The Benelli line-up in India is going from strength to strength. The launch of the TNT 25 has cemented the Italian motorcycle’s foothold at the starting range of the premium bike market. Shrewd pricing and adaptations for the Indian market make the Benelli range very tempting and now, the Indo-Sino-Italian combination is ready to tear into more segments. At the EICMA 2015, Benelli showcased a few new motorcycles and they are all headed to India in 2016. Here’s when you can expect them.
Storm in a suit: Tornado 302; Expected: Q1 2016
Armed with a 300cc, in-line two, liquid-cooled engine, the Tornado 302 will be showcased at the upcoming 2016 Auto Expo. The motorcycle is good for 34.8bhp of maximum power at 12,000rpm, and a healthy 2.7kgm of maximum torque at 9,000rpm. It also has a six-speed gearbox.
The Tornado 302 will get upside-down forks up front, and a monoshock at the rear suspending the steel tube frame. Braking is via dual 260mm discs up front, and a 240mm disc at the rear, both equipped with an anti-lock braking system. This motorcycle will rival the recently launched Yamaha YZF-R3, and the Ninja 300. The Tornado 302 is expected to be launched at a premium of Rs 30,000 over the current model, when it is launched in the first quarter next year.
More Muscle: TNT 400; Expected: H2 2016
This is a very exciting approach by Benelli as they plan to upgrade the TNT 300's engine to 400cc. This bored out motor will offer sportier performance and with this you can expect power to rival other motorcycles in the segment. This combination will give the TNT serious bite to take on other twin-cylinder motorcycles from Japan and make for a very strong value proposition. Expect the price to increase only slightly from its current point.
Scrambler fever: Leoncino; Expected Q3 2016
Benelli will also showcase the Ducati Scrambler-like Leoncino at the Auto Expo next year. When we saw the prototype at EICMA, we were impressed by its modern feel and high-quality finish. LED headlamp inserts, a seat finished in Alacantara leather and LED tail-lights are some of the premium features on it.
Powering the motorcycle is a 499.6cc twin cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine with a four valve layout. The engine is good for 46.9bhp of maximum power, and 4.6kgm of torque. This too, gets upside-down forks on the front, and a monoshock at the rear. Braking is via 320mm discs on the front and a 260mm disc on the rear. The motorcycle comes equipped with ABS.
The Benelli Leoncino is expected to launch later, sometime around August or September. It is expected to be priced around Rs 4 lakh.
Hungry for Adventure: TRK 502
Last but not the least is the Benelli TRK 502, which is an adventure motorcycle. While this one shares its name with the larger ones, it does not take its design cues from those. In fact, it looks quite similar to the larger adventure motorcycles out of Bavaria. It gets a similar engine as the Leoncino, a 499.6cc twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that has a four valve per cylinder layout, and DOHC. It too, makes 46.9bhp of maximum power, and 4.6kgm of maximum torque.
Suspending the motorcycle are upside-down forks on the front and a monoshock at the rear. Performing braking duties are dual 320mm discs from Brembo at the front, and a 260mm disc at the rear. To make it adventure-worthy, it will most likely be shod with knobby type tyres on the 19-17 inch wheels. It even gets high ground clearance of 230mm. We expect the motorcycle to be priced between Rs 4-4.5 lakh.
Updates: 600i and GT
Alongside this, Benelli has also been working on improving the brakes on the models in its current line-up, and has been testing anti-lock braking systems on them. The safer Benelli TNT 600i and the TNT 600 GT should be ready in the next couple of months. However, be ready to shell out an extra Rs 10-15,000 for the added safety.
With all these launches in the pipeline, DSK Benelli has plans to expand their assembly capabilities for which a new location near Pune is being readied. With an expanding dealership network DSK Benelli is looking to give motorcyclists much to get excited about!