Motorcycle manufacturer Benelli has been quiet for years, ever since they were bought out by new Chinese owners. But, now they’re re-entering the market with a bang, with three new machines announced recently.
The one we know the most about is called the BN 600R, it’s based around a liquid-cooled inline-four, with DOHC and four valves per cylinder. It supposedly makes 82 hp @ 11,500 rpm, and 52 Nm of torque at 10,500 rpm. It has wet sump lubrication, a wet clutch, six-speed gearbox and chain drive.
Suspension sounds well sorted out, with 50mm Marzocchi USD forks up front, and Sachs shock in rear. The frame is a mixture of a steel trellis, with some aluminum bits in back.
Braking comes from twin 320 mm discs in front, with radially mounted Brembo calipers. There’s a 240 mm disc in back, with twin-piston caliper. The wheels are 17-inch aluminum units in front and back, with 120/70 and 180/55 tires.
We don’t know Canadian pricing or availability, but the bike will cost 6490 Euros across the pond.
Benelli is also going to show off two other new bikes at EICMA next week, the BN 600GT and the BN320.
The BN600GT seems to be pretty similar to the BN 600R, with a steel trellis frame and alloy swingarm, the same motor, and USD forks (the GT’s forks are also 50 mm units). It sounds like it has pretty similar brakes as well.
It has a larger gas tank, though, which makes sense, as the bike seems to be aimed at the touring market. There’s also less bodywork. It has adventure styling, but rolls on 17-inch wheels.
The BN302 is a twin-cylinder bike aimed at the new 300 cc segment. It’s got decent styling, and a rear suspension that looks suspiciously similar to something you’d see on a 650 twin from Kawasaki. It’s got a DOHC motor with EFI, and a six-speed transmission. Supposedly, the machine makes 37 hp at 11,500 rpm and 20 ft-lb of torque at 9,000 rpm. There are 41 mm USD shocks up front, and a that rear suspension is only adjustable for preload. Front brakes are 260 mm discs, with a single 240 mm disc in back. No price has been issued for the machine yet, and we have no idea of Canadian availability.
The biggest question, though, is – what are these machines’ origins? For years, Benelli was known for building exotic Italian hot rods, but with the new Oriental ownership, you’ve got to expect some of these bikes’ components to made in China, maybe even most of them. However, the press release we’ve seen has nothing about the bike’s country of manufacture, although one of the releases is stressing the firm’s “made in Italy” history.
It is worth noting, though, that there are plenty of high-spec bits on the bike, meaning that either management has applied a generous serving of lipstick to a pig, or they’ve actually got a competent machine they’re proud to attach the Benelli name to. Let’s hope it’s the latter.
Check out the gallery – we’ve got quite a few shots of the BN 600R.
Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.
[…] Although they produced some of the world’s gnarliest exotic bikes during their heyday, even winning GP championships back in the day, Benelli’s fallen on hard times. A few years back, the Italian company went to Chinese ownership, and since then, their products have been beginner-friendly machines in the 250-600 cc range. You can see a few of those bikes here. […]
82 hp and 52 N.m (38 lb.ft) from a 600cc engine is completely unremarkable. That is late-eighties FZR600 power with even less torque.