Italian bike maker, Benelli, which is commencing its second-innings with the Mahavir Group, will be launching the new 302S in our market soon. The Chinese-owned company hasn’t given a fixed timeline, but we understand that the Indian subsidiary is working towards launching the 302S in India before the end of 2018. If this timeline cannot be met, the 302S should follow the Leoncino in India sometime early next year.
Like all other motorcycles from Benelli, the 302S also will make its way to India via the CKD route. The new 300cc motorcycle will be assembled at the new plant being set-up in Hyderabad and will sit alongside the fully faired 302R in the Indian line-up.
The 302S is a more stylish version of the existing TNT300. It sports a modern-looking LED headlamp with a split in the middle that looks inspired from the 2017 KTM 390 Duke. Despite carrying forward the fuel tank, frame and off-set monoshock from the previous motorcycle, the 302S looks more compact and sharper. The new bike also features a fully digital instrument cluster.
The 302S is powered by the same 300cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin motor as seen on the 302R, which produces 38hp and 25.8Nm of torque, and is pared to a six-speed gearbox. The bike sits on the same 41mm upside-down fork and monoshock unit as its predecessor. However, going by the claimed figure displayed at EICMA 2017, dry weight has now gone up marginally to 206kg. It features a twin disc brake setup at the front and a single disc at the back, while dual-channel ABS comes as standard.
When the Benelli TNT 300 was on sale, it retailed for around Rs 3.40 lakh (ex-showroom, India), but we believe the newly launched Benellis could be priced more aggressively than before. However, considering the updates on the 302S, it will still carry a small premium over the TNT 300’s price.
In terms of competition when it comes to power figures and the motorcycle type (sport naked), the upcoming 302S will go up against the KTM 390 Duke (Rs 2.42 lakh) and the newly-launched BMW G 310 R (Rs 2.99 lakh) (all prices, ex-showroom, India). Kawasaki has discontinued the Z250 in India, so the Benelli will have no direct twin-cylinder powered rivals.
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