Benelli plans new models and a greater international presence11 June, 2020
Benelli plans new models and a greater international presence
Benelli, a brand that most are aware of, but you might currently consider buying, is entering a new era with ambitious model plans, a solid production infrastructure and a solid financial base that could make it a mainstream name for years to come.
With a history that dates back more than a century, Benelli is one of the oldest names in motorcycling, but in the typically Italian style, balanced between the owners and went in and out of bankruptcy over the years. Founded in Pesaro, on the Adriatic coast of Italy in 1911, was in constant production for more than 70 years, with a reputation for high-tech machines, especially the six-cylinder Sei that was launched in 1972, before the factory was quiet on 1988.
An ambitious revival began in the late 90 when Andrea Merloni bought the firm, developing the Tornado Tre 900 three-cylinder that finally hit the market in 2002. It was followed by the TNT nude bike and the TreK adventure model, with the engine growing 1.130. cc, and the company was bought by the Chinese firm Qianjiang in 2005 with ambitious plans to expand to more markets. Those plans were affected when the financial crisis began to lessen in 2008, but more than a decade later, Benelli is getting wind under his wings again.
With production facilities in China, a design and engineering base still in Pesaro, and enormously deep pockets thanks to Qianjiang, a subsidiary of Geely, the automotive giant that owns renowned brands like Volvo and Lotus, Benelli has the building blocks in place for future growth.
What does the store have?
A snapshot of the company's plan to 2020 emerged from China earlier this year, detailing the launch schedule for the coming months. Now we are in the middle of 2020 and we started to see some of the bikes mentioned in the document. The first couple, TNT600i and TRK502X, they are simply minor updates to existing models, while the third new model in the timeline is the Leoncino 800, which was presented at last year's EICMA show in Milan and went into production in April. The next two, 600N and 600RR, not yet seen, at least without wearing the Benelli insignia. However, both have appeared in China under the new brand QJMotor.
The Benelli 600N is expected to be almost identical to the QJMotor SRK600. It is an evolution of the existing Benelli TNT600i , using a four-cylinder DOHC engine that was originally developed by Benelli over a decade ago for a hub sports bike proposal designed by designer Pierluigi Marconi of Bimota Tesi. That machine never did, but the engine reached production in the 2013 on the TNT600. The SRK600 carries the same frame as the TNT600, but the engine has been redesigned to meet modern emission standards. With a peak of 80 horsepower, not a full supercar, but the new motorcycle adds Brembo brakes and Marzocchi suspension, along with technology that
includes a TFT board, keyless ignition and multiple driving modes, Bosch ABS and traction control.
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The filtered timeline shows a “600RR”, which has also emerged under the banner QJMotor, like the SRG600. Not yet officially launched, but images have emerged through Chinese type approval documents. Basically it's a completely lacking version of the SRK600, with the same motor, frame and suspension, but an enveloping fairing. Like the nude version, complies with the latest Chinese emissions laws, which are on par with Euro standards 4, and has been developed with features including ABS brakes (necessary for the European market) and side reflectors on the fork, as needed for sales in Europe and the United States.
The next model featured on the Benelli timeline is not a Benelli; It's a Harley-Davidson. The HD338 is Harley's next small-capacity model ( as Andy Greaser reported last year ) designed for developing markets rather than Europe or the United States. Basically it's a redesigned and reworked version of Benelli's existing 302S nude bike , with a capacity of 338 Largest cc achieved using the 502S longest stroke crankshaft.
In September, the new timeline of the Benelli model confirms the launch of the TRK800: an adventure motorcycle built around the parallel twin-cylinder engine of 754 cc of 80 horsepower of the 752S nude bike and the Leoncino 800 retro-scrambler style. In China, the new firm QJMotor is about to present its own adventure bike with the same engine, call SRB750, but Benelli remains adamant that it is not representative of the final TRK800 that will hit international markets next year. That's a little bit surprising, as leaked images show SRB750 clearly uses existing Benelli engine and frame. However, Benelli says he's reworking so much for the TRK800, which is expected to be the most important international market model that the company has launched since its purchase from Qianjiang.
A motorcycle that does not appear in the model plan 2020 de Benelli, but who appeared in the Chinese spy photos, it's the BJ1200 tourer, the largest bike to have used the Benelli insignia. Initially it is offered to the Chinese police forces under the name of Qianjiang QJ1200J, but the Benelli logo on the keyless power button and the TFT dash home screen leave no doubt as to its true origin. His style has also been patented under the name of Benelli BJ1200 in China..
The motor is a derivative of 140 horsepower and 1,209 cc of the three cylinder engine originally developed for the Tornado Tre. It was last offered in the form of 1.130 cc in Tornado, TNT 1130 y TreK 1130, which was suspended in 2017. However, new revision meets modern emission limits, which means that it could be established for a return to international markets. Leaked images of the civilian version of the motorcycle (complete with a top case and a back seat instead of the radio, the police version siren and strobe lights) appear to show radar or camera sensors on the front and rear, suggesting that it could be equipped with adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring systems.
With everything, Benelli is about to have a range that includes scramblers, ADV, sport motorcycles, naked, retro motorcycles and tourers, with individual motors, Twins, triple and four cylinder ranging from 125 cc a 1.200 cc, built with the backing of a major automaker. Whether or not Benelli can achieve the prominence he once had, the company certainly seems to have an eye on being a serious rival to established brands around the world.