRK 502.

As for the Superdual T, it uses a double-cradle frame that is sprung up on a 45mm USD fork and a preload and rebound adjustable monoshock. While it may have the tallest seat in this list, at 898mm, the SWM doesn’t have the highest ground clearance; that accomplishment belongs to the Benelli’s 502X (220mm). Like the 502X and the Versys-X 300, the SWM rides on 19-inch/17-inch wire-spoke wheels. The SWM also uses Metzeler Tourance rubber.

Suspension, brakes and tyres
Benelli TRK 502/502XKawasaki Versys-X 300Kawasaki Versys 650SWM Superdual T
Suspension (f) 50mm USD fork41mm telescopic forkPreload + rebound 41mm USD fork45mm USD fork
Suspension (r) Preload + rebound adjustable monoshockPreload-adjustable monoshockPreload-adjustable monoshockPreload + rebound adjustable monoshock
Brakes (f) 320mm twin discs290mm disc300mm twin discs300mm disc
Brakes (r)260mm disc220mm disc250mm disc220mm disc
Tyres (f)120/70-17 / 110/80-19100/90-19120/70-17110/80-19
Tyres (r)160/60-17 / 150/70-17130/80-17160/60-17140/80-17

Summing it up

As we said before, the Benelli TRK 502/502X sit neatly between entry-level and mid-capacity ADV bikes. The Rs 5 lakh/Rs 5.40 lakh figure will also seem realistically approachable to those looking to upgrade from something like a Royal Enfield Himalayan. Strengthening its case further are the impressive specifications, handsome styling elements and substantial dimensions. However, it is in the weight department that the TRKs raise concern. The 235kg kerb weight and 47.5hp figure makes a disappointingly low power-to-weight ratio of 202.1kg/tonne but, how that fares in the real world remains to be seen – a we should have the answer for you shortly in our first ride review.

The Kawasaki Versys-X 300 with its 296cc, high revving motor doesn’t quite fit the ADV motorcycle bill, especially considering that that bill is an exorbitant Rs 4.69 lakh. The Versys 650, on the other hand, is a sport-tourer that will handle the worst our roads can throw at it but it does come at a higher price than the other motorcycles in this comparison. Last but not exactly the least, the SWM is the one to consider if off-road ability is your absolute priority, although it is lacking in terms of the dealer and service network.

All prices, ex-showroom India.

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